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A lawyer is a person who has attained knowledge via instruction and practice and thus, he or she is able to meet the necessities of a particular State regulatory body and obtains a license to practice law in that State. Generally, a lawyer serves as a counselor and as an advocate. A lawyer is required to utilize research of criminal and judicial verdicts and to apply the law to the exact case that he or she is working on.
Lawyers specialize in several areas which include Private law, Trial Law, Corporate Law, Intellectual Property Law and Patent Law. Other areas include Insurance law, Environment law and Government law (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor).
Typical Career Path
A person longing to become a Lawyer must follow a scrupulous education system. The official educational requirements for Lawyers comprise of a four-year college degree. Subsequently, a Law degree holder must attend a law school for a period of three years. He or she is then required to write a bar examination. Normally, the bar examination consists of three sections. They include a national section, a section for laws of a certain State and a good character inquest. A person aspiring to become a Lawyer can evaluate him/herself for suitability using Myers-Briggis Type Indicator (MBTI). One is required to take an online test which is made up of ninety three (93) questions (Discover Your Personality.Com).
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Trends in the Legal Profession
At the moment, there are several trends that are affecting the legal profession. First of all, legal services shall persist to be offered by electronic means over the internet. Second, the escalating forms of legal services shall persist. Third, persons who aren't Lawyers are offering legal services by electronic means and this shall persist. Fourth, many Lawyers are taking on considerable inter-jurisdictional representation and this trend is anticipated to escalate in the near future. Fifth, Courts shall transform to electronic filling in every case. Owing to this, Lawyers shall be compelled to learn and comprehend the technology. Lastly, Electronic mediation systems shall be utilized with escalating frequency in the next few years (Abanet).
The matrix of salary expectations of the legal profession in USA is as shown in Table 1 (see Appendix I). In order to determine the salary range for a certain geographical location, the salary is multiplied by the locality % shown in Table 2 (see appendix II) (Internet Legal Research Group).
A lawyer uses collaboration skills in order to inundate his/her own position and characters. Second, lawyers demonstrate understanding and perception towards their clients. Third, all lawyers should demonstrate a higher level of financial literacy. Fourth, Lawyers should be able to approximate budget expenses and also to manage a plan of action. Fifth, Lawyers should have the capability of managing their time well. Other skills include analytical ability, attention to details, persuasiveness and sound reasoning (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor).
Majority of lawyers are employed by big business enterprises. Some lawyers are hired as attorneys by the government. A good number of salaried posts are in urban areas. This is due to the fact that most government agencies and big business enterprises are concentrated in these areas. At present, there is a big competition for attorney posts. This has necessitated several Lawyers to seek for employment opportunities in less convectional fields. These fields include managerial, business posts in banks and more. Due to the economic recession of 2008-2009, a number of law graduates have not succeeded in securing permanent jobs. As a result, they are turning to provisional staffing companies. These companies place lawyers in temporary jobs (Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor).
Women and Minorities
The legal occupation is characterized by exclusion of racial minorities. This situation has contributed to racial inequality in the profession as a result of which it has created considerable dissimilar impacts on the minority groups in United States. As compared to other occupations, minority representation in this profession is fairly low! In addition, minority women in the legal profession are nearly totally not included in the best private sector jobs (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor).
In USA, all the departments publicize their job opportunities in the Department of Justice website. A qualified Lawyer can visit this website and look for job opportunities. The website lists vacancies in various law fields by the hiring component, geographic location and lastly, by the practice area. The United States of America's Office of Personnel Management also has a website that contains information regarding the available Lawyer jobs. The secret behind securing a Lawyer job in the Federal Government is to work for a particular agency in the summer. One can work for a paid post or as a volunteer. Lawyer can also work through 1 of the several summer intern programs (United States Department of Justice).
Typical Job Notices
There are three categories of job postings in the legal profession. First, external job posting is open to every applicant. Second, an agency job posting is open to agency employees. It is also open to individuals who are entitled for rehiring. Third, external job posting is open to all State workers. An external job posting is accessible by many people as compared to both internal and Agency job postings (United States of America Department of Labor).
Lawyers perform majority of their duties in courtrooms and also in their respective offices. From time to time, they visit the clients in their workplace, prison or at home. A lawyer can also travel so as to attend gatherings and to gather proof. Lawyers in the private practice normally work in uneven hours. They spend most of this time in performing research and also in preparing briefs. Additionally, much of this time is utilized in discussing with the customers. Frequently, Lawyers experience profound pressure particularly when a case is being tried (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor).
The curriculum of the law school is designed in such a manner that in the initial year of study, a student is expected to undertake a number of courses. These courses include constitutional law, legal writing and torts. Others include contracts, property law and civil procedure. During the subsequent years, students are required to select courses from fields related to law. These fields include tax, labor and more. Students are also required to partake in legal clinics. These clinics are aimed at enabling them (the law students) to gain practical experience. Furthermore, a new lawyer is required to partake in an ongoing legal instruction. This education is aimed at making the Lawyer (the new Lawyer) to remain abreast of the latest progress in the field (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor).
A person who has successfully passed a bar examination is issued with a certificate. A State's highest court is responsible for the issuance of the certificate. Besides, a membership card and a bar identification number are issued to the applicant. The latter validates bar membership. An applicant for the bar membership must have a Law degree from an acknowledged law school in United States. As far as other commonwealth countries (those countries that were colonized by Britain such as India) are concerned, for a new lawyer to become a bar member, he or she ought to be a qualified advocate (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor).
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In USA, in order for a new lawyer to practice law within the courts of a particular State, he or she ought to be licensed. Another alternative is to apply for the bar membership of that State. A bar applicant also ought to have passed an ethics test. However, a Lawyer with a bar membership of a different State for instance North Dakota, may perhaps become a bar member of a different State for example Florida. Nevertheless, this person must meet Florida's standards of good ethics personality. Furthermore, he or she ought to have practice law for a certain period of time (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor).
In the next few years, the legal profession will persist to experience competition. At the moment, most Americans can afford to pay for legal services since there are too many legal clinics across United States that are offering these services at affordable rates. The continuing competition for top positions in this profession is a strong indication that professionals in this field (the Lawyers) are presuming enhanced significance in the American society. A new Lawyer who is keen on securing employment must be ready to shift from one State to another in spite of the potential barriers such as the need to write and pass a bar examination. The current situation in the job market in United States is that persons who have advanced degrees in this field (for example admiralty law) stands at a better chance of securing good jobs. On the other hand, a new lawyer who has the intentions of establishing a law firm should do so in small towns since he or she is likely not to encounter fierce competition from big firms (Laurel 199).
Due to the fact that most lawyers spend most of their time in visiting clients at their workplace, prison, in the courtroom and in conducting research, they have less time to spend with their families (Conference Proceedings). Most lawyers find it hard to balance work, family life and leisure (Livingstone 14). However, most employers in the law field have started to realize the manner in which the place of work climate may possibly impact on the capability of lawyers to balance their work and family lives and are addressing this problem so as to come up with suitable solutions (Liptak WK3).
It is essential for a law student to begin thinking prematurely in his or her law course as regards to what his/her different preferences are, and the kind of steps he or she shall require to take so as to assist in identifying his/her objectives. Internships could assist the student to widen a more unique Curriculum Vitae (CV) to present to potential employer(s). A Curriculum Vitae (CV) is fundamentally, the tool for marketing a new Lawyer. For that reason, it is essential for a student (a law student) to commence building it (the Resume or Curriculum Vitae) subsequent to commencing his/her degree.