What Does a Civil Attorney Do?


Quick Answer

A civil lawyer works on behalf of individuals and other entities in resolving noncriminal legal issues, according to the Houston Chronicle. Examples of noncriminal legal issues include divorce disputes and child custody disputes.

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Becoming a civil lawyer involves completing a bachelor's degree, completing a law school program, gaining experience and obtaining a license, notes the Houston Chronicle. Preferred degree fields include English, mathematics, political science and government. Besides the degree, other prerequisites for enrolling in law school include obtaining a recommendation letter and passing law school admission tests, among other requirements. Typically, law school programs run for three years and cover criminal law, torts, civil procedure, constitutional law and professional responsibility. Experience enhances employment chances for a civil attorney. One way to gain experience is to work as an intern in legal firms and nonprofit organizations practicing civil law.

Obtaining a law license involves first passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination, which qualifies the aspiring civil lawyer for the bar exam, reports the Houston Chronicle. The exam tests knowledge on ethics and professional responsibility. Upon passing the bar exam, the candidate receives a license, which permits him to practice as a civil lawyer. However, as of 2015, licensing in Wisconsin and Maryland does not involve passing an exam.

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