What does a civil lawyer do?
Civil lawyers specialize in civil law and help their clients with a variety of issues such as litigation, contracts, titles, leases, mortgages, trusts, and wills. They represent individuals and provide valuable advice regarding civil law and civil rights. They typically represent people that are involved in civil lawsuits that result in financial compensation. They collect information and evidence to build a viable case. Civil lawyers often deal with civil lawsuits related to breaches of contract, the invasion of privacy, personal injury, negligence, medical malpractice, and unlawful taking of property.
What kind of training does a civil lawyer need?
Civil lawyers must have a bachelor degree and law degree. Prospective civil lawyers must receive a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to gain acceptance into law school. Law school provides intensive instruction and enables students to gain hands-on experience in the field of law. Prospective civil lawyers usually complete courses in legal writing, law ethics, civil law, and civil procedures. Many law schools also require students to complete internships. Many aspiring civil lawyers participate in moot court competitions, legal clinics, and other practice experiences. Some gain part-time jobs in a variety of law firms to obtain valuable experience and establish contacts. All states require civil lawyers to pass the bar examination and become licensed. Civil lawyers must complete regular continuing education to maintain their licenses, keep their skills current, and stay up to date with advancements in the field and changes in civil law.
What are the prospects for a career as a civil lawyer?
Employment of all lawyers, including civil lawyers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 13% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increase in civil law cases will drive job growth for civil lawyers.
Job prospects should be good with keen competition. Civil lawyers with excellent academic records and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.
How much do civil lawyers make?
As of January 2010, the average annual salary for civil lawyers is $51,000; average annual civil lawyer salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a civil lawyer is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in civil law. Civil lawyers must have a solid understanding of the policies and procedures of civil law and the ability to represent a variety of clients. Patience, self-confidence, detail orientation, analytical thinking, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Civil lawyers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to make effective decisions under pressure. They must be able to speak with ease and be familiar with the rules of the courtroom.