Law is involved in almost every aspect of society, therefore lawyers are critical to the way we operate as Americans. According to statistica.com, there are approximately 352,000 lawyers currently working in the United States. Whether you are curious about a lawyers job description or you are thinking about becoming a lawyer, the goal of this blog article is to give some perspective on what lawyers do and how they help people everyday.
Weekly Tasks for Lawyers
Because the weekly tasks of a lawyer highly depends on their specialization, it can be difficult to give an accurate list for all lawyers. Here is a generic list of things that lawyers might perform throughout the work week:
Gather evidence for a case
Represent clients in court
Interpret laws and applying them to specific cases
Examine legal data to determine advisability of defending or prosecuting lawsuit
Present evidence to defend clients or prosecute defendants in criminal or civil litigation
Prepare and draft legal documents
Supervise legal assistants
Act as an agent, trustee, guardian, or executor for businesses or individuals
Types of Lawyers
There are hundreds of law specialties and each field varies in the type of work that is performed. Many lawyers specialize in multiple fields. Here’s a brief list of a few common fields with descriptions of what each profession focuses on:
A corporate lawyer helps companies with paperwork in all phases of business processes. This type of lawyer also gives advice on how to handle certain situations and gives corporations the resources to stay out of all legal trouble.
Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury attorney advocates for people that have been injured by the fault of someone else. Personal injury cases are very common, so personal injury lawyers are in high demand.
Family lawyers help with divorce paperwork, child custody battles, etc. These lawyers are regularly meeting with families to help them solve their problems.
Criminal lawyers advocate for people that have been charged for committing a crime. Criminal lawyers spend a majority of their time either in the courtroom or preparing to represent their clients.
A contract is a legal written or spoken agreement. In the business world if someone does not follow the rules of a contract, a contract lawyer can help resolve the dispute.
An employment lawyer handles employee discrimination lawsuits, wage and hour lawsuits, workers’ compensation claims, etc.
A medical lawyer can help with medical malpractice lawsuits. All too often patients are not treated properly in hospitals and they either suffer permanent damage or parish. A medical lawyer can help you get reimbursed for your family’s pain and suffering.
Advisor vs. Advocate
Since there are so many specialties for lawyers, it can be difficult to sort them into categories, but one way to split them into two groups is lawyers that primarily advise and then there are advocate lawyers. Advisors and advocates have very different job descriptions and usually lawyers advocate and advise on a daily basis.
Advisors usually don’t spend much time in a courtroom and instead focus on giving advice to people or businesses. Someone who acts primarily as an advisor may be called a “transactional lawyer” and their main job would be to counsel people and businesses through certain situations, such as buying property or selling a company. Advisors can either work for a law firm or work for a corporation.
Advocate lawyers have a very different job description. Although the everyday work varies depending on which law specialty they focus on, most advocate lawyers are regularly meeting with clients, researching for their legal cases, preparing for deposition, preparing for trial, or negotiating settlements. Advocate lawyers that work in criminal law spend the majority of their time defending people that have been charged with a crime.
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