What Does A Lawyer Do?

What Does A Lawyer Do?


Lawyers or Attorneys advise individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes. Also, attorneys represent them in Court and legal transactions. Lawyers inform their clients about their legal rights and obligations and help steer them through the complexities of the law.

A career as a Lawyer is an extraordinary calling. However, becoming a Lawyer or Attorney is an enormous undertaking in terms of time commitment and financial investment. Therefore, it is important to learn as much about the profession as possible before you embark on a career path as a Lawyer.

What is the difference between an Attorney and a Lawyer?

Generally speaking, an Attorney, or Attorney-at-law, is a person who is a member of the legal profession. An Attorney is qualified and licensed to represent a client in Court. ... A Lawyer, by definition, is someone who is trained in the field of law and provides advice and aid on legal matters.

These top reasons to become a Lawyer explain some of the benefits of working as an Attorney.

Earning Potential

Attorneys are among the highest paid professionals in the legal industry, and most Attorneys earn salaries well above the national average. While the median annual salary for all Lawyers in the USA is $110,590, the world’s top Lawyers pull in million-dollar incomes. Keep in mind, however, that not all Lawyers make ‘big bucks'; therefore, salaries depend on the employer's size, experience level, and geographic region.

Lawyers employed in large law firms, in major metropolitan areas, earn the highest incomes. Those who work in the public sector, such as in legal aid services...not so much!

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer recently, boosted its salary for newly qualified solicitors to £100,000, making it the highest paying Magic Circle firm. Other Magic Circle firms pay salaries of £91,000 (Clifford Chance) and £83,000 (Allen & Overy, Linklaters and Slaughter, and May).

Parents should encourage their children to work hard in school and take up professions such as medicine or law because they’re deemed to be respectable and well-paid. According to Forbes Magazine, fresh graduates from prestigious law schools can, for instance, make GBP 120,000 per year.

The figure can be higher or lower depending on the country the graduates choose to live and work in. Here are the top ten countries with the highest-paid salaries for lawyers, based on information gathered from Robert Walters' 2016 Salary Survey.

16 Countries with The Highest Lawyer Salaries In The World

 (Last Updated On: January 2, 2020)

1. Japan

Average Japanese Lawyer’s Salary: USD145,000

Japan is known for its technological superiority, but its economy isn't based solely on exporting electronics and technology. It currently has the 3rd highest GDP in the world and the fourth-highest purchasing power. Their economy today focuses on automobiles, precision, and high-tech goods. It is the world's third-largest manufacturer of cars.

But not everything is high profits and high GDP for Japan; it’s extremely healthy economy is being threatened by an aging working population and an extremely low birth-rate. This will eventually result in a generation of individuals on social benefits without enough people being employed to replenish social security funds. Lawyers in Japan won't have any problems if they put aside some of their £110,999.59, which makes them the 5th highest compensated practitioners of law.

Becoming a lawyer is, without a doubt, a really prestigious job title in most countries in the world, and one thing that comes with it is a huge salary. Here is a list of the top ten countries with the highest-paid lawyers.

2. United States of America

Average American Lawyer’s Salary: USD120,000

At the top of the list is one of the world’s most litigious countries in the world: the United States. Lawyers are incredibly high-value individuals in the States, that extraordinary charge amounts of money for their services. An American Lawyer with a mere one to four years of experience can bring home a whopping £166,510.23.

If you’re out on an international job hunt as a legal expert, you may want to consider the top ten countries with the highest salaries for lawyers before looking elsewhere. If you are a lawyer employed in any of the countries on this list, let us know about your experience working in the legal field.

According to the US Bureau of Labor, lawyers in the United States earned an average of $120,000 a year. Lawyers in securities and commodities are over $200,000, while those working for the state government earn an average $85,000. Currently, there are over 800,000 lawyers, most of which are employed by law firms. Some of the highest paying states are District of Columbia, California, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. The lowest paying are Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Mexico, South Dakota, and West Virginia.

3. Switzerland

Average Swiss Lawyer’s Salary: USD120,000

It is no surprise that one of the world’s leading financial industry power-houses and foremost economies would have well-compensated workers. Not only is Switzerland known for its banking sector its citizens also enjoy one of the highest qualities of life across the world. A lawyer with between 3-7 years of experience can make an astounding £153,075.54 per year. Although the cost of living can be high, it is balanced out by the subsidy’s healthcare, and education.

