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Lawyer  What They Do

Just the Facts

Represents 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.

This career is part of the Government and Public Administration cluster Legal Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Represents clients in court or before government agencies.
  • Presents evidence to defend clients or prosecute defendants in criminal or civil litigation.
  • Selects jurors, argues motions, meets with judges, and questions witnesses during the course of a trial.
  • Interprets laws, rulings and regulations for individuals and businesses.
  • Studies Constitution, statutes, decisions, regulations, and ordinances of quasi-judicial bodies to determine ramifications for cases.
  • Presents and summarizes cases to judges and juries.
  • Prepares legal briefs and opinions, and files appeals in state and federal courts of appeal.
  • Analyzes the probable outcomes of cases, using knowledge of legal precedents.
  • Examines legal data to determine advisability of defending or prosecuting lawsuit.
  • Evaluates findings and develops strategies and arguments in preparation for presentation of cases.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would sit most of the time. There's some walking and standing. You may have to lift and carry things like books, papers or tools weighing 10 lbs. or less.
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overnight travel
  • Overtime work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Patent Attorney -- Represents clients in obtaining patents and acting in all matters and procedures relating to patent law and practice.
  • Prosecutor -- Appointed by the government, a prosecutor enforces criminal laws and represents the victims of crime in court.