Summary Report for:
23-1011.00 - Lawyers
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: Assistant Attorney General, Assistant Counsel, Associate, Associate Attorney, Attorney, City Attorney, County Attorney, Deputy Attorney General, Lawyer, Partner
Tasks | Tools & Technology | 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
- Represent clients in court or before government agencies.
- Present evidence to defend clients or prosecute defendants in criminal or civil litigation.
- Select jurors, argue motions, meet with judges, and question witnesses during the course of a trial.
- Study Constitution, statutes, decisions, regulations, and ordinances of quasi-judicial bodies to determine ramifications for cases.
- Interpret laws, rulings and regulations for individuals and businesses.
- Present and summarize cases to judges and juries.
- Prepare legal briefs and opinions, and file appeals in state and federal courts of appeal.
- Analyze the probable outcomes of cases, using knowledge of legal precedents.
- Examine legal data to determine advisability of defending or prosecuting lawsuit.
- Evaluate findings and develop strategies and arguments in preparation for presentation of cases.
- Advise clients concerning business transactions, claim liability, advisability of prosecuting or defending lawsuits, or legal rights and obligations.
- 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.
- Negotiate settlements of civil disputes.
- Prepare and draft legal documents, such as wills, deeds, patent applications, mortgages, leases, and contracts.
- Confer with colleagues with specialties in appropriate areas of legal issue to establish and verify bases for legal proceedings.
- Supervise legal assistants.
- Perform administrative and management functions related to the practice of law.
- Probate wills and represent and advise executors and administrators of estates.
- Search for and examine public and other legal records to write opinions or establish ownership.
- 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.
- Work in environmental law, representing public interest groups, waste disposal companies, or construction firms in their dealings with state and federal agencies.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Compact disk players or recorders — Compact disk CD recorders
- Desktop computers
- Digital video disk players or recorders — Digital video disk DVD recorders
- High capacity removable media drives — Universal serial bus USB flash drives
- Liquid crystal display projector — Liquid crystal display LCD projectors
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Optical character recognition systems — Optical character readers
- Overhead projectors
- Personal computers
- Personal digital assistant PDAs or organizers — Personal digital assistants PDA
- Photocopiers — Digital photocopiers
- Scanners — Computer data input scanners
Technology used in this occupation:
- Accounting software — BQE Software BillQuick; ESI Software ESILAW; TimePro Legal Software TimePro; TimeSolv Legal (see all 9 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 — Abacus Data Systems AbacusLaw; AdvantageLaw WinVantage; LexisNexis CaseMap; WorthMORE Software CaseWORTH (see all 55 examples)
- Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat software; LexisNexis HotDocs; WealthCounsel WealthDocs; World Software Corporation WORLDOX (see all 23 examples)
- Electronic mail software — Catalyst Repository Systems CatalystDR; Catalyst Repository Systems CatalystXE; Microsoft Outlook; Novell GroupWise
- 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 — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — IDEA TrialPro; Microsoft PowerPoint; Verdict Systems Sanction; Visionary Legal Technologies Visionary Professional (see all 5 examples)
- Project management software — Customer Expressions i-Sight software; Legal Files Software; Practice Technology Prevail; Virtual Case Management VCM software (see all 5 examples)
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Time accounting software — Equative TimeLedger; Sage Timeslips
- Word processing software — Corel WordPerfect software; Microsoft Word; ProCAT Denoto
- 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.
- Clerical — Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- 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.
- Economics and Accounting — Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
- 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.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- 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.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
- Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- 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.
- Management of Personnel Resources — Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- 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.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- 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.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- 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).
- 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 there is a problem.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- 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).
- 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).
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- 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.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- 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.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Communicating with Persons Outside 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.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- 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.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Detailed Work Activities
- Prepare legal documents.
- Research relevant legal materials to aid decision making.
- Arbitrate disputes between parties to resolve legal conflicts.
- Evaluate information related to legal matters in public or personal records.
- Identify implications for cases from legal precedents or other legal information.
- Meet with individuals involved in legal processes to provide information and clarify issues.
- Prepare documentation of legal proceedings.
- Represent the interests of clients in legal proceedings.
- Interview claimants to get information related to legal proceedings.
- Provide legal advice to clients.
- Supervise activities of other legal personnel.
- Draft legislation or regulations.
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Telephone — 97% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 92% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 84% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 88% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 82% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 84% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 69% responded “Very important results.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 75% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Contact With Others — 76% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 71% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Time Pressure — 53% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 53% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 55% responded “More than half the time.”
- Deal With External Customers — 50% responded “Extremely important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 53% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Extremely important.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 69% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Level of Competition — 43% responded “Extremely competitive.”
- Consequence of Error — 40% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 37% responded “Extremely important.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 30% responded “Extremely important.”
|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 librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.|
|SVP Range||(8.0 and above)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
Interest code: EI
- 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.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress 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.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- 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.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- 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.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$55.27 hourly, $114,970 annual|
|Employment (2012)||760,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Average (8% to 14%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||196,500|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
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.
- Lawyers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.