The average salary of an in-house lawyer with over ten years PQE in Geneva is around 200,000 CHF while those with less make around 120,000 CHF

 4. Norway

Average salary – USD116,000

The total market for legal services in Norway was NOK20 billion. Those who work with business clients made more than those who work primarily with private clients. The

.5. Hong Kong

Average Hong Kong Lawyer’s Salary: £143,102.60

Known as the "Fragrant Bay" or the "Pearl of the Orient," Hong Kong has established itself as one of the primary financial hubs of the Asian Continent. With an economy primarily based on the financial sector and the service industry, Hong Kong has evolved into a multicultural melting pot, due to its high salaries and quality of life. Lawyers in Hong Kong also enjoy this high quality of life and extremely competitive wages, the third-best in the world in fact. For example, an attorney with 1-3 years of experience in private practice can make a whopping £143,102.60.6

6. South Africa

Average Income of Highest-Paid Lawyer’s Salary: £140,332.44

It's Africa's second wealthiest country (after Nigeria) and has a steadily growing middle-class. One of only four countries in Africa to enjoy an upper-middle-income economy, South Africa, has a strong economy and a growing one. This growing economy is shown by having the fourth best-paid lawyers in the world that make an annual salary of £140,332.44, with just 1-3 years of experience.

7. Ireland

Average salary – USD 113,000

Newly qualified solicitors are usually given a starting salary of €45,000 – €65,000 if you are based in Dublin. Those with five years’ experience get and average of €80,000 while those with over 7 years’ experience get an average of €100,000 and above. The biggest law firms in Ireland are Arthur Cox, A&L Goodbody, Matheson, McCan FitzGerald and William Fry.

8.  France

Average French Lawyer’s Salary: £110,510.73

Lawyers in France earn more money per year than their Australian counterparts as they take home over £110,510.73. But, the cost of living in France is relatively high, and the tax and social security contributions are some of the highest in the world. So although you may earn a lot as a lawyer in France, you're probably saving less, making France sixth in the list of countries with high remuneration packages for lawyers.

9. Netherlands

Average salary – USD107,000

An associate in a Dutch firm starts at around €40,000 a year and rises based on experience. Those with over seven years’ experience can make over €140,000. The average salary is around €95,000.

10. Germany

Average salary – USD105,000

The median salary for a lawyer based in Munich is €93,000.

11. Australia

Average Australian Lawyer’s Salary: £89,734.41

The island nation remained relatively unscathed by the global economic crisis and altogether avoided a recession (which cannot be said of most of the other countries on this list). In fact, Australia managed to prove that trickle-down economic reforms are a complete waste of time by sending each and every Australia household a $900 check to stimulate spending. Australia is one of the largest markets in the world, with a high quality of life and competitive global salaries. This is reflected in how they offer the 7th highest salaries to lawyers in the world. The average salary for people in private practice with 0 – 3 years of experience is £89,734.41.

 12. Canada

Average Salary: USD105,000

According to the Canadian Lawyer annual compensation survey, the largest group of new lawyers earned between CAD40,000 – CAD65,000 a year. Those with two to seven years’ experience made between CAD65,000 – CAD150,000. Lawyers with over seven years’ experience earned between CAD150,000 – CAD200,000. Lawyers with more than 10 years’ experience and extensive client contact are among the most sought after.

13. Singapore

Average Singaporean Lawyer’s Salary: £78,138.88

Although Singapore is the one of the smallest countries in the world it has one of the most robust economies in Asia. Most of the country’s economy is based in the service industry, but they also export electronics and biomedical technology and their economy is predicted to grow at 1 to 3% this coming year. Probably the smallest country on the list Singapore holds the 8th highest position for Lawyer’s salaries at £78,138.88.

14. Belgium

Average Belgian Lawyer’s Salary: £76,502.82

Belgium has long used its central location within Europe to its financial benefit. Since being the second country after Britain to experience an industrial revolution, it has remained a small but powerful economy. It was one of the founding members of the European Economic Community which eventually evolved into the European Union, further bolstering its advantageous economic position.  Despite being affected by the recent economic downturn, the economy is still strong, and it has the 24th highest GDP in the world (gross domestic product) which is high for such a small country.

