What Do Lawyers Do?

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What Do Lawyers Do?
OFFICE OF CAREER SERVICES
1L TUESDAY
SEPTEMBER 4, 2012
Legal Practice Settings
 Private Practice – Law Firms
 Public Interest Organizations
 Businesses
 Government
 Judiciary - Judicial Clerkship
 Academia
 Alternative to Practice of Law
Private Practice Attorneys

Phillip H. Corboy
Corboy & Demetrio
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Dan K. Webb
Partner, Winston & Strawn
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Aaron Goldstein
Attorney for Rod Blagojevich
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Josh Saviano
Paul Pfeiffer, The Wonder Years
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Joel Brodsky
Attorney for Drew Peterson
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Jose Baez
Attorney for Casey Anthony
Private Practice - Law Firms
 Destination of choice for most law grads
 Work for a variety of clients (individuals/businesses)
 Most join as associates
 Partnership after 8-10 years.
 Partners generally have an ownership interest in the
law firm and manage the law firm.
 All shapes and sizes (large to solo)
 Life influenced by billable hours/billable rate
 Some lawyers specialize in one or more practice areas
while others engage in general practice
Specializations or Practice Areas
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Administrative
Civil Litigation
Constitutional
Corporate
Criminal
Environmental
Family
Immigration
Intellectual Property
Labor & Employment
Real Estate
Securities
Tax
Public Interest Attorneys
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Barack Obama
Sargent Shriver
Peace Corps, Job Corps, Head Start
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Ralph Nader
Consumer Advocate & Lawyer
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Morris Dees
Southern Poverty Law Center
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Mahatma Ghandi
Public Interest
 Many in legal aid organizations – private
non-profit agencies designed to serve
disadvantaged people
 Medical benefits for AIDS patients,
represent the poor in landlord-tenant
disagreements, negotiate child visitation
rights for individuals who cannot afford a
private attorney.
Government Attorneys

Lisa Madigan
Illinois Attorney General
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Eric Holder
U.S. Attorney General
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Pat Quinn
Anita Alvarez
Cook County State’s Attorney
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Tom Dart
Cook County Sheriff
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Fidel Castro
Former Cuban President
Government
 Local, county, state and federal government
 Prosecutors (District or State’s Attorneys)
 Federal Prosecutors
 Department of Justice in DC
 U.S. Attorneys Offices throughout US
 State Attorneys General (Lisa Madigan)
 Public Defender and Federal Defender
 Government Agencies (fed, state, county, city)
 Legislative Bodies and United States Congress
Federal Government Organizational Chart
State of Illinois Organizational Chart
Cook County Organizational Chart
The Judiciary

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
United States Supreme Court
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Justice Robert R. Thomas
Former Chief Justice, Illinois Supreme Court
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The Hon. Virginia Kendall
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
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The Hon. Thomas More Donnelly
Circuit Court of Cook County
Judicial Clerkships
 Work for county, state and federal judges
 Research the law presented to the judge
 Draft memos and opinions for judges
 Often short-term after you graduate for one or two
years
 Some are permanent clerk positions which allow
longer-term employment
 See judicial clerk 2011 employment data
Business Attorneys
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Savannah Guthrie
TODAY on NBC
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Andy Lansing
President & CEO, Levy Restaurants
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Andrew Berlin
CEO, Berlin Packaging
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Jackie Taylor Holsten
Sr. VP, Holsten Real Estate Development
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Jerry Springer
Mark Smithe
General Counsel, Walter E. Smithe
Furniture
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Michael Cho
Global Head, Anti Money Laundering
Compliance, Northern Trust
Business
 Employed by a single client, usually a corporation as an “in
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house” attorney.
Advise on legal activities related to the company’s business
Supervise litigation being handled by an outside law firm
Employment issues or lobbyist monitoring and influencing
legislation
Many are offered these positions while working for a law
firm
Attorneys in Academia
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Prof. Charles Murdock
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Taught at DePaul, Notre Dame,
UC Hastings, and Loyola
Consultant to the SEC
Deputy Attorney General of Illinois
Prof. Richard Michael
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Appellate Division, Illinois Attorney General
General Counsel, Loyola University
Law Clerk to former Illinois Supreme Court
Justice, Daniel Ward
Academia
 Teach in law schools, colleges and other educational
organizations
 Work in administrative capacities at universities and
colleges
Alternative to Practice
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Henri Matisse
Ben Stein
John Grisham
Geraldo Rivera
Michelle Obama
Andrea Bocelli
Laura Caldwell
Tony LaRussa
Alternative to Practice of Law
 Many lawyers today are choosing to not practice law
after they graduate from law school.
 They work in jobs as diverse as:
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Program administrator, career counselor, admissions
professional,
journalist, mediator, executive director of non-profit,
fundraiser, alumni relations, mediator, legal publisher,
law firm marketing professional, consultant,
trust administrator, financial planner, tax consultant,
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