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19th century painting of lawyers,
by French artist Honoré Daumier
Caption19th century painting of lawyers,
by French artist Honoré Daumier
Official NamesAttorney, counselor (counsel), solicitor, barrister, advocate
Activity SectorLaw, business
CompetenciesAnalytical skills
Critical thinking skills
Knowledge of the law
Proficiency in legal research and legal writing
Formationsee Professional requirements
Employment FieldCourts, government, private sector, NGOs, legal aid
Related OccupationJudge, Prosecutor, Law clerk, Law professor
Average Salarysee Earnings and compensation

     Home | Occupation | Lawyer

A lawyer, according to Black's Law Dictionary, is "a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is practicing law." Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who retain (i.e., hire) lawyers to perform legal services.

The role of the lawyer varies significantly across legal jurisdictions, and so it can be treated here in only the most general terms. More information is available in country-specific articles (see below).

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