What does a litigation lawyer do?
Litigation lawyers focus on preparing a variety of criminal and civil trial cases and presenting them in court. They work mainly with lawsuits and they gather the necessary documents and evidence to build a viable case. They strive to win the case in court by using effective legal strategies. Litigation lawyers discuss trial options and provide legal advice to their clients. Sometimes litigation lawyers settle cases out of court through alternative dispute resolution techniques. Many litigation lawyers concentrate on a specific area of litigation such as personal injury, criminal defense, and insurance liability.
What kind of training does a litigation lawyer need?
Litigation lawyers must have a bachelor degree and Juris Doctorate degree. All law schools require litigation lawyers to receive a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to become accepted. Prospective litigation lawyers typically complete courses in legal writing, litigation, civil procedures, and law ethics. Most law schools require students to complete internships before graduation. Most aspiring litigation lawyers complete internships or clerkships at law firms that specialize in litigation. All states require litigation lawyers to pass the written bar examination to become licensed to practice law. Many states also require an additional ethics examination. Litigation lawyers must complete regular continuing legal education to maintain their licenses, keep their skills current, and stay abreast with advances and changes in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a litigation lawyer?
Employment of all lawyers, including litigation 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 trial cases will drive job growth of litigation lawyers.
Job prospects are expected to be good with strong competition. Litigation lawyers with extensive experience and great academic records will have the best job opportunities.
How much do litigation lawyers make?
As of February 2010, the average annual salary for litigation lawyers is $88,000; average annual litigation lawyer salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a litigation lawyer is an excellent choice for people with a strong interest in litigation and providing representation and legal advice for a variety of civil and criminal cases. Litigation lawyers must have a solid understanding of the concepts, rules, and regulation related to litigation. Patience, perseverance, detail orientation, assertiveness, analytical thinking, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Litigation lawyers must have great communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to professionally and calmly work with many different clients. They must be able to provide expertise legal advice and help their clients feel at ease. Litigation lawyers must be able to make effective decisions under stress and pressure.