Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes.
The majority of lawyers work in private and corporate legal offices. Some work for federal, local, and state governments. The majority work full time, and many work more than 40 hours a week.
How to Become a Lawyer
All lawyers must have a law degree and must also typically pass a state’s written bar examination.
Employment of lawyers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Competition for jobs should continue to be strong because more students graduate from law school each year than there are jobs available.
This occupation supported 759,800 jobs in 2012 and 778,700 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 2.5%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 9.9% in 2022 to 834,700 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 774,700, compared with an observed value of 778,700, 0.5% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are about on track with the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 5.8% in 2024 to 822,500 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 849,600 jobs for 2024, 3.3% higher than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are worse than the 2012 trend within this occupation.