What is a lawyer?

Lawyers are licensed by the state in which they practice to advise and represent clients on legal matters. They counsel clients, perform legal research, prepare legal documents and represent clients in criminal and civil court proceedings.

A respected career with high earning potential, the law profession can be challenging but also rewarding. Hours can be very long  and there is high pressure to achieve the best results for your clients and your law firm.

How to become a lawyer?

In order to qualify, you could do a law degree, then complete the postgraduate Legal Practice Course or do a non-law degree followed by the Common Professional Examination or Graduate Diploma in Law.

To get into some universities you’ll need to pass the Law National Aptitude Test (LNAT).

For the requirements, you’ll usually need:

  • 3 A levels or equivalent
  • Degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

Lawyer duties

Lawyer duties are diverse and depend on the employer and specialty, but some responsibilities are common to most:

  • Perform case research by taking depositions, attending site inspections, and engaging in discovery, the exchange of information pertinent to a case from both parties to the action
  • Strategically counsel clients and potential clients on legal matters
  • Manage relationships and collaborate with co-counsel
  • Attending court hearings (and doing the preparation beforehand)
  • Settling disputes and supervising any agreements
  • Argue motions and attend other pretrial court appearances before a judge
  • Draft legal documents including pleadings, discovery, motions, briefs, contracts, and wills
  • Representing clients in trials

Lawyer skills

To be an effective lawyer, you’ll need certain skills and competencies. The following are often cited in job vacancies:

  • Exceptional oral and written communication skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Excellent time management and organizational skills
  • Research skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Stress management
  • Public speaking
  • Logic and reasoning

How to find a lawyer job

These jobs are advertised online, in local newspapers and at your local jobcentre. To find all the lawyer jobs near you, you need to:

  • Search for lawyer jobs on popular job websites such as; Indeed, Total Jobs and CV Library
  • Use the DWP’s Find A Job Service
  • Check local newspapers and local Facebook groups, especially groups dedicated to local jobs

Lawyer Job Titles

When you search for lawyer jobs online, be aware that the jobs might be advertised using a different job title. Popular job titles for lawyer jobs include;

  • Legal practitioner
  • Attorney
  • Legal officer
  • Legal adviser
  • Legal representative
  • Legal executive
  • Counsel

What does a lawyer do?

The job of a lawyer varies depending on the job role and the company you’re working for. Check the duties and responsibilities of lawyer job advertisements to find jobs that best suit your skills and experience. 

The day-to-day tasks of a lawyer include;

  • Advise and represent clients in court
  • Instruct barristers or advocates to act for clients
  • Research legal records and case law
  • Draft confidential letters, contracts and legal documents
  • Attend meetings and negotiations
  • Use plain English to explain complex legal matters to clients
  • Manage finances and prepare papers for court
  • Keep up to date with changes in the law