A lawyer or attorney is someone who practices law in his profession, as a legal practitioner, lawyer in law, civil lawyer, criminal lawyer, court reporter, municipal judge, probate court judge, executive officer, prosecutor, judge, or court clerk. A person with the said name has undertaken the practice of law and is licensed or authorized to practice law. A lawyer may be a civil or criminal lawyer.
The attorneys engaged by a client in a particular case to undertake legal action on his behalf. They give legal advice and act as advocates on his behalf in a court of law. This profession of attorneys is prevalent in the United States, where there are lots of attorneys to be found. There are also several accredited colleges that offer training in this field.
Attorneys can be categorized as civil or criminal attorneys. Civil lawyers defend people from prosecution for acts committed in the course of their legal duties. Criminal attorneys, on the other hand, prosecute a person for criminal acts. Criminal cases involve only those crimes that are punishable by a prison term. Some common law jurisdictions include felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions such as possession of illegal drugs, fraudulent billing, and drunk driving. Ordinary misdemeanors or minor crimes are tried as adult criminal cases.
Civil lawyers also help their clients give legal advice regarding matters such as personal injury litigation, professional negligence, contract disputes, and self-representation. When attorneys practice law, they give legal advice to their clients concerning matters such as divorce, adoption, property settlement, and wrongful termination. When lawyers give legal advice, they may also give referrals to attorneys or law firms who specialize in the particular fields. There are also times when they represent their clients in criminal cases.
In the United States, attorneys are required to take and pass the bar examination. This is an examination that all lawyers must pass before becoming admitted to practice law in a state. Once licensed, attorneys are required to take continuing education courses on a regular basis in order to keep abreast of changes in the law. Many attorneys choose to continue their education by participating in online bar examinations.
The role of attorneys is important in America. Without attorneys, the American legal system would not operate the way it does today. Bar associations play an integral part in ensuring that attorneys meet high ethical standards. Once attorneys pass the bar exam and are admitted to practice law, they are entitled to receive a standard wage and benefits including medical insurance.