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The Work of Lawyers

The work of an attorney has a heavily academic orientation. While law practice is diverse, there are some core tasks to being an attorney which include: drafting documents; reading cases; analyzing legal and policy issues; performing statutory and case research; synthesizing large amounts of material into a coherent whole; communicating effectively in speech and writing; advising clients; and advocating and effectively negotiating on a client's behalf based on situations circumscribed by the law.

Lawyers work in a variety of practice areas and environments. Many lawyers develop expertise in a specialized area of law such as corporate and securities law, criminal law, environmental law, family law, health law, intellectual property law, international law, or tax law. Furthermore, the orientation of legal practice can generally vary between transactional, planning, and litigation work within these fields.

Choosing a specialization does not necessarily determine the type of environment in which you will work. For example, you can practice tax law on your own, in a large firm, in corporate headquarters, a government agency, or through a non-profit service organization.

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