What Does an Attorney Do?

Attorney is a term that means someone who practices law. An attorney must pass the bar exam to practice law, and they must also pass character and fitness tests.

An attorney can work for a private firm or they can be employed by an organization or corporation. Some attorneys specialize in areas such as employment contract litigation and patent law.

Education and Training

Aspiring lawyers need at least a bachelor’s degree and must pass the Law School Admission Test, followed by three years of law school at an American Bar Association-approved institution. Upon graduation, lawyers must also take a state’s written bar exam. Some states may grant attorneys licensure to practice law without taking the exam, but others require that aspiring lawyers pass the exam in any state where they intend to work. The National Board of Trial Advocacy offers voluntary board certification in civil trial law, family trial law and social security disability advocacy law.

While specific undergraduate college courses for future lawyers vary, students should choose programs that emphasize critical thinking, writing and public speaking. Courses in philosophy, English and economics can all improve a student’s analytical skills. Students should also consider joining a speech and debate team, which can help them learn to argue persuasively. Some students pursue a Masters of Law or Doctor of Juridical Science to sharpen their knowledge in specialized fields.


Litigation is often a scary thing. It can be lengthy and expensive, and there is always a risk that it will not end in your favor. This is why many legal matters that could go to trial are settled out of court. Litigation is more than just a lawsuit, though. It encompasses all the steps that are taken before, during, and after a case is filed.

The first step is to file a complaint with the courts. Then there is a period of discovery that usually includes written discovery, depositions, and more. Once this process is complete then a trial can take place before either a judge or jury.

A trial can last for a few weeks, months, or even years depending on the nature of the case. Once the trial is over the judge will issue a decision. If the result is unfavorable then there are options for appeals. However, this can also extend the length of a case.


Contracts are legally enforceable agreements that specify certain rights and obligations between two or more parties. They may involve the transfer of products, services or money or a promise to transfer one of these at a later date. The elements of a contract include an offer, acceptance and consideration.

Nondisclosure and confidentiality agreements are common contract components that protect an organization’s sensitive information and reputation. They also help ensure that potential clients and business partners can deliver on their promises.

Contracts can be very complex and should always be reviewed by a lawyer before they are signed. They should also be clearly written so that there is no room for misunderstanding. If a contract has been poorly written, it may not be enforceable. A well-written contract can save a business a lot of time, effort and expense in the future. It can also prevent costly litigation resulting from disputes.

Estate Planning

An attorney can help you put together an estate plan. This strategy determines how an individual’s property will be protected, managed and distributed after death. This can include assets such as houses, cars and stocks. It can also encompass debt and other liabilities. It can also include important documents such as a will, power of attorney and healthcare proxy. It can also involve identifying strategies to minimize taxes and expenses linked to the distribution of an estate.

An attorney can help you write these documents and coordinate your accounts, including beneficiary designations, to ensure that your wishes are carried out after death. They can also help you avoid federal and state estate taxes so that your wealth goes to the people or charities you want it to. They can also assist with disability planning to protect your interests if you become incapacitated. SmartAsset’s free advisor matching tool can connect you with financial professionals who specialize in estate planning.Anwalt

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