The Definition of a Lawyer

By: Mono82
A lawyer is someone trained in aspects of law and the legal system usually providing legal advice; they may also be known as attorneys or advocates depending on the particular role they are fulfilling. When a lawyer appears in court to represent a client in either a civil or criminal case he may be called an advocate; although once qualified they can all appear in court, as a percentage, not many decide to pursue this area of law. There is a slightly different set of circumstances if they provide legal counsel, when they are referred to as legal advisors; this occurs when a client merely wants help on a legal matter or guidance in how to proceed in a case.

One who primarily practices law in a courtroom is a trial lawyer; of particular importance in trial work is the ability to think quickly and speak with ease and authority.Trial lawyers actually spend more of their time outside the court; they perform their own investigations into the case in addition to other trial procedures including talking to witnesses.
The law in all its guises affects every aspect of modern society; this is why lawyers are held in high regard but they must live up to this by living and working by a strict code of ethics. Some areas of law are so highly specialized that legal representatives may never have to appear in a courtroom; although they are all licensed too represent in court when required.
Lawyers can specialize in a number of different areas of society; such as:

*Intellectual Property Rights
*Health Issues
*Civil Law
*Divorce Law,
*Identification Theft

Depending on their area of expertise, some may never see the inside of a courtroom!
Environmental law for instance employs experts who will represent private, government and individuals; a few examples are listed here:

*Construction Firms
*U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
*Large Corporations

Part of this work is dealing with land and development applications; it can also be in a defense capacity when incidents have happened that require legal representation.

A growth area for attorneys in recent years is that of intellectual property rights; an area that has increased owing to the use of digital products; music and video for example. Most large insurance providers engage the services of specialist lawyers in their legal departments; their purpose is to protect the company's interests against fraudulent claims and advise on the legal terms and conditions used in policies.

Most attorneys are found in private practice, where they concentrate on criminal or civil law; persons charged with crimes are represented by criminal lawyers on both sides one for the defense and one for the prosecution; whereas civil law deals with civil disputes, usually between two parties.
Some handle only public interest cases both civil and criminal; this can be where a large company or government body may be involved with actions that have affected the general public. Lastly, there are lawyers who work for legal-aid societies and nonprofit organizations; they help to look after the legal rights of disadvantaged and less fortunate people around the world.
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