Although almost all professionals enjoy a high quality of life and globally competitive salaries, Lawyers with five to seven years of experience are paid £76,502.82 making them the ninth highest paid law professionals in the world.

15. United Kingdom

Average UK Lawyer’s Salary: £74,111

In the UK lawyer’s salary vary widely but most lawyers want work for The Magic Circle which basically comprises of London’s five most prestigious law firms. They offer trainee salaries of around £44,000 which is higher than other law firms outside the capital which offer salaries of around £30,000. Magic Circle lawyers get an average salary of between £72,000 – £85,000 for those with less than 10 years’ experience while those with 10 – 15 years years’ experience can earn an average £100,000 while those with over 15 years can make an average of £180,000. US firms in the UK offer a much more attractive pay of around £100,000. The highest salaries are those in the areas of law that deal with high profile companies.

It has been a difficult period for the UK, with the instability of Brexit hot on the tails of an already devastating economic crisis. But things are looking up, and the British Government reported growth of 0.6% in last quarter of the '16. The fifth-largest economy in the world when it comes to gross domestic product, the British economy is primarily based in the service industry but is also the 9th largest exporter of goods in the world.

The UK also touts a robust aerospace industry, which produces much of its GDP. It seems that lawyers are feeling the small economic upswing as private practice law professionals with four years of experience make up to £74,111. 10th may be the last slot on the list, but it's still a decent salary.

16. Australia

Average Layers’ salary – USD100,000

Remuneration for lawyers based in Sydney Melbourne, Australia with five years’ experience is between AU$114,000 and AU$165,000 while in Melbourne it is around AU$140,000. Senior associates have pay cheques that his as much as AU$210,000 in Melbourne, AU$180,000 in Brisbane, AU$190,000 in Perth and AU$130,000 in Adelaide. The typical salary for big firm partners is AU$1.25 million in Sydney, AU$1.15 million in Melbourne and AU$970,000 in Brisbane.

That’s the end of the 16 countries’ Average Lawyers’ salaries in the year of 2020!


For generations, a career as a Lawyer has been a benchmark of prestige. Impressive degrees, generous salaries, and an authority over others have placed Lawyers in an elite circle of professionals who command respect and embody the definition of success. Today, Lawyers still enjoy a unique professional status and a glamorous image projected by themselves and perpetuated by the media.

Intellectual Challenge

Working as a Lawyer is one of the most intellectually rewarding jobs on the planet. From helping to patent a trade secret that will benefit the world, to devising a trial strategy to forming a multi-million-dollar merger, Lawyers are problem-solvers, analysts and innovative thinkers whose intellect is crucial to career success. They need that ‘edge’ where they can see what everyone else is thinking so s to beat them at their own game – rather like a chameleon in a Smartie box!

Diverse Practice Areas

As the legal profession evolves, increased industry segmentation, and specialization, have led to a broad array of sub-specialties. Lawyers can specialize in one or several niche areas ranging from bread-and-butter practices such as employment law and civil litigation to niche specialties such as green law or foreclosure law.

Work Environment

Most Lawyers work in law firms, Government, and corporations. Cubicles have become the mainstay of the modern workplace, Lawyers work in an office with four walls, and a door. They hope for a corner office with windows; and in some cases they get that. Lawyers in larger firms enjoy plush offices, ample support staff and a variety of office perks ranging from gym memberships to box seats at sporting events.

Transferable Skills

Even if you don’t practice law, a Juris Doctorate can open doors to new opportunities and can be used as a step up to a new, maybe more successful career. The skills you develop in law school and as a Lawyer can serve you well in many careers such as legal consulting, management, writing, mediation, and academia.


Top Lawyers appear to be autonomous and can make their own hours, set their own fees, and choose their own clients and practice areas. The job has an inherent flexibility that allows Lawyers to attend to personal matters or spend a day away from the office if needed. However, these advantages are only for the Lawyers who have worked themselves into a coma for more than ten to fifteen years before getting the big perks.

Becoming a Lawyer is an enormous undertaking in terms of time commitment and financial investment. Law school and passing the bar can be arduous challenges. Your motivation can depend at times on knowing what's really good about this profession, and being able to glimpse it out there on the horizon.

