What Do Lawyers Do?
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
Dan K. Webb
Partner, Winston & Strawn
Aaron Goldstein
Attorney for Rod Blagojevich
Josh Saviano
Paul Pfeiffer, The Wonder Years
Joel Brodsky
Attorney for Drew Peterson
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
Civil Litigation
Intellectual Property
Labor & Employment
Real Estate
Public Interest Attorneys
Barack Obama
Sargent Shriver
Peace Corps, Job Corps, Head Start
Ralph Nader
Consumer Advocate & Lawyer
Morris Dees
Southern Poverty Law Center
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
Eric Holder
U.S. Attorney General
Pat Quinn
Anita Alvarez
Cook County State’s Attorney
Tom Dart
Cook County Sheriff
Fidel Castro
Former Cuban President
 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
Justice Robert R. Thomas
Former Chief Justice, Illinois Supreme Court
The Hon. Virginia Kendall
U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
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
 Some are permanent clerk positions which allow
longer-term employment
 See judicial clerk 2011 employment data
Business Attorneys
Savannah Guthrie
Andy Lansing
President & CEO, Levy Restaurants
Andrew Berlin
CEO, Berlin Packaging
Jackie Taylor Holsten
Sr. VP, Holsten Real Estate Development
Jerry Springer
Mark Smithe
General Counsel, Walter E. Smithe
Michael Cho
Global Head, Anti Money Laundering
Compliance, Northern Trust
 Employed by a single client, usually a corporation as an “in
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
Many are offered these positions while working for a law
Attorneys in Academia
Prof. Charles Murdock
Taught at DePaul, Notre Dame,
UC Hastings, and Loyola
Consultant to the SEC
Deputy Attorney General of Illinois
Prof. Richard Michael
Appellate Division, Illinois Attorney General
General Counsel, Loyola University
Law Clerk to former Illinois Supreme Court
Justice, Daniel Ward
 Teach in law schools, colleges and other educational
 Work in administrative capacities at universities and
Alternative to Practice
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:
Program administrator, career counselor, admissions
journalist, mediator, executive director of non-profit,
fundraiser, alumni relations, mediator, legal publisher,
law firm marketing professional, consultant,
trust administrator, financial planner, tax consultant,