Attorneys represent, advise and act as advocates for the government, businesses, and individuals regarding legal issues and disputes. They often perform legal research and analysis of law regulations along with preparing legal documents, such as contracts and lawsuits. Many times, attorneys specialize in an area of law like litigation, tax, securities and family law. Law students gain hands-on experience by working in practice trials under supervision of seasoned attorneys and by participating in school legal clinics. Many secure summer jobs in corporate legal departments or law firms to gain more practical experience. All of these experiences can help lead to entry level attorney jobs after graduation. Newly hired attorneys typically start out as associates in law firms and work with more experienced attorneys. After several years of experience, some attorneys go into their own practice, become partners in established law firms or work for legal departments in large corporations.
Education to Become an Attorney
It takes seven years of study to become an attorney: four year of undergraduate work and three years of law school. Aspiring attorneys are required to graduate from a law school that is accredited by the American Bar Association. This ensures that the curricula meets industry standards. Just about all schools approved by the ABA require candidates to take the law school admission test for admission. Upon graduation from law school, all students must take and pass the state's written bar exam for license to practice as an attorney. Admittance to the bar may vary by individual states, and it's best to review the state's individual requirements.
Entry Level Attorney Job Market
The demand for attorneys will grow by 10 percent through 2022. Individuals will continue to need these professionals. Positions will also open up in law firms and legal departments for large corporations such as insurance companies, financial organizations, healthcare organizations and consulting firms.
Entry Level Attorney's Salary
Statistics reveal that the median annual wage for attorneys was $113,000 in 2012. The top 10 percent made more than $185,000, and the lower 10 percent earned less than $54,000.