Maybe you go to Court and spend the day just to observe. Perhaps it's there that some interest will be sparked in you, and it will haunt you until you make it your future.

Is being a Lawyer fun? Sometimes...and many times not. But the work is definitely rewarding, and it has its perks.

An Opportunity to Help Others

Lawyers are in a unique position to help individuals, groups, and organizations with their legal problems, and to further the public good. A lot of Public Interest Lawyers champion legal causes for the greater good of society and help those in need of legal assistance who might not otherwise be able to afford Attorneys.

Lawyers in private practice often perform pro bono work to help low-income individuals and underserved portions of the population, such as the elderly, victims of domestic abuse, and children. In fact, many bar associations require that Attorneys commit to a certain number of pro bono hours each year.

Global Influence

Attorneys have stood at the center of society for centuries. They're in a unique position to affect societal change as lawmakers and thought leaders. They write the laws, rule the courts, and hold influential positions in Government. They're in a position to impact top policy makers and leaders and to affect change around the globe.

Is Being a Lawyer Fun? 

Of course, being a lawyer is fun! The same way that being Doctors, train drivers, Judges, Dentists, and Gardeners is fun. Everyone in the world during their lives have fun and Lawyer do experience fun as much as anyone else does. It isn’t being a Lawyer that gives them fun, its their innate sense of humour that’s responsible for that!

The Type of Personality which will help you be a Great Lawyer

To become a lawyer is to become a person of many hats. Law schools will teach you some of the skills you need, but they cannot teach character. In order to become a “good” lawyer, you have to naturally have certain qualities.

Some of these qualities you have discovered within yourself in your time as a law student, but others may need to be worked on.

Below are some of the characteristics of becoming a good lawyer in any field:

Good communication skills

Lawyers must be orally articulate, have good written communication skills, and also be good listeners. In order to argue convincingly in the courtroom before juries and judges, good public speaking skills are essential.

Communication and speaking skills can be developed during your studies by taking part in activities such as mooting or general public speaking. Lawyers must also be able to write clearly, persuasively and concisely, as they must produce a variety of legal documents.

Analytical Skills

All attorneys including Parramatta lawyers should be able to look at any situation and analyze it from all points of view. Criminal defense attorneys have to look at the case from the view of the prosecutor, and vice versa and clearly draw the line in the criminal law.

All lawyers must be able to take in large amounts of information at a time, organize it, and understand it on the spot. When a case is in session, curveballs will likely be thrown, and they have to be able to interpret and respond to them appropriately.


Those working in the legal profession must have perseverance. Often, cases require many hours of work with heavy research and lots of writing. A good lawyer or legal assistant must be willing to put in the time it takes to get the job done.

Project management

As the complexity of cases continues to increase, the ability to effectively manage projects is a must. Maintaining a big picture perspective, while managing the details and sticking to a timeline, requires a skill set that is not often considered when reflecting on the work of attorneys.


Accountability goes beyond just being accountable personally. There is a definite business need for lawyers to be accountable to those they work with, work for, and represent. Without accountability, long term success becomes a more difficult goal.

Research skills

Similarly, being able to research quickly and effectively is essential to understanding your clients, their needs, and to preparing legal strategies. Preparing legal strategies requires absorbing and comprehending large amounts of information, then distilling them down into something manageable and useful.

People skills

Law is not an abstract practice. Irrelevant of how well someone does academically, at the end of the day lawyers work with people, on behalf of people, and the decisions that are made affect peoples’ lives. They must be personable, persuasive and able to read others. This allows them to gauge juror’s reactions and the honesty of witnesses. This allows them to decide upon the best approach to take in order to achieve the desired outcome: either clients taking their advice or reaching a favorable negotiation with the opposition.

Listening Skills

In order to properly understand the case, all lawyers must listen to their clients. Without listening skills, the lawyer will miss pertinent information. For the strongest case possible, the lawyer must understand every aspect of the case and look at it from all angles.

Negotiation talent

Far more important than any other trait, negotiation skill will get you the most value from a lawyer. Good lawyer-negotiators seek to leave all parties feeling like a reasonable outcome was achieved, rather than trying to run over the opposition. It means you get a fair outcome, and you feel good about your outcome. It means the outcome is also workable and has staying power.


