Career and Education Opportunities for Lawyers in Fresno, California
If you want to be a lawyer, the Fresno, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 85,000 people are currently employed as lawyers in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow 15% to 97,900 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for lawyers are expected to grow by about 13.0%. Lawyers generally represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions.
Lawyers earn about $63 per hour or $131,810 per year on average in California and about $53 per hour or $110,590 annually on average nationally. Earnings for lawyers are better than earnings in the general category of Representation in California and better than general Representation category earnings nationally. Lawyers work in a variety of jobs, including: foreign legal consultant, consumer advocate, and attorney general.
There are twenty-four schools of higher education in the Fresno area, including one within twenty-five miles of Fresno where you can get a degree to start your career as a lawyer. Given that the most common education level for lawyers is a Law degree, it will take about three years to learn to be a lawyer if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or about seven years if you have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Lawyer
In general, lawyers represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, and manage or advise clients on legal transactions. They also may specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.
Lawyers study Constitution and ordinances of quasi-judicial bodies to establish ramifications for cases. They also represent clients in court or before government agencies. Equally important, lawyers have to analyze the probable outcomes of cases, using knowledge of legal precedents. They are often called upon to interpret laws, rulings and regulations for individuals and businesses. They are expected to talk with colleagues with specialties in appropriate areas of legal issue to determine and verify bases for legal proceedings. Finally, lawyers advise clients concerning business transactions, claim liability, advisability of prosecuting or defending lawsuits, or legal rights and obligations.
Every day, lawyers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.
It is important for lawyers to examine legal data to establish advisability of defending or prosecuting lawsuit. They are often called upon to supervise legal assistants. They also gather evidence to formulate defense or to initiate legal actions, by such means as interviewing clients and witnesses to ascertain the facts of a case. They are sometimes expected to ready legal briefs and opinions, and file appeals in state and federal courts of appeal. Somewhat less frequently, lawyers are also expected to search for and examine public and other legal records to write opinions or establish ownership.
They also have to be able to probate wills and represent and advise executors and administrators of estates and act as agent or executor for businesses or individuals. And finally, they sometimes have to help design federal and state programs, draft and interpret laws and legislation, and establish enforcement procedures.
Like many other jobs, lawyers must have exceptional integrity and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Fresno include:
- Administrative Law Judge. Conduct hearings to decide or recommend decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters and prepare decisions. Determine penalties or the existence and the amount of liability, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims, or compromise settlements.
- Arbitrator. Facilitate negotiation and conflict resolution through dialogue. Resolve conflicts outside of the court system by mutual consent of parties involved.
- Judge. Arbitrate, advise, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May issue marriage licenses and perform wedding ceremonies.
- Legal Assistant. Assist lawyers by researching legal precedent, investigating facts, or preparing legal documents. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.
- Paralegal. Assist lawyers or judges by researching or preparing legal documents. May meet with clients or assist lawyers and judges in court.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Lawyer Training
San Joaquin College of Law - Clovis, CA
San Joaquin College of Law, 901 Fifth St, Clovis, CA 93612-1312. San Joaquin College of Law is a small college located in Clovis, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. San Joaquin College of Law has a doctor's degree program in Law which graduated forty-nine students in 2008.
Accredited Tax Advisor: This credential is for practitioners who handle sophisticated tax planning issues, including ownership of closely held businesses, qualified retirement plans and complex estates.
For more information, see the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation website.
Certified Fraud Examiner: The ACFE established and administers the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation.
For more information, see the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners website.
Board Certification in Social Security Disability: The comprehensive legal practice of counseling and representing persons with disabilities and their representatives about their rights to receive benefits from the social security administration.
For more information, see the National Board of Legal Speciality Certification website.
Licensing agency: The State Bar of California
Address: Office of Admissions, 180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-1639
Phone: (415) 538-2303
Website: The State Bar of California Office of Admissions
LOCATION INFORMATION: Fresno, California
Fresno is situated in Fresno County, California. It has a population of over 476,050, which has grown by 11.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Fresno, 94, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Fresno are valued at $156,200 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,230 new homes were constructed in Fresno, down from 2,016 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Fresno are health care, educational services, and social assistance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 22 minutes. More than 19.0% of Fresno residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.1%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Fresno is 14.8%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of Fresno residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 47.5%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Pearlygrove Baptist Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Golden Harvest Church of God in Christ are all churches located in Fresno. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Assemblies of God and the Southern Baptist Convention.
Fresno is home to the Cribari Winery and the Aspen Hall as well as Beiden Field and Woodward Park. Shopping malls in the area include Figarden Shopping Center, First And Shaw Shopping Center and Fresno Fashion Fair Shopping Center. Visitors to Fresno can choose from Bedding & Fine Furniture, Best Budget Inn and Best Value Water Tree Inn for temporary stays in the area.