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Job Description: what does a lawyer do?
Lawyers advise their clients and represent their interests in all legal matters. To this end, the client gives the lawyer power of attorney to act on behalf of the client. In addition, lawyers act as independent judicial authorities in court proceedings. This means that they support the judges in finding the law. The areas of work and the content of the negotiations in court vary greatly. As a rule, a lawyer specializes in one or more areas.
The individual activities of lawyers are very demanding and varied. In the mornings, they usually attend court appointments. You accompany your clients and represent their interests. In the afternoon, they visit their clients or advise them in their law firm. They also spend a lot of time at their desks. There they analyze various legal issues. They evaluate documents, read legal texts, and draft legal documents. In doing so, they must always choose the safest way, which is why they clarify in advance all points that are decisive for the factual and legal assessment of a case. In addition, they check the statute of limitations for any claims of their clients at the beginning. In general, lawyers must ensure that all deadlines are met.
Lawyers have different perspectives on the labor market. Many work in law firms or auditing firms. There they are either employed or active as partners or owners. But you will also find employment opportunities in companies in almost all industries and interest groups, associations, and organizations. In addition, lawyers can work as public prosecutors in public prosecution offices, as judges, or as patent attorneys in corresponding law firms and advisory institutions to grant licenses.
Lawyer responsibilities and requirements
Anyone wishing to practice the profession of lawyer must complete a law degree. The legal clerkship follows this. During their studies, students specialize in different areas of law. Possible areas of focus are, for example, criminal law, real estate law, or international law. In addition, essential topics such as labor law, contract law, and civil law are compulsory subjects.
In addition to their specialist knowledge, lawyers need special skills and soft skills in dealing with clients and courts. First, of course, they must be interested in legal issues. Often they have to spend hours poring over legal texts. This requires patience, analytical thinking, a high level of commitment, discipline, and the ability to abstract. A good memory is also essential.
Lawyers also need a feel for dealing with people. You have to work with different characters and be able to build trust even with difficult people. They have to be able to keep a cool head even in dicey cases.
In addition, there are excellent communication skills. Lawyers require above-average expressive skills, both orally and in writing. You have to convince the judges and explain difficult legal matters to your clients in an understandable way. Accuracy and an exact working method are also a matter of course for them. They also need a high level of commitment. Deadlines must be adhered to. Overtime is, therefore, part of the job of a lawyer. It is not uncommon for them to work 70 to 80 hours a week.