A great lawyer is creative and able to think of reasonable solutions when problems and unique situations arise.

Find Some Work While Still Learning

While in high school and college, if you can find work at a law firm or a local courthouse, these will give you exposure to legal issues and help prepare you for practicing law. If you know what area of law you want to go into, try to find work in that area.

Take the LSAT During Your Senior Year of Undergraduate Study.

The Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is a half-day standardized test. All law schools accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) have this test as an admissions requirement. The test is offered in June, October, and December. Take it as early as possible.

The LSAT is a measure of your reading comprehension and verbal reasoning skills. You can pick up study guides online or in bookstores. There are also prep classes available that you can attend.

Start studying for the test as soon as possible. Do at least three practice tests under simulated test conditions before you sit for the actual test.

Apply to Several Accredited Law Schools.

After you've got your LSAT scores, you can sign up with the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). This agency coordinates your test scores, applications, and recommendation letters and distributes them to schools on your behalf. You cannot apply to law schools unless you go through this agency. Apply to at least one "reach" school. This is a school with a low acceptance rate, or one for which your test scores and GPA fall at the low end of acceptances.

Choose several schools where your test scores, GPA, and other credentials are competitive. You should fit comfortably in the middle of the range of students accepted by that school.

Add on a couple of "safe" schools. These are schools where your credentials are at the top end of the range of students accepted by that school, if not above the average range.

Dedicate Yourself to Success in Law School.

Once you choose your law school, be ready to focus and work hard for all three years. Join clubs and groups that are related to your legal interests to study law properly.

It’s also equally important to be prepared for each of your classes. This will help you study for the final exam. Most law school classes have only one final exam at the end of the semester. Your performance on this exam determines your grade for the entire course.

Joining a study group can help you make better sense of the readings and understand the major themes for each class. Make a point of joining a group where the members are not your friends, and therefore their judgment of you will be impartial.

Graduate from Law School with A Relatively High Rank.

Law firms pay attention to class ranks. The higher your ranking in your law school class, the more likely you'll secure a high-paying position at a large law firm.

If you want to clerk for a federal judge, you generally want to be in at least the top quarter of your class.

Large law firms typically recruit from the top 30 percent of classes at higher-ranked law schools. The lower your law school is ranked, the higher your rank should be in your class to compensate.

Develop Your Interest in Law in High School.

You don't have to wait until law school to start gaining skills and experience that will help you in the practice of law. Join your high school's debate or moot court team, and participate in other activities relevant to the legal field.

If your Law School offers a Latin class, it would be a good idea to sign up for it.  Many legal terms are in Latin, so knowing the language will give you a heads up and keep you from memorizing a bunch of foreign phrases.

Take classes such as criminal justice for electives, if offered. These classes will give you an introduction to the legal issues faced by attorneys every day.

Get A Bachelor's Degree from A 4-Year College or University.

You generally can't practice law unless you have a law degree from a law school. To be eligible to apply to law school, you must have a bachelor's degree from a 4-year college or university.

Law schools accept students from any department or major. While English, Communications, History, and Political Science majors are common, many lawyers have degrees in science or technical fields.

A degree in a science or technical field will help you if you want to practice patent law. If you wanted to work in insurance or healthcare law, a nursing degree might be helpful.

Maintaining a high GPA will improve your chances of getting into a good law, and potentially qualify you for scholarship money. Most law schools require a GPA of at least 3.0 to be eligible for admissions.

Think Ahead

Develop close relationships with a few professors in college who you want to use as references for law school. If they take multiple classes, take every class they offer.

Joining the State Bar

Decide where you want to practice law.

Each state has its own bar admissions process. Choose the state where you want to practice law as soon as possible during your law school career so that you can start preparing for that state's bar.

It's usually best to practice in the state where you go to law school. Your law school will be well known, and there will be plenty of alumni hiring. Also, law schools typically discuss the law in their state, but seldom the law of other states.

If you want to practice law in another state, it will be up to you to learn the law for that state.

Start filling out your bar application as soon as possible.

The bar application is a hefty, detailed document. In most states, the initial application is 15 or 20 pages long and covers specific details over the last ten years of your life. It may take you some time to complete it.

