Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 804,200 people employed as lawyers in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $126,900.
Entry level employees earn approximately $61,490 per year and senior employees earn approximately $208,000
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Perform administrative and management functions related to the practice of law.
- Examine legal data to determine advisability of defending or prosecuting lawsuit.
- Evaluate findings and develop strategies and arguments in preparation for presentation of cases.
- Work in environmental law, representing public interest groups, waste disposal companies, or construction firms in their dealings with state and federal agencies.
- Probate wills and represent and advise executors and administrators of estates.
- Act as agent, trustee, guardian, or executor for businesses or individuals.
- Help develop federal and state programs, draft and interpret laws and legislation, and establish enforcement procedures.
- Present evidence to defend clients or prosecute defendants in criminal or civil litigation.
- Represent clients in court or before government agencies.
- Present and summarize cases to judges and juries.
- Study Constitution, statutes, decisions, regulations, and ordinances of quasi-judicial bodies to determine ramifications for cases.
- Prepare, draft, and review legal documents, such as wills, deeds, patent applications, mortgages, leases, and contracts.
- Gather evidence to formulate defense or to initiate legal actions by such means as interviewing clients and witnesses to ascertain the facts of a case.
- Prepare legal briefs and opinions, and file appeals in state and federal courts of appeal.
- Search for and examine public and other legal records to write opinions or establish ownership.
- Confer with colleagues with specialties in appropriate areas of legal issue to establish and verify bases for legal proceedings.
- Negotiate settlements of civil disputes.
- Supervise legal assistants.
- Analyze the probable outcomes of cases, using knowledge of legal precedents.
- Advise clients concerning business transactions, claim liability, advisability of prosecuting or defending lawsuits, or legal rights and obligations.
- Select jurors, argue motions, meet with judges, and question witnesses during the course of a trial.
- Interpret laws, rulings and regulations for individuals and businesses.