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What Do Lawyers Do?

Lawyer Definition Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

Daily Life Of a Lawyer

  • Search for and examine public and other legal records to write opinions or establish ownership.
  • Represent clients in court or before government agencies.
  • Gather evidence to formulate defense or to initiate legal actions, by such means as interviewing clients and witnesses to ascertain the facts of a case.
  • Prepare, draft, and review legal documents, such as wills, deeds, patent applications, mortgages, leases, and contracts.
  • Prepare legal briefs and opinions, and file appeals in state and federal courts of appeal.
  • Help develop federal and state programs, draft and interpret laws and legislation, and establish enforcement procedures.

Lawyer Needed Skills

When polled, Lawyers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

  • Foreign Legal Consultant
  • Title Lawyer
  • City Solicitor
  • Contracts Attorney
  • Legal Department Manager

What Kind of Lawyer Job Opportunities Are There?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 792,500 jobs in the United States for Lawyers.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 8.2% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 65,000 new jobs for Lawyers by 2026. The BLS estimates 40,700 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Lawyers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Lawyers are California, New York, and Texas.

Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Vermont, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Lawyer Average Salary

Lawyers Make between $58,220 and $208,000 a year. The median salary for this occupation is $120,910.

Salary Ranges for Lawyers

How much do Lawyers make in different U.S. states?

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

District of Columbia

$192,530

California

$171,550

New York

$167,110

Massachusetts

$165,610

Connecticut

$153,640

Illinois

$152,980

Texas

$150,250

Colorado

$147,560

Arizona

$145,750

Virginia

$139,180

New Jersey

$139,020

Nevada

$138,920

Pennsylvania

$138,610

Washington

$136,480

Wisconsin

$130,450

North Carolina

$129,990

Georgia

$128,930

Florida

$128,920

Maryland

$128,340

New Hampshire

$125,890

Rhode Island

$125,330

Tennessee

$124,470

Alaska

$121,680

Ohio

$121,520

Oregon

$119,500

Minnesota

$119,330

Oklahoma

$118,790

Alabama

$117,100

Missouri

$113,780

Indiana

$113,360

Iowa

$112,630

Utah

$112,380

Hawaii

$111,290

Michigan

$110,180

South Dakota

$109,070

Kansas

$109,020

Nebraska

$108,170

Vermont

$107,490

North Dakota

$107,290

Maine

$107,120

New Mexico

$105,910

Wyoming

$105,600

Louisiana

$105,490

South Carolina

$105,320

Kentucky

$100,100

Idaho

$99,360

Arkansas

$98,780

West Virginia

$98,630

Mississippi

$97,990

Montana

$88,600

Tools & Technologies Used by Lawyers

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Lawyers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Access
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft Word
  • Tax software
  • ERP software
  • Google Analytics
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • SAP
  • Fund accounting software
  • Microsoft Excel

How to Become a Lawyer

Individuals working as Lawyers have obtained the following education levels:

Lawyer Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Lawyer Work Experience

Where Lawyers Are Employed

Lawyer Sectors

Those thinking about becoming Lawyers might also be interested in the following careers:

  • Industrial-Organizational Psychologists

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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