What does an employment lawyer do?
Employment lawyers represent individuals and organizations in cases that involve employment issues such as hours worked, wages, contract disputes, discrimination, unsafe work environments, and wrongful termination. They gather the necessary information to build their cases such as payroll information, accident reports, contracts, and other required documents and evidence. They also interview individuals making the allegation and related witnesses. When dealing with hazardous work environment cases, employment lawyers often inspect the work area to determine if there are any safety violations. Many employment lawyers work for companies to provide advice related to human resource issues, workplace safety, and other matters related to employment law.
What kind of training does an employment lawyer need?
Employment lawyers must have at least a bachelor degree and law degree from an accredited law school. All law schools that are approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) require candidates to receive a satisfactory score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to gain acceptance. Law school provides intensive classroom instruction and provides a variety of opportunities for students to gain practical experience. Prospective employment lawyers typically complete courses in legal writing, employment law, labor law, harassment, discrimination, and civil procedure. Many aspiring employment lawyers complete internships or co-opportunities at law firms that specialize in employment law to gain practical experience in the field. All states require employment lawyers to pass the state bar examination to become licensed to practice law. Many states also require employment lawyers to pass an additional ethics examination. Employment lawyers must complete regular continuing legal education to maintain their licenses, keep their skills up to date, and stay abreast with the advancements and changes in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as an employment lawyer?
Employment of all lawyers, including employment lawyers is expected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 13% from 2008 to 2018 (1).
Job prospects are expected to be good with strong competition. Employment lawyers with excellent academic records and extensive experience in employment law will have the best job opportunities.
How much do employment lawyers make?
As of January 2010, the average annual salary for employment lawyers is $59,000; average annual employment lawyer salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as an employment lawyer is a great choice for people with a strong interest in employment law. Employment lawyers must have a solid understanding of the concepts, rules and regulations that comprise employment law. Patience, determination, critical thinking, detail orientation, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Employment lawyers must have good communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to interact with a variety of clients and other legal professionals.