In addition to legal studies, most lawyers work for companies, for government, or for nonprofit organizations. Law education and registration requirements authorize both corporate lawyers and litigants to act in court, but attorneys often prepare for a specialty during their training. Early specialization helps corporate lawyers and litigants to be competent in a highly specialized market, and to meet the requirements of their work.
Each state establishes its own requirements for the registration of lawyers. Any professional with good prospects needs a four-year college degree, an additional three-year law degree, and successfully pass their licensing exams. The choice of the law school impacts on your specialty prospects, due to the different internships offered by the universities. The first half of the law university covers general topics. During the last 18 months, universities offer specialized courses. After college, most states require passing a special enrollment test as a requirement to practice, while other states require additional tests.
Preparing a specialization
After the first year and a half of university, the future lawyers can choose elective subjects according to the specialty of their preference. Those who are preparing to be corporate lawyers can choose courses on tax law or accounting. Students often participate in fieldwork and internships that suit their future specialties. The future corporate lawyers are recommended by the universities to work in internships or part time in the corporate departments of companies. These recommendations often lead to permanent hiring after the time of graduation. Those who wish to be trial lawyers can get practical experience during their studies, in false trial or practice competitions.
Corporate lawyers need to have keen intelligence, ability to work for many hours, and excellent written and oral communication skills. Many corporate lawyers work for large companies, others for smaller companies, and others are external consultants in legal studies. Corporate lawyers investigate, meet with the parties involved and review the precedents. Unlike litigation lawyers, what is sought is negotiation to reach an agreement, rather than competing as adversaries. The negotiation process is often long, challenging and exhausting. Like the litigation lawyers, if the negotiation fails, the corporate lawyers should go to court.
Trial lawyers need good public speaking and analytical skills, as well as astute knowledge of court procedures. Their employers are usually law firms, businesses or the government. They work in both civil and criminal cases. Even trial lawyers spend more time outside the court than inside the court, because trials require a lot of preparation. They should meet with witnesses and clients, conduct research, and prepare their presentation and strategies before the trial. Court work includes selecting juries, meeting with judges and arguing your case.
Perspectives and income
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 13% increase in jobs for lawyers between 2008 and 2018. Although this figure resembles the expected growth in all industries, the office expects strong competition among lawyers. Salaried jobs for businesses, legal studies or government in large metropolitan areas will form the bulk of these new jobs. Some attorneys will have temporary jobs, or will work outside of their specialty area due to the increase of law graduates. In 2010, the average salary of lawyers was US $ 129,400, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The government does not separate lawyers by specialty, but those employed by legal studies had an average salary of US $ 136,530.