Lawyers, also called attorneys, act as both advocates and advisors.
As advocates, they represent one of the parties in a criminal or civil trial by presenting evidence and arguing in support of their client.
As advisors, lawyers counsel their clients about their legal rights and obligations and suggest courses of action in business and personal matters. All attorneys research the intent of laws and judicial decisions and apply the laws to the specific circumstances that their clients face.
Lawyers often oversee the work of support staff, such as paralegals and legal assistants and legal secretaries.
Lawyers may have different titles and different duties, depending on where they work.
Duties of Lawyers
Lawyers typically do the following:
- Advise and represent clients in courts, before government agencies, and in private legal matters
- Communicate with their clients, colleagues, judges, and others involved in the case
- Conduct research and analysis of legal problems
- Interpret laws, rulings, and regulations for individuals and businesses
- Present facts in writing and verbally to their clients or others, and argue on behalf of their clients
- Prepare and file legal documents, such as lawsuits, appeals, wills, contracts, and deeds