Lawyers are professionals who help clients understand their legal rights and obligations. They advise and assist individuals, businesses, and government agencies, and may also represent clients in court.
Laws are complex, and attorneys must be knowledgeable and up to the challenge of interpreting, analyzing, and applying them. Some lawyers specialize in one or two areas of law.
Attorneys are often paid on an hourly, flat, or contingency basis. This means that they are paid for the time spent on a case. However, a lawyer can also be paid a lump sum for a complicated or difficult case.
The American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional association of lawyers in the English-speaking world. A large number of firms have more than 50 lawyers. Several firms have more than 1,000 lawyers.
Lawyers can be employed by the public as a defense attorney, prosecutor, or attorney-in-chief. Other positions include legal assistants, administrative staff, and legislative staff.
Lawyers may work in high-stress, fast-paced environments. Many lawyers work weekends and nights. It is important to ask questions and cooperate with your lawyer to get the best result in a legal matter.
Most lawyers bill on an hourly basis. In some cases, they will require a non-refundable retainer in advance.
Lawyers spend three to seven years in college to qualify for a degree in law. They then pass a bar exam to become licensed.
Litigation is a major part of the legal profession. Lawyers draft documents, present evidence in court, and argue questions of law and fact.