When an attorney passes the bar, that person is in a great position to get on a career path that will provide great salaries and high career potential. Being a lawyer is a core profession for so many other professions including politicians and many of the senior management and even CEO positions at top companies around the world have a background as a lawyer.
To get to these positions lawyers start out in one of several job roles that allow them to gain experience and traction. They do not always change their careers however, sometimes they remain lawyers and excel at that. Here is where lawyers start their law careers.
In House Legal – General Counsel
An in-house legal position is one where a lawyer works for a private firm and handles legal issues relating to that firm. All of the large companies have in-house counsel that helps them create legal policy for the company. The lawyer drafts legal documents, negotiates the legal aspects of contracts, creates internal contracts for the company, and interacts with outside legal counsel on large issues. This type of lawyer will have experience generally in corporate law, and a great understanding of tax. For new lawyers who look for an in house legal job it can be steady employment with a great salary and benefits. And if the job is with a large firm, it could be a great long-term career.
The majority of lawyers that come out of law school and pass the bar seek employment in a private practice law firm. There are thousands of law firms across the country of varying sizes. Some have a handful of lawyers while others have thousands. Some of these law firms focus on a particular type of law. Perhaps it is criminal law, or divorce law, or personal injury. The larger the firm, the more likely it is that that firm focuses on the widest variety of law areas.
Big law firms have large back offices in addition to lawyers, that assist with legal filings, research, and every other element related to law cases
When a new lawyer enters one of these firms, the first several years are dedicated to understanding a lawyer’s job and perfecting it under the safe guidance of senior lawyers at the firm. As the new lawyer games more experienced, he or she might be able to handle their own clients and cases. It is not always a straight line to the top at a large law firm, and often lawyers find that they must go to another firm or start a private practice in order to reach their potential.
A solo practice is a law firm where a lawyer decides that he will open his own firm. It is not normal for new lawyer to start a solo practice because going solo means that the lawyer has to do everything including running the business, finding clients and all of the legal work relating to servicing those clients once they have been secured. Normally a lawyer will spend years at a private firm before launching their own solo practice. However for those lawyers who are entrepreneurial and want to build their own businesses, starting a solo practice can be the best route.
The law profession is one of the best and most respected professions today.