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Lawyers, or attorneys, are some of the highest paid workers. Lawyers give people advice and tell them what they can and can't do under the law. Some lawyers work for themselves, while others work for law firms, corporations, and governments.
There are many different types of lawyers. They can prosecute accused criminals, negotiate real estate deals, advise corporations, conduct lawsuits, help arrange adoptions, work to protect the environment, or teach law. Some people hire lawyers to take their side in court against other people or companies, or against the government.
Lawyers spend a lot of time doing research. To be a good lawyer, a person must be good at finding facts in books, on computers, and in other places. For example, lawyers may interview people to get information. After doing research, lawyers make arguments to show that the people they work for should win in court.
Although many lawyers speak in court, not all lawyers do. Some lawyers specialize in drafting legal documents such as contracts and wills, which need to be very specific and well-written. Lawyers do most of their work in offices, law libraries, and courtrooms. They may sometimes meet in clients' homes or businesses. Some lawyers even meet clients in hospitals or prisons.
All lawyers need a license from the state in which they want to work. To get a license, they need to get a college degree and then go to law school for 3 years. Finally, lawyers must pass a test called the bar examination. After they start working, lawyers need to continue learning about changes in the law. In addition, lawyers often work long hours, especially during court trials.
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