What Is a Lawyer and What Do Lawyers Do?

A lawyer is a person who is educated in the law and has received the necessary qualifications to practice law. Lawyers performs many tasks, including drafting wills and contracts, providing legal advice and representing their clients in court. There are several kinds of lawyers, each of them specializing in specific areas of law.

Typically, in order for a person to become a lawyer, he must earn a law degree and pass a bar examination. The National Association for Legal Career Professionals explains that because of the increasingly complex nature of the law and its growing reach into every sphere of life, the role of the lawyer is expanding.

Lawyers help write contracts. When people enter into agreements–especially business agreements–they typically work with lawyers to develop a contract that is beneficial to both parties and enforceable under the law. Lawyers also help people write their will and testament. The complexity of estate law and the inability to distribute one’s wealth after death often necessitate the advice of an experienced legal adviser.

Lawyers also litigate in court, either for the defense or prosecution. They find and question witnesses, compile evidence and present facts to sway a jury in favor of the persons they represent. Lawyers who serve in the prosecution for criminal cases often work for the government.