“There’s a reason why lawyers are usually called counsel; that’s essentially what our job is, to counsel,” says Juan Santamaria, a Houston-based staff attorney at the nonprofit Lone Star Legal Aid, who specializes in landlord-tenant cases. “We don’t just go to court to fight and argue. Our entire job is to complete a task for our client and to give our best counsel to that client to complete that task.”
Lawyers may work for nonprofit organizations or for federal, state or local governments, but the majority work in private or corporate legal offices, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Some lawyers work as district attorneys, prosecuting criminal cases within a jurisdiction, while others work as public defenders, representing individuals who are accused of crimes and can’t afford to hire an attorney. Some lawyers work as legal advisers to universities, municipalities or corporations. Environmental lawyers may work with waste disposal companies to make sure they comply with relevant laws related to the environment, family lawyers may advise clients during child custody or adoption proceedings, and securities lawyers may advise companies that are interested in listing in the stock exchange through an initial public offering.The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 9.6% employment growth for lawyers between 2021 and 2031. In that period, an estimated 80,200 jobs should open up.