What Does a Lawyer Do?

Lawyers work in a range of industries and sectors. They can choose to work in private practice, with an employer, or with the government or judiciary.

A lawyer is a legal professional that has earned a Juris Doctor degree from law school and passed the bar exam in their jurisdiction. Lawyers perform many essential functions in society, including: For more information, click the Ask The Law Doc – Gershon Willoughby & Getz to proceed.

Lawyers represent clients and act as their agents in dealing with the legal system. They educate their clients on the law pertaining to their cases and explain its practical implications. They also assist clients in making decisions about their case strategies and goals. They also act as advocates in court proceedings, presenting evidence and questioning witnesses on behalf of their clients.

The lawyer’s job is to make sure that all of the client’s objectives are met in a legal proceeding and in accordance with laws and ethical standards. This requires extensive research and analysis of the legal statutes and precedents that apply to a particular situation. Lawyers should not knowingly allow their own biases or prejudices to interfere with the representation of a client.

Attorneys must communicate openly with their clients and provide them with the legal advice they need to make sound decisions regarding their cases. This includes explaining the pros and cons of different strategies. Lawyers should not discriminate against their clients on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, age or sexual orientation. They must also treat their clients with courtesy and respect. Clients should pay their bills on time, be honest and share all information related to their cases with their attorneys.

Lawyers must comply with the ethical requirements set forth in the New York Rules of Professional Conduct. This includes passing a character and fitness examination, which examines their backgrounds including employment history, education, residences, criminal and arrest records and prior bar admissions. This ensures that the lawyer is a good citizen and has no skeletons in their closet that could affect their ability to practice law.

Lawyers must decline to accept a matter if they determine that the case lacks merit or if they have previous professional commitments that would interfere with their ability to devote sufficient time to it competently and diligently. They must also disclose any conflicts of interest to their clients. It is ethically permissible for lawyers to agree to limit their representation by express agreement with the client as long as the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances.

Legal Research

Legal research is the process of identifying and finding laws, court decisions, and other materials that apply to specific facts in a case. It can be a critical component in preparing for a case, including researching legal issues and arguments that may arise during a trial.

There are several different tools to conduct legal research, and it’s important to follow a methodical approach to ensure that you gather all of the information needed. Start with secondary sources and work your way up to primary legal documents. These include statutes, regulations, and cases. Using a legal database, like LexisNexis, can help you to quickly identify and locate relevant materials. It’s also a good idea to use a citator tool, such as KeyCite, when searching for legal opinions. This will flag negative materials, as well as provide you with a list of other sources that cite the opinion in question.

Once you’ve completed your research, you should compile it into a legal memorandum, which can be used to guide the rest of your case preparation. This will enable you to identify any gaps in your knowledge and anticipate any additional information that you’ll need to acquire. Legal case management software, such as MatterSuite, can be a great way to organize and manage your legal research and keep it in one place so that you’ll always have access to it.

Legal research can be a time-consuming and tedious task, but it’s essential for the success of a lawyer’s case. By following best practices and using legal research software, a lawyer can streamline the process of gathering and analyzing legal information to better serve their clients.

Attorneys should never rely solely on digital research tools, however. They must still review the facts of a case, consider the precedents, and use their own experience and judgment to predict what outcome might result from a particular set of circumstances. For example, if a client has been involved in a car accident, the attorney will likely look to previous auto accidents in similar circumstances and determine the best course of action for the case.

Document Preparation

Legal documents are the backbone of our judicial system. From letters resolving disputes to those that grant an agreed upon right, there are many different kinds of documents in the world of law. Even non-lawyers may encounter legal documents on a daily basis, whether it is an eviction notice from a landlord or a contract with a home builder for construction on a property. Generally, when people need help preparing legal documents, they will either contact a lawyer or a document preparation service.

Document preparation services are not licensed to practice law, but they can provide consumers with the type of help that an attorney would offer for a fraction of the cost. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might also be authorized to provide certain types of legal advice and discussion of legal strategy.

The process of preparing documents begins with collecting the necessary information from the parties to the case. This includes name, number and email or physical address (if applicable). It is also important to gather background information on the case in question such as the underlying reason for the matter at hand, any previous proceedings and the facts of the case.

This information is then used to create a draft of the legal document. Once the draft is prepared, it is typically distributed to reviewers and counsel. Creating a simple, straight-forward system for labeling and captioning each draft will help keep the project organized and allow the reviewers to quickly determine which version of the draft they are looking at.

Once the reviewers have had a chance to look at the draft, it is usually time to make any needed revisions. Oftentimes, these revisions are made by incorporating the feedback that has been received and amending the document accordingly. The resulting final document is then provided to the client for signing.

Documents are also prepared for scanning or other digital filing processes by removing fasteners, purging documents not requiring filming, stamping/coding and by inspecting and repairing pages that cannot feed easily into scanners due to hard creases or tears.


The term advocacy derives from the Latin word advocatus, meaning “one who stands for another.” Legal advocates take a stand in support of a person or cause. They might advocate for their client in court, speak out in support of an issue that affects a wide group of people or promote social change.

Legal advocacy is a complex endeavor. It involves thorough research, crafting and presenting persuasive arguments, negotiating with opposing parties, and drafting legal documents such as pleadings and briefs. It also entails meeting with clients and providing emotional support throughout the legal process. The advocacy work of lawyers can be challenging because it requires them to balance the varying interests and needs of their clients.

One of the most important aspects of legal advocacy is maintaining a commitment to truth and honesty. Lawyers must avoid zealous advocacy that can lead to dishonesty and a lack of professionalism. For example, if a lawyer discovers that an opposing party’s witness is lying on the stand, they must expose the false testimony to ensure justice is served.

Lawyers might also engage in legislative advocacy, which includes lobbying for or against legislation and drafting proposals for law reforms. They may also collaborate with non-profit organizations and other stakeholders to advocate for broader social change.

A legal advocate’s responsibilities include developing and strengthening case strategies, researching relevant evidence, and interviewing witnesses during criminal trials. They must also maintain excellent verbal and written communication skills, as they frequently present their arguments orally in a courtroom setting. Moreover, they must learn to use visual aids and other tools to effectively communicate their message. Lastly, they should strive to develop their advocacy skills by seeking feedback from colleagues and supervisors, as well as engaging in self-reflection after each advocacy experience. These practices will help aspiring legal advocates develop the essential skills to achieve success in their careers.