Get this application and skim quickly through it; then, determine how you will go about it.

Your bar application must be approved before you will be able to sign up for the bar exam. Get started on it as soon as possible.

Bar applications also require fingerprints for criminal background checks, which can take several weeks to complete. If you get your application in as early as possible, you stand the best chance of ensuring your background check is completed by the deadline to sign up for the bar exam.

Sit for the MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination) (in your third year of law school.)

Only Maryland, Washington, and Wisconsin don't require the MPRE. If you plan to practice in Connecticut or New Jersey, you don't have to take the test if you earned a grade of C or better in an ethics course in law school.

Enroll in a bar study program. It's possible to pass the bar without taking any preparation programs or courses. However, bar passage rates are significantly higher among students who take prep courses. The cost of a bar study program pales in comparison to the stress and financial burden of having to take the bar exam twice.

Bar study programs typically cost several hundred dollars. They primarily get you ready for the multi-state bar exam (MBE), the multiple-choice portion of the bar exam. However, they also have practice essays to get you prepared for the state portion of the exam.

Bar study programs offer tests in simulated test conditions, which makes them the most valuable. The bar exam is a grueling, stressful experience. The more practice you have working under those circumstances, the calmer you'll be.

Spend the summer after you graduate studying for the bar.

You may have a hard time passing the bar if you just take a single bar study course and do nothing else. Create a study schedule for yourself and spend time each day studying for the bar. Take a practice test under simulated test conditions at least once a week.

If you've accepted an offer from a large law firm, your firm likely has a bar study course and other available resources. Take advantage of them.

Specific information about the topics covered by your state's bar exam can be found on the website of your state's board of bar examiners.

Complete an interview with a member of the local bar.

Most states require you to sit down with a member of the local bar, who will ask you questions about your legal interests and why you want to practice law. While this may feel like a job interview, they typically aren't looking to hire you. Instead, they're trying to determine if you have the discipline and character necessary to serve as a member of the bar.

Take the bar in the jurisdiction where you intend to practice law.

If you're approved for admission to the state bar, you've got one additional hurdle. The bar exam is an 18-day multiple-choice and essay test that typically takes place over 2 or 3 days. Unless you live next door to the state bar, book in at a reasonable hotel & this will help hugely with the timing of things.

What Do Lawyers Wear in Court?

Barristers, Advocates, and such, do wear gowns, although the use of wig has almost fallen away nowadays. In the USA, The UK, and the Republic of South Africa, this is the case.

Attorneys at law wear white and black when appearing in all courts. They must wear black robes when appearing in the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and the High Court; it is optional in the lower courts. Male attorneys may wear black suits with white shirt, black tie and trousers or white national, while female attorneys may wear a dress

Dress Code for Male Lawyers

During jurisdiction have different requirements. In the UK wigs and gowns for higher Court. In USA Smart suits and in SA also Gowns but no wigs for high Court. & Mag Court.

Gowns and Wigs are worn as a matter of protocol and we are very much aware of in certain Courts in the World (above). Otherwise, Lawyers and Solicitors are traditionally known to wear tailored suits to look professional for their daily responsibilities.

Formal Business Dress Code: Lawyers should wear a white dress shirt which a neutral collared tie beneath their tailored suit. Common suit colors include grey or navy This lawyer’s dress code is meant for court appearances, interviews, meetings with clients, and other business-related activities.

Casual Business Dress Code: Here, lawyers can skip the tie and discard the suit to wear something less formal. Wearing a golf shirt or attractive sports shirt with casual trousers or khakis is acceptable. Having a sports jacket, cotton sweater, or a vest can also be a suitable addition.

However, recent trends in fashion have seen some lawyers working in their offices wearing casual attire.

Dress Code for Female Lawyers

Regardless of the situation, whether it is a casual event or a formal court hearing, there are some articles of clothing that female lawyers should never wear. These garments are often forbidden by a law firm’s dress code and they include:

  • Tight fitting and low-cut tops of any kind
  • Shirts with straps, open backs, halter tops, etc.
  • Stretch pants, yoga style pants, etc.
  • Miniskirts and capris that end above the knee

As a general rule of thumb, female lawyers should avoid showing any cleavage and revealing too much leg.

