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Judges, Lawyers, and Paralegals

Job Description
Lawyers, or attorneys, act as advocates and advisors in society. As advocates, they represent a party in criminal and civil trials by presenting evidence and arguing in court to support their client. As advisors, lawyers counsel their clients concerning their legal rights and suggest courses of action in business and personal matters.

Paralegals investigate the facts of cases and ensure that all relevant information is considered. In addition to this preparatory work, they help draft contracts, mortgages, separation agreements, and instruments of trust.

Judges, magistrates, and other judicial workers apply the law and oversee the legal process in courts according to local, State, and Federal statutes. All judicial workers must ensure that trials and hearings are conducted fairly and that the court safeguards the legal rights of all parties involved.

Median Salary
$34,000 – $136,000

Education Requirements
Formal requirements to become a lawyer usually include a 4-year college degree, 3 years of law school, and passing a written bar examination; (requirements may vary by State.) Most paralegals have an associate degree in paralegal studies, or a bachelor’s degree coupled with a certificate in paralegal studies. A bachelor’s degree and work experience are usual requirements for judges and magistrates, but most have law degrees, and some are elected. Training requirements for arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators vary.

Job Outlook
Employment of lawyers is expected to grow 11%; paralegals 22% or 53,000 new positions;and judges, magistrates, and other judicial workers is expected to grow 4% over the 2006-16 projection decade.

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