Lawyers – What It Takes To Be A Lawyer In The USA


When it comes to working in America, we have some of the best jobs known to man. We have lucrative professions but also very rewarding ones. Speaking of financial gain, there are only a few jobs better than a lawyer.

Lawyers (also called attorneys) in the USA make a substantial amount of money, but it does require a lot of schooling before the cash starts rolling in.

Many people want to join the ranks of lawyers and attorneys in America, whether it be actually to defend people in a court of law or just because it is among the highest-paying careers in America.

A lawyer truly is one of the highest-paying jobs in America, and here’s why…

What Lawyers Actually Do?


A lawyer basically advises and represents individuals or organizations in various legal matters (such as business, criminal, or civil legal matters).

Some lawyers work in the business sector and provide legal counsel to corporate clients. Other lawyers work with people in the legal system and represent them in court.

Lawyers can be self-employed, can work privately for big organizations, or can work publicly for the government.

When working in the private sector, lawyers usually seek jobs at big companies where they specialize in a specific area (such as corporate law, environmental law, intellectual property law, tax law, etc).

When working for the government in the public sector, lawyers can find jobs as district attorneys or public defenders.

Because the legal system is extremely time-sensitive and the legal work is grueling, most lawyers usually work long hours in the office, law library, or a courtroom environment.

They spend a lot of time performing thorough research for the cases, they socialite testimonies from witnesses and prepare the necessary legal documents for winning the case.

Most clients trust the lawyers because of the confidential lawyer–client privilege and they ask for their help concerning various legal issues.

What Is The Average Salary For a Lawyer in The USA?

The average salary for a Lawyer is $88/year (as of 2022). The total cash earnings of the lawyer or attorney range from $54K to $156K on the high end.

lawyer attorney average salary 2022

Base Salary 

$54k - $156k


$1k - $29k

Profit Sharing

$1k - $48k


$4k - $71k

Total Pay 

$56k - $181k

As the years have gone by, a lawyer’s salary has only increased as the demand for them has gone up. It seems like a week cannot pass without someone being involved in litigation and a lawsuit. Thus, the reason for creating a huge market for lawyers in the USA.

Some of the most paid jobs in the USA happen to be from this supply and demand mechanic and show no signs of slowing down.

What Does It Take To Be A Lawyer?


Lawyers first must complete a lengthy education (which usually takes 7 years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).
After high school, lawyers need to take 4 more years of undergraduate study and another 3 years of law school (which makes a total of 7 years).

After schooling, the lawyers are required to obtain a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).

However, to practice as a lawyer, you must pass a difficult and lengthy examination which often is different in each state.

What Are The Responsibilities Of A Lawyer?


Lawyers usually have the following duties:

  • To perform thorough research and analysis of the specific legal problems.
  • To communicate confidentially with clients and represent them in courts and before private organizations or government agencies.
  • To interpret laws and regulations for individuals and corporations.
  • To present written and verbal facts to the clients and judges, and argue on behalf of the clients in court.
  • Prepare and file legal documents (contracts, lawsuits, wills, etc.)

Which Skills Does A Lawyer Need To Have?


  • Lawyers, first of all, must be excellent problem-solvers in order to prepare the best defense.
  • Lawyers must be objective. They need to separate their emotions and prejudice from the problems of the clients and objectively apply the relevant information.
  • Lawyers need to have excellent analytical skills, which allow them to easily interpret legal issues, establish relevant facts, and propose practical solutions.
  • Lawyers need to be very skilled at gathering and applying large amounts of information concerning the specific case.
  • Lawyers need to have a detail-oriented eye in order not to miss a critical detail crucial for winning the case.
  • Lawyers must have excellent verbal and written communication skills to generate persuasive arguments.

What Are Different Law Fields For Lawyers?


Lawyers may specialize in particular legal fields and industries. Here are some important areas of legal practice for lawyers:

  • Aviation (Admiralty/Maritime) Law – Concerned with air travel, marine trade, sailors, navigation, or maritime-based activity.
  • Business (Corporate) Law – Concerned with legal aspects of the administration of corporations or disputes between corporations and individuals.
  • Civil Rights Law – Concerned with disputes (discrimination or unfair practices) between government institutions and individuals or groups.
  • Construction Law – Concerned with issues related to building engineering or non-compliant construction.
  • Criminal Law – Concerned with illegal or criminalistic behaviors that are punishable by law.
  • Environmental Law – Concerned with regulations, treaties, statutes, or conventions which address the effects of human activity on the environment.
  • Employment (Labor) Law – Concerned with disputes between employers and their workers (such as wages, compensation, harassment, discrimination, etc.)
  • Family Law – Concerned with family matters and domestic relations, including marriages, divorces, child abuse, legitimacy, adoption, etc.
  • Health Law – Concerned with the legislation in the healthcare sector. Health law lawyers can represent patients, doctors, clinics or insurance companies.
  • Human Rights Law – Concerned with the fundamental rights that all humans are entitled to. This law is usually responsible for preventing abuse, slavery, torture, convictions, etc.
  • Immigration Law – Concerned with national government policies controlling immigration, deportation, citizenship, refugees or asylum seekers.
  • Intellectual Property Law – Concerned with the protection of the rights of authors, inventors, businesses and their inventions, creations, trademarks, patents and designs.
  • Insurance Law – Concerned with the regulation of insurance claims and insurance policies.
  • Military Law – Concerned with procedures and codes that governs legal matters in the military (or armed) forces.
  • Personal Injury Law – Concerned with wrongdoing (intentional or unintentional) that affects a person physically or psychologically. Cases may include traffic accidents, medical malpractice, injuries in a workplace, product liability, wrongful death, etc.
  • Real Estate Law – Concerned with residential or commercial issues related to tenants, landlords, land ownership, litigation, etc.
  • Sports Law – Concerned with regulations in the sports industry and the compliance of teams, players, sports agents, or sponsorship companies.
  • Tax Law – Concerned with the taxation of individuals and companies, which include domestic transactions (in public and private sectors) and international transactions.

Final Words

Whether you find yourself injured in a car accident, hurt on the job, involved in an assault, or even suing a major company because of fraudulent advertisement… you most likely will need a lawyer.

Lawyers will be always required because there are always two opposing sides that cannot agree properly. There will always be a need for lawyers in the USA, as long as there are people and companies out there that cannot come to a positive resolution.

The lawyer’s work is not always negative as usually portrayed in the movies, but there are certainly times where it can be exhausting and aggressive.

You may not always defend an innocent client, just like you will not always defend a guilty one. However, as long as there is a criminal justice system in this country, lawyers will always be one of the best-paying jobs in the USA.