There are a lot of different types of law, but they all involve research, writing, and hard work. Types such as criminal lawyer, Civil Litigator and, a Corporate / Commercial Lawyer.
Lawyers work for large corporations, government agencies, law firms (which can range in size from just a few lawyers to several hundred), or for themselves as sole practitioners.
After completing law school, lawyers must work for a year as an articling student before they can write the bar exams. Most articling students receive a salary for their work. Their earnings range from about $25,000 to $70,000 a year, depending on the employer.
In general, fully qualified lawyers are paid quite well. Most make between $50,000 and $165,000 a year. The national average salary is somewhere between $85,000 and $125,000 a year.
However, not all lawyers have high salaries; a lot depends where they work and what type of law they practice. For example, a sole practitioner starting out in a small town may take home as little as $35,000 a year. A lawyer working for a small non-profit group may make a similar amount.
On the other hand, a senior tax lawyer at an established corporate law firm might make more than $500,000 a year. A personal injury lawyer who wins a big case may earn just as much.
The way in which lawyers are compensated varies as well. First year lawyers are typically paid a salary, as are those who work for government agencies or large companies. But most lawyers who work for law firms are paid according to the number of hours they work. Partners at law firms usually get a percentage of the firm’s profits as well.
Contingency fees are a common practice in some areas. Under a contingency fee agreement, a civil litigator gets a portion of the money, or “damages,” awarded to his or her client in a successful case, instead of being paid directly by the client.
Lawyers who are willing to relocate usually have the easiest time finding employment. However, moving to another province usually means writing another set of bar exams to get licensed in that province.
It really all depends on experience :) some lawyers make millions!
High school students interested in becoming a lawyer should take courses in English, history, and law and government.
To become a lawyer, you must attend law school and complete a law degree. Before applying to law school, you must complete at least 2 years of undergraduate studies at university (except in Quebec, where you can get into law school straight from a CEGEP). However, because the admission process is extremely competitive, most applicants have at least a bachelor’s degree. Bachelor’s degrees usually take 4 years to complete.
A degree in any subject is acceptable but those that allow students to develop their research and writing skills, such as English, history, or political science, can be particularly helpful. Before starting law school, you may wish to take courses in the area in which you intend to specialize. For example, take business courses if you want to be a corporate lawyer or child psychology if you want to work for child protection agencies.
To get into law school you need very good marks. You almost always need to write an aptitude test called the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) as well.
Law school usually takes 3 years of full-time study to complete, and the degree you get is either a Juris Doctor (JD) or a Bachelor of Laws (LLB, or BCL in Quebec). Some universities offer combined law and business administration programs that result in the JD or LLB and Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees.
After graduating from law school, you still need to work for approximately 1 year as an articling student, under the direction of licensed lawyers (fortunately, you usually get paid for this) before you can become a licensed lawyer. You must also successfully complete the bar admission program, including classes and exams, which takes several weeks to several months to finish.
Suggested HS courses
Suggested High School Subjects
Business / Computers
Health & Physical Education
Personal & Career Development
Business / Computers
Social Studies / History
Business & Management
Communications & Media Studies
Economics / Politics
History / Philosophy / World Issues
Business & Management
Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe (HEWM) in the San Francisco headquarters has a huge IP dept. with many IP attorneys in their other branches (Seattle being one), though not as many. The San Diego branch, though smaller, is made up of a lot of IP attys b/c of the huge biotech boom there. Seattle had more environmental attys than anything (seems to be the trend for the whole state), but still had IP attys there. HEWM is well known as a 1st class firm within all the CA atty's I've talked to, evoking an ooh and ahh about the firm.