To keep things simple, females should follow similar guidelines that define male lawyer’s dress codes. Expect to wear suits in similar styles and made to fit in a similar fashion as men. However, as an alternative, some law firms allow for skirts to be worn so long as they are not too short.

General Appearance

Lawyers are expected to be well-groomed when arriving at the office or the courtroom.

In regards to hairstyle, men are expected to maintain shorter hairstyles that are neat and conservative in style. i.e. hair that is not greasy and long and on their shoulders. Facial hair is acceptable as long as it is well groomed and not overdone to the point where you cannot hear the man speak properly. Arriving to work with wild long hair or rugged facial hair would be inappropriate.

For women, both long and short hairstyles are acceptable. As long as the style is neat and professional, there won’t be a problem. Arriving with untamed, messy styles or brightly colored hair may cause alarm. Also, some limitations may include having hair longer than their waist and child-like hairstyles.

Can You be a Lawyer and not go to Court?

Jennifer Ellis, Lawyer in PA, USA

Yes, you can. It’s quite normal in the USA. In fact, most USA lawyers do not go into Court. There are also Lawyers who may handle initial hearing but, will not hand the full Trial thereafter.

This is often seen in personal injury. There are a lot of law firms that will publicize that their firm handles a large quantity of personal injury cases. However, actually all they do is settle personal injury cases. If the case needs to go to trial, these firms might often hand off the case to another firm.

There is the opinion held that a firm who is not prepared to take a case to Trial might not be excellent in their preparation for the Trial.

At any rate, most lawsuits settle and so even litigators don’t spend as much time as a person would think they should when preparing cases, in depositions, maybe at hearings. Yet, most cases could settle before the jury is selected - if they even get that far.

Maybe it’s not commonly known, but in England, a Barrister is a Lawyer who specializes in appearing in Court; further, a solicitor is fundamentally any other type of lawyer (not counting judges, who are also lawyers). Barristers and solicitors actually have different licensing requirements.

In most other places, the distinction is less formal, but, as a practical matter, some lawyers will specialize in appearing in Court, while other lawyers will engage in other, also specialized, types of legal practice

In England we have solicitors and barristers. The job of a solicitor is two-fold:

1. They help draft legal documents such as agreements, wills, property sales etc. If they do this part of their job properly, they should never have to go to Court.

2. They represent their clients in the magistrates’ court - traffic offences and minor crimes (where the sentence is less than a specified amount - possibly one year in jail max). If the crime is a serious one, then they introduce their clients to a barrister and give the barrister a summary of the facts.

The job of a barrister is to represent their client in the higher courts. Basically, the client’s barrister and solicitor split the work load of representing the client with the solicitor doing the leg-work of gathering facts and the barrister doing the legal stuff of applying the facts to the law.

Is It Stressful to Be A Lawyer?                                       

Robert Cuttler, B.A. Psychology & Biology

It essentially depends on what type of matter you are handling. For example a Trial Lawyer is under infinitely more stressful than a Lawyer whose matters don’t go further than his office with him – i.e. if his matters goes to Trial he will brief a Barrister.

Most Lawyers will tell you that criminal and domestic matters are the most stressful.

Making a Difference

All cases are important and all make a difference in their own way. Usually the problematic cases are left for a long time because they’ll be a problem so that when they finally get to Court, they usually are a bigger problem than they would have been. Yet every case is very important to someone that wasn’t able to handle it themselves.

Prestige of the Job

Most people who work in the Justice System have battled and trained hard to be where they are. When something happens in the right way at the right time, say in a Trial, people involved in this Trial feel then the prestige of the job as thought everything they gave up to be where they are today, was well worth it.

Interesting Work

A Lawyer usually has the power to make their work boring or interesting. It’s really a matter of choosing a lot of diverse matters to work on. This way they are all so different that it becomes really interest to work in that office meeting people from all over and in all circumstances.

Lawyers work long days, but at the end of each day they're never heard to say, "Well, that was dull, or boring"

Soloing and Specializing

A great benefit of being a Lawyer is that you can virtually do as you like. You can work your own hours, handle your own preferred cases, and specialize in whatever you like

If you decide to specialize in something uncommon but regular, you will be called for often and make your name because of your unusual specialty. This is a big help for a business to grow quickly.

