Job Description of Lawyers.

Looking for information on the precise job description of lawyers? Sure, you know what a lawyer is, doesn’t everyone? A lawyer practices law. You’ve watched the dramatic TV shows and seen the movies, read the best-selling books.  But that’s entertainment, not real life. We want you to understand the real-life lawyer job description, especially if you’re thinking of becoming an attorney and want to make a well-informed decision.

Very briefly, the job description of lawyers is to advise and represent individuals, groups, businesses or government agencies on legal issues and problems. Legal issues may range from contracts, to real estate sales and property acquisitions, to the administration of wills and estates in probate court, to civil lawsuits, and criminal cases. Lawyers mostly do their work from their private offices or in business/corporation offices. They’re often seen visiting clients in county jails and prisons, or corporate clients in office buildings. Some lawyers are in private practice while others are employed by cities or counties, state and federal governments.

Here’s an expanded job description of lawyers:

·         They advise, counsel and represent their clients in courts, in appearances before government agencies, in media conferences, in business meetings, or in private legal matters. They are advocates for their clients.

·         They prepare and file legal documents (usually called “pleadings”) with the court clerk or a judge’s bailiff. These include subpoenas, contracts, property deeds and liens, wills, civil lawsuits, notices of hearings, and appeals.

·         Lawyers stay in close contact with their clients and are also involved in interviewing witnesses to support their clients’ cases or to rebut another witness when their clients are the defendants.

·         They conduct lengthy legal research to find case law (called “precedents”) that supports their client’s position on a legal matter.  (All lawyers no matter what type of law they practice conduct legal research.)

·         For their clients, a major job description of a lawyer is to interpret and explain laws, court decisions and state and federal regulations.

·        Lawyers are advocates for their clients within the US legal system, including the criminal justice system. They prepare and present case facts for their clients and argue for them in court, depositions, or pre-trial hearings.

In the job description of a lawyer, they serve two different roles as advisers and advocates. While serving in their capacity as an advisor for their clients, lawyers counsel them about their legal rights and their obligations under the law. They may also suggest actions that their clients could take in both business and personal/family roles that will keep them from being sued or arrested. As advocates for their clients, lawyers represent a client’s best interests in criminal or civil court proceedings; they present evidence and examine witnesses to support their client’s position.

The job description of lawyers includes a very wide variety or types of law that you may be interested in. Let’s look at a few:

Litigation lawyers handle all disputes between their clients and other people, organizations, businesses and state or federal officials such as the District Attorney or Federal Prosecutor. Lawyers that represent the people of a state or the federal government are called prosecutors while defense attorneys work for individuals who are charged with a criminal offense or who are involved in a lawsuit with another person or organization. Litigation practice is not only criminal law.  Lawyers also appear in civil court and file/defend lawsuits against people and companies.  In civil court lawyers basically fight over money and determine who is responsible to pay for damages suffered by the plaintiff.

Family lawyers represent their clients in and out of court. They handle divorce and child custody issues, adoption proceedings, and emancipation of minors.

Environmental lawyers represent environmental advocacy groups, government agencies, and waste disposal companies to make sure they comply with the many laws concerned with the protection of the US environment. They also represent non-profit organizations and private citizens who believe that others aren’t in compliance with environmental laws.

Is there anything more baffling in the US than the Internal Revenue System? Tax lawyers assist individuals, organizations, and businesses in wading through complex taxation matters to make sure that they pay their fair share of taxes, but are not over-taxed.

Part of the job description of lawyers may be as a corporate attorney who is also called an in house counsel. These attorneys serve as advisors to CEOs, COOs, or other high-management employees with major corporations. Rather than handling a caseload of many clients, corporate attorneys represent only one corporation (the company that employs them). Their job is to advise executives about legal issues related to the corporation’s way of doing business and other issues; these include contracts, personnel management, taxes, patents and union matters.

You’ll usually find securities lawyers on Wall Street where they represent clients on legal matters relating to the buying and selling of stocks. They advise new clients who are interested in listing their company in the stock exchange and taking them through an initial public offering (IPO). They will also help clients buy shares in another corporation up to and including company buy-outs.

The job description of a lawyer who handles intellectual property like books, music, patents, trademarks, copyrights, movies and inventions is a wide field of legal practice. Intellectual property lawyers advise their clients about matter such as using another person’s published or copyright-protected property within their own work.

Because of the many types of work they do, the job description of lawyers is complex and very diverse.  If you are considering becoming a lawyer there probably is a subset or niche of law that would fit your personality type, but you have to have a plan and really investigate law school, licensing, and the type of work that lawyers do before you commit to law school.

Keep reading our other articles to learn more!

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