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The Wide World of Lawyer Employment

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The job outlook for lawyers looks promising. In fact, it’s projected that the job growth of attorney positions until 2012 will be roughly the same as the growth in other fields. This is basically due to the growth of business activity and the population. Also, it’s expected that the demand for particular legal services will also grow significantly during the next few years. That includes services in the areas of environmental, antitrust, and intellectual-property law.

With a significant increase in demand for attorney law work, why is the growth of attorney positions only expected to be “average”? To reduce the potential high costs of legal fees, several companies are hiring paralegals and huge accounting firms to perform some of the tasks that lawyers have historically handled. Another important factor is that dispute resolution and mediation are becoming increasingly popular as alternatives to legal proceedings.

Along with a moderate increase in the demand for attorneys, you should also expect the competition for those job openings to be quite competitive. That’s due to the extraordinarily high number of students that annually graduate from law school. Those students with the highest grades and those who graduate from the most prestigious law schools will have the best employment opportunities upon graduating.


What exactly do lawyers do? This is a key question is you’re interested in lawyer jobs and lawyer employment Lawyers have two main functions. First, they serve as advocates for their clients, by providing evidence that supports their legal argument. It’s crucial that the lawyer serves a client in a way that prioritizes his or her best interests. The ultimate goal is to reach a resolution that’s the best possible one within the legal system.

On the other hand, lawyers also function as advisers to their clients, by directing them about their rights and duties. Lawyers perform this function by using their knowledge of the law to provide the best advice available, to his or her client. The key is that the lawyer must have a working knowledge of the laws legal precedence that is related to the client’s case. Due to the enormity of the laws within a particular jurisdiction, this is one of the reasons why lawyers typically specialize in a particular area of the law.

While it’s understandable that Hollywood tends to focus on the excitement that lawyers can create in the courtroom, the majority of attorneys’ work takes place outside of the courtroom. This involves researching legal precedents, which are based on previous interpretations of particular laws, and judicial decisions that were founded on those interpretations. While research isn’t the most thrilling activity for lawyers, a wealth of resources (such as computer databases and public documents) has made the research required by attorney jobs less tedious.

When choosing a career as an attorney, you have the option to choose a specialization such as civil, criminal, or corporate law. For instance, those specializing in civil cases might specialize in labor law, real estate law, divorce, and so on. Not only will this allow a lawyer to find a niche market for lawyers, but it also benefits potential clients as well. When they need legal services for a particular area, finding a specialist in that area will make it easier to find a quality attorney.

Besides filling traditional positions that require a law degree, more and more attorneys are seeking law work positions in which legal training has traditionally been a plus, but not a requirement. That includes management, administrative, and business positions in various organizations, such as insurance companies, banks, government agencies, and so on.


Usually those interested in law employment as a lawyer earn both undergraduate and law school degrees. It’s crucial for those who want to specialize in a particular legal field to earn undergraduate degrees that are related to such fields. For instance, potential patent attorneys frequently earn a B.S. in engineering, while those interested in becoming tax lawyers typically earn an undergraduate accounting degree. People interested in entering law school must pass the Law School Aptitude Test. Graduates of law schools must then pass the bar exam for the state where they want to practice law. Those who haven’t studied law formally must engage in self-study, in order to pass the bar exam.

It’s highly advisable that a potential attorney earn a pre-law undergraduate degree, before proceeding to law school. The main reason is that the student will have a better opportunity to determine which legal area he or she should specialize in. In fact, after earning a pre-law undergraduate degree, the student may decide to earn a Master’s in a field that’s outside the realm of law.

One of the main concerns that law students understandably have, is the sky-high cost of law school. However, the key is to keep the eye on the ball. Yes, law school is pricey. But completing it and then passing the bar exam (before your lawyer employment) will significantly boost your earning potential!

Job Locations

While lawyers work in courtrooms, they perform the bulk of their work in law firms, and in the field. Those who are interested in becoming lawyers should be prepared to conduct a significant amount of time doing legal research. As noted, Hollywood often sensationalizes the typical everyday nature of an attorney’s work.

If you’re interested in law work and working as an attorney, then visit to find a listing of various job openings. After signing up for a FREE trail, you’ll have instant access to thousands of attorney jobs throughout the country.

About Harrison Barnes
Harrison Barnes is the founder of LawCrossing and an internationally recognized expert in attorney search and placement. Harrison is extremely committed to and passionate about the profession of legal placement. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. LawCrossing has been ranked on the Inc. 500 twice. For more information, please visit Harrison Barnes’ bio.

About LawCrossing
LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit

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Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives

Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

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About Harrison Barnes

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

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