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    Industry Overview

    Most of what lawyers do is research and paperwork. They read about legal precedents, spending hours or months in law libraries or with online databases. They prepare contracts, briefs, and other documents, assembling boilerplate paragraphs or writing text from scratch. They plan and conduct depositions, which in complicated cases can generate thousands of pages of testimony, all of which has to be read, analyzed, and refined into usable information. Sometimes, especially if they are litigation specialists, lawyers actually argue cases before judges or juries.

    To practice law, you must pass the bar exam in the state in which you want to practice. Almost all lawyers earn their JD degree after three years of law school, and then take the bar exam in the state in which they wish to practice. In general, the better the law school you graduate from, and the higher your class rank, the better your job prospects once you graduate.

    Many lawyers work for big, corporate law firms, but there are many who are employed at mid-sized regional firms and even in one- and two-person offices. At law firms, corporations account for a full 45 percent of revenue, and it generally takes more than one large firm with multiple specialties to service a corporation like IBM or Coca-Cola. At smaller firms, mid-sized companies are likely to be their bread and butter. These firms need advice on everything from employment law to contracts to acquisitions-and may even have to defend a lawsuit against a disgruntled employee or unhappy customer. Local firms often make their money in residential and small commercial real estate transactions; family law issues, like divorce and child custody; personal bankruptcies; estate planning; and the like.

    Apart from lawyers, law firms also employ paralegals, high-caliber support people who do everything from word processing to legal research. Paralegals sometimes decide that they enjoy the field so much that they end up going to law school themselves. Although popular wisdom has it that there are too many lawyers, the increasing complexity and number of transactions going on in the world means there will always be a need for lawyers.  Since there will always be a need, InternZoo lists plenty of positions in the legal field.


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