What is a Lawyer?
What exactly is a lawyer? We often see them portrayed in movies as people who are in the courtroom, talking to the jury, pleading, or more often than not, as common Hollywood movies go, we see them dressed to the nines, bringing a briefcase, coffee to go hand in hand and running to see their clients. But what is it really that lawyers do in real life?
A lawyer also called an attorney, or counselor is a licensed professional who represents and advises clients in legal matters. These days, lawyers can either be male or female, unlike in the old times where men usually navigate the world of law. As Britannica defines, “a lawyer is one trained and licensed to prepare, manage, and either prosecute or defend a court action as an agent for another and who also gives advice on legal matters that may or may not require court action,” being a lawyer is not an easy feat and how a lawyer can apply the law to specific cases is subject on his ability to understand fully the law and the system.
A Lawyer’s Basic Responsibilities
A lawyer’s job consists mainly but is not limited to two things: to uphold the law and to protect the client’s rights. To be able to do these, a lawyer should be able to understand the law and can communicate effectively using the legal system and terms.
A lawyer has several duties which go beyond where we usually see them, which is the courtroom. Researching information, mediating disputes, and providing counsel to clients about their legal rights are just some of them. The law however is broad and extensive that a lawyer needs to focus on a specific area or field where he or she can specialize in order to give the best and just advice to his or her clients.
Basic Requirements to Become a Lawyer
A lawyer’s capacity and capability to understand how the laws and the legal systems work depend mostly of course on the special schooling he or she takes. Different states have enacted standards that must be followed for a person to be able to have a license to practice law.
It takes several years to become a lawyer. Potential attorneys must hold a Juris Doctor from an accredited law school before being allowed to practice. A bachelor’s degree is required to gain admission to law school. Law schools require that all applicants take the Law School Admission Test. Students can usually complete law school in three to four years after they have been admitted. Core courses include civil procedure, criminal law, and contracts. After graduation from law school, most states require that attorneys pass a bar exam.
A lot of people these days strive to become lawyers, with different reasons in mind. But what sets a great lawyer apart from the others is his or her ability to be able to passionately advocate and understand his or her client’s objectives throughout the case.