Career Longevity

AZ being a Lawyer is not physical work, a Lawyer can often work way past normal retirement time. They can also cut down their hours and even work part time as they get older.  They also can move to a less busy area with less bustle, and still earn money.

Where Do Lawyers Work?

Lawyers often work at the Court or they rent very fine offices near a court. Although it's important to be situated in a place that is easy for your clients to get to; you also want to be comfortably settled within a specific jurisdiction.


The type of work that Lawyers would get when first setting out is, say, in Government:

1. Local Government

2. State government

3. Federal Government

Contingent on where the Lawyer works, there will be different roles and responsibilities. Government lawyers might well be one of the people listed below:

1. Prosecutors

2. District attorneys

3. State attorney generals

4. Public defenders

Law Firm Attorneys

Many lawyers pursue careers with established law firms. Working their way through the firm they’ll start as a ‘newbie’ and begin to hone their skills by working close to expert Lawyers, so they can listen and learn and practice. Naturally Law Firms are careful how they choose their new Lawyers

In-House Attorneys

An In-house Attorney is someone who is employed by a single client. These clients are usually huge corporations need their own lawyer who will tend to anything for them when they ask. These in-house Attorneys could be called on for:

• Handling any of the company’s employment issues

• Addressing litigations with another law firm if the company is sued

• Being their lobbyist to influence legislation in favor of the company

Private Practice (Solo Practitioners)

Some Attorneys prefer being in private practice and, as solo practitioners they certainly have an interesting work life but their stress levels are higher as they to pay for everything which means they have to attract business – a lot of it.

These Lawyers often bill their clients at an hourly rate or in increments of minutes (i.e. 10 minutes at a time). It is the lawyer’s responsibility to accurately track the time they provide to their clients in order to invoice them correctly.

Public Interest Lawyers change the words to mine

Legal-aid groups, which tend to be private, nonprofit agencies, offer legal services to disadvantaged people. Lawyers found here aim to help poor people and other minorities with limited access to legal services.

The cases public interest lawyers (PBLs) focus on include:

• Illegal discrimination

• Environmental protection

• Child welfare

• Domestic violence

Occasionally, these lawyers may seek to change laws to improve society as a whole. While public interest lawyers are a vital resource to help people, the salary for these lawyers is minimal. Nonprofit organizations often struggle to maintain funding to assist people in need. This is why these organizations provide internships to students and those who recently graduated law school to offer hands-on legal experiences.

Median Entry-level Salaries for PBLs: less than $43,000

Judicial Clerkship

Here’s another common place you’ll find fresh graduates from law school. Judicial clerkships provide aspiring lawyers with a 1- or 2-year experience working with a judge. Each judge can have up to 4 clerks working with them. A clerk’s core responsibilities include:

• Legal research

7 Document drafting

7 Developing opinions

• Attend hearings and trials                                 

• Prepare trial memoranda

• And many more legal tasks

All own words Judicial clerkships provide law graduates with a chance to receive valuable experience which can help them find a position at a higher-paying firm. In some places, permanent positions may be available for clerks.

When a young person sets out to work in the circles of law to make a difference in the world, we wonder if they are aware of all the sacrificing, they will have to do and how much compromising they will encounter and accept in order to accomplish their goal.

They will work so hard and log in so many hours that, whilst others are spending a lot of time having a life and having fun; our legal champions will also be having fun whilst they try to change the world and get a better life for people they might not even like!

Whilst all this is happening our Legal people will also change; but they will never lose sight of their goal and they will never let go of it. They will continue to fight and, probably set new standards along the way.

Wherever you are in the world, the legal profession is an honourable and noble profession. Which is populated with respectable, tenacious and eloquent people who are nothing if not highly principled. If you are a representative of all that, we take our hats off to you as you have chosen to toil the most of lives so that others – less fortunate – may suffer the least of lives.

For those of you, trembling on the brink – just jump in and start – because, if you’re already considering it, you couldn’t do anything better.

Related Articles:

Why Lawyers Should Invest Half An Hour A Day In Themselves

Questions To Ask Before You Hire An Attorney

How Long Does It Take To Become A Solicitor?


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