Term Paper: Offices in the Judicial System

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[. . .] The legal system has its effect on almost every aspect of our society. And lawyers play a very important role in society by being able to form the backbone of the legal system. Hence their positions hold high responsibility, and they have to follow strict code of ethics. These lawyers, or attorneys as they are often known, act as advocates and at the same time as advisors. As advocates they represent one of the parties in criminal or civil trials, present evidence on behalf of their clients, and argue in their support. And as advisors, they guide their clients on their legal rights and duties and give suggestions on the course of action to be followed in business matters as also in their personal matters. They research on the intentions of laws and judicial decisions, and apply them to the precise and particular situations their client face, as they act either as an advocate or as an advisor. Depending upon the field of specialization of the lawyer, the detailed aspects of his or her job also vary. Though all lawyers are licensed to represent parties in court some frequent while others don't. Based on the field of specialization the quality required also may vary, and thinking quickly and speaking with ease and authority are essential for trial lawyers, who specialize in trial work. Familiarity with courtroom rules and strategy are also important for them. Yet many of these trial lawyers spend a major part of their time outside the courtroom in preparation for the trial, interviewing clients and witnesses, conducting researches and handling other details.

There are a number of different specializations for lawyers, like bankruptcy, probate, international, elder law and the like. For example the public interest groups, waste disposal companies or construction companies may be represented by the specialists in environmental law, in their dealings with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other Federal and State agencies. Assistance is given by them to their clients in preparing and filing for licenses and in applying for approval before proceeding in certain activities. They also represent their client's interests in administrative decision- makings. Some specialize in the field of intellectual property, and help protect their clients' claim to copyrights, artwork under contract, product designs computer programs and the like. Those specializing insurance advise the insurance companies in legal implications of their transactions. They underwrite insurance policies in conformity with the law and protect those companies from unwarranted claims. They review claims when filed against insurance companies, and represent them in court. A vast majority of lawyers are engaged in private practice, concentrating on criminal or civil law. (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2002-03, 45).

Some other private lawyers work for legal-aid societies, which include private, nonprofit organizations, established to serve disadvantaged people. They handle mostly civil cases and criminal cases handled by them are but few in number. And a few of the trained lawyers work in law schools, mostly as faculty members specialized in one or more subjects, but some work at administrative levels. Some others go for a dual set up -- a nonacademic full time work and an academic part-time job. To perform the various tasks more efficiently, they use various forms of technology too. Those in criminal law represent clients on charges with crimes and plead for them in the court of law. And the private lawyers dealing with civil law assist their clients with litigation, titles, contracts, mortgages, wills, trusts, and leases. Some others handle cases of public interests-criminal or civil-which have wide impacts well beyond the level of individuals. A single client employs some lawyers on a full time basis. Such a lawyer is called "house counsel" if the client is a corporation, and advises the company on legal issues which has links to its business activities. Property interests, patents, government regulations, contracts with other companies, and collective bargaining agreements with unions are some of such legal issues handled by these lawyers. (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2002-03, 45).

By 2000, there were about 7 hundred thousands of lawyers working at various levels. About 3/4th of them were private practitioners, engaged either in law firms or in solo practices. A large majority of the remaining had government jobs, a major part of it functioning at local level. House counsel by public utilities, banks, insurance companies, real estate agencies, manufacturing firms, welfare and religious organizations, and other business firms and nonprofit organizations constitute a majority of the private attorneys. Only persons who are licensed or admitted into the bar, under rules and regulations established by the highest court of jurisdiction can practice law in the courts of any states or other jurisdiction. The general norm for all states is that the applicants for admission to the bar must a written bar examination, while some other jurisdictions call for an additional pass in a separate written examination in ethics. Lawyers having a minimum specified period of experience, and meeting standards of moral character may get admission to the bar in another jurisdiction if he or she is already admitted to one of them. Federal courts and agencies set their own levels of qualifications to practice before them.

In most states an applicant must, under normal circumstances, have a college degree and graduation from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), or the proper State authorities, to qualify for bar examination. Only those law schools meeting certain standards, specifically in their library and faculty, developed to promote quality legal education can get the ABA accreditation. Though there are many law schools approved by state authorities only 185 are accredited by ABA. Except under exceptional conditions, the students graduating from law schools not accredited by ABA, may take bar examinations and practice only in the state or other jurisdiction in which the school is locate, and most of such schools are in California, which is the only state in which law can be studied by correspondence also. Six states accepted the study of law in a law office as qualification for taking the bar examination, in 2000. For many states it is mandatory for the students go for registration and approval by the state board of Law Examiners, before entering or in the early years after entering the law schools. There is no nationwide bar examination, but 48 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands require the 6-hour Multi-state Bar Examination (MBE) as part of the bar examination. The MBE covers issues of broad interest and is sometimes given in addition to a locally prepared State bar examination; but it is not compulsory in Louisiana and Washington. (Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2002-03, 45).

Practice of law warrants significant responsibility. Those who opt for law as a career must have a liking for working with people. They should also be able to win the respect and confidence of their clients, associates, and the public. To equip them with ability to analyze complex cases and handle new and unique legal problem, they must develop inherent qualities like perseverance, creativity, and reasoning ability. Beginners often go for a salaried job, usually start as associates and work with more experienced lawyers and judges. After several years of experiences, when they are prepared to take responsibilities, may be admitted to partnerships in their firms or some lawyers go for practice by themselves. An occasional transfer from one department to another in certain large corporations is considered good for gaining experience, and sometimes it forms a rise in ranks of management.

A steady growth in the employment of lawyers is expected through 2010. Population growth and the growth in general business activities indicate an increase in demand for lawyers. Growth of legal action in areas like healthcare, intellectual property, international law, elder law, environmental law, and sexual harassment also point to the increasing demand for lawyers. More over the wider availability and affordability of legal clinics and prepaid legal service programs is another field wherein increased use of legal services by middle-income people could be there. But fact that many businesses go for the services of accounting firms and paralegals, in an effort to reduce expenditure put a limit to the increase in demand for the lawyers. As an example we can take accounting firms providing employee-benefit counseling, process documents, and handling of various other services previously performed by the law firm, posing a threat to the demand for lawyers. Mediation and dispute resolution also are in a developing stage, indicating a limit to their demand.

A large number of students graduate every year from law schools and hence hefty competition for job openings is likely. Graduates from well-regarded law schools, coming out in flying colors may find the best job opportunities. Due to the job competition for attorneys, lawyers are entering into nontraditional fields like administrative, and managerial, and business positions in banks, insurance firms, real estate companies, government agencies, and other organizations, where legal studies… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Offices in the Judicial System.  (2003, October 13).  Retrieved July 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/offices-judicial-system/7073398

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"Offices in the Judicial System."  13 October 2003.  Web.  19 July 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/offices-judicial-system/7073398>.

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"Offices in the Judicial System."  Essaytown.com.  October 13, 2003.  Accessed July 19, 2019.