Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
Sample of reported job titles: Attorney, Attorney at Law, Attorney General, City Attorney, Counsel, Deputy Attorney General, General Counsel, Lawyer
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- 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.
- Negotiate settlements of civil disputes.
- Supervise legal assistants.
- Examine legal data to determine advisability of defending or prosecuting lawsuit.
- Evaluate findings and develop strategies and arguments in preparation for presentation of cases.
- 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.
- Perform administrative and management functions related to the practice of law.
- 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.
Find occupations related to multiple tasks
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- Accounting software — BQE Software BillQuick; Fund accounting software; LexisNexis PCLaw; TimeSolv Legal (see all 10 examples)
- Analytical or scientific software — Convex FactLogic; Direct Hit Systems THREADS
- Calendar and scheduling software — Compugov DocketView; CompuLaw Vision; Levare Center Court
- Content workflow software — I-many Contract Management
- Data base user interface and query software — Argosy Legal Systems Power Closer; LexisNexis CaseMap; Microsoft Access ; WorthMORE Software CaseWORTH (see all 52 examples)
- Data mining software — Google Analytics
- Desktop publishing software — Microsoft Publisher
- Document management software — AbacusNext HotDocs; Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat ; Microsoft Office SharePoint Server MOSS; WealthCounsel WealthDocs (see all 23 examples)
- Electronic mail software — Catalyst Repository Systems CatalystDR; Catalyst Repository Systems CatalystXE; MicroFocus GroupWise; Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software — ERP software; Microsoft Dynamics ; SAP
- Information retrieval or search software — Fastcase; LexisNexis Shepard’s Citations Service; Thomson West WestlawPRO; Wolters Kluwer Loislaw (see all 5 examples)
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Corel WordPerfect; Microsoft Office
- Presentation software — IDEA TrialPro; inData TrialDirector; Microsoft PowerPoint ; Visionary Legal Technologies Visionary Professional (see all 5 examples)
- Project management software — Canyon Solutions Jcats; Legal Files software; Microsoft Project ; Virtual Case Management (see all 7 examples)
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Tax preparation software — Tax software
- Time accounting software — Equative TimeLedger; Sage Timeslips
- Video conferencing software — LogMeIn GoToMeeting
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word ; ProCAT Denoto
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Personnel and Human Resources — Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
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- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
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- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Providing Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Communicating with People Outside the Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Identify implications for cases from legal precedents or other legal information.
- Provide legal advice to clients.
- Represent the interests of clients in legal proceedings.
- Interview claimants to get information related to legal proceedings.
- Meet with individuals involved in legal processes to provide information and clarify issues.
- Research relevant legal materials to aid decision making.
- Prepare legal documents.
- Arbitrate disputes between parties to resolve legal conflicts.
- Supervise activities of other legal personnel.
- Prepare documentation of legal proceedings.
- Evaluate information related to legal matters in public or personal records.
- Draft legislation or regulations.
Find occupations related to multiple detailed work activities
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- Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 96% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 94% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 81% responded “Very important results.”
- Letters and Memos — 83% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 78% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate
- Freedom to Make Decisions
- Spend Time Sitting
- Time Pressure — 63% responded “Every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 66% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 11% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 57% responded “Very important.”
- Consequence of Error — 60% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 54% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 22% responded “Very important.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 39% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Deal With External Customers — 36% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 19% responded “Never.”
- Level of Competition
- Public Speaking — 54% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 18% responded “Not important at all.”
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|Title||Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master’s degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).|
|Related Experience||Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.|
|Job Training||Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
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Interest code: EI Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
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- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
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- Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$61.03 hourly, $126,930 annual|
|Employment (2020)||804,200 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Average (5% to 10%)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||46,000|
|Top industries (2020)||
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Association for Justice
- American Bar Association
- American Health Lawyers Association
- DRI- The Voice of the Defense Bar
- Federal Bar Association
- International Municipal Lawyers Association
- Law School Admission Council
- National Association for Law Placement
- National Association of Bond Lawyers
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- National Bar Association
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Lawyers
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