A Career in LAW Karin DeLutis Saranac Central High School What is Law? Rules of conduct created by society’s governing institutions or by people like you and me. What do lawyers do? • • • • • NEGOTIATE ARGUE INTERPRET DISPUTE LITIGATE Do you have what it takes to become a lawyer? • A desire to work in a field that has an • • • • • impact on the world around you? Committed to long work hours and high stress? Want great pay? Love the law? Enjoy loads of paperwork Researching skills Two Major Categories of the Profession Litigation Attorney • Deals with legal problems after they occur. Examples include: white collar crime, breech of contract, employmentrelated problems, etc. Transactional Attorney • Deals with business issues. Examples include: bankruptcy, contracts, and corporate financing. They “get the deal done”. Essential Skills • Excellent and persuasive oral and • • • • • written communication skills Detail-oriented Reasoning ability People person Perseverance Creativity CURRENT TRENDS Decentralization Globalization DECENTRALIZATION Not all jobs are in big City's like New York, Washington, D.C. and Chicago anymore. The development of satellite offices allows you to choose the geographic location that is best for you! GLOBALIZATION Law office locations are not limited to the United States. There are many offices located all over the world. What are the biggest areas of law today? • • • • • Bankruptcy Litigation Health law Employment law Intellectual property (the protection of copyrighting, art, computer programs) Which Career Track would you choose? • • • • • • Big-City Power Firms Regional Specialized firms Corporate in-house Counsel Government Law Public Defender/Legal Aid Public Interest Big-City Power Firms • 150 in country • Full-range of services nationally and • • • • internationally 150-200 attorneys on staff Clients spends millions on services each year Pay highest salaries Tough hiring process BRINKS HOFER GILSON & LIONE Regional and Specialized firms • Middle-tier firms • Employ 80-100 attorneys • Serve local businesses, such as restaurants, hospitals, schools, stores, etc. • Less pay Corporate In-House Counsel • Attorney that is hired to handle day-to-day business activity. • Competitive salary • Hours of work better • One client Government Law • Employed by federal, state and local • • • • • • government Employ thousands of lawyers Major employer: Department of Justice Not high paying Great benefits Decent hours Job security Public Defender/Legal Aid • Appointed by the court to defend those that • • • • do not have attorneys Located in most major cities. Most important office is in Washington, D.C. Lower pay Hard to get because of competition Work is both frustrating and satisfying Public Interest • Most prestigious. You are working with organizations such as American Civil Liberties Union, National Center for Youth Law, NAACP, Legal Defense Funds, etc. • Lower paying • Extremely rewarding • Great deal of client contact Drawbacks • Long hours (10-14 per day) • Personal ethics (a case may go against your personal beliefs) • Heavy pressures • High Stress Compensation • In 2002, the median salary was $90,290 • The middle half earned between $61,060 and $136,810 • The lowest paid 10 percent earned less than $44,490 Specific Courses to take in High School • • • • • • Business Law Business Communications Computer Applications Math English Psychology Employers that will hire you during high school • • • • Local attorneys offices Attorney General’s Office District Attorney’s Office Legal Aid Training • Four years of undergraduate study and 3 years of law school • Additionally, to practice law in the courts of any State you must be licensed, or admitted to its bar • You must pass a written bar examination • You must pass a written ethics exam in most States Two-Year College in Clinton County • Clinton Community College Criminal Justice Curriculum Four Year College in Clinton County • Plattsburgh State University Criminal Justice Curriculum Employers that will hire College Graduates in Clinton County Harris Beach LLP O'Connell and Aronowitz, P.C. Stafford, Trombley, Owens & Curtin, P.C. . Asadourian Law Firm, P.C. Lewis, Rogers & Meconi, P.C.