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Career and Education Opportunities for Lawyers in Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for lawyers. There are currently 85,000 working lawyers in California; this should grow by 15% to about 97,900 working lawyers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for lawyers are expected to grow by about 13.0%. 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.

Lawyers earn about $63 hourly or $131,810 annually on average in California and about $53 hourly or $110,590 yearly on average nationally. Incomes for lawyers are better than in the overall category of Representation in California, and better than the overall Representation category nationally. People working as lawyers can fill a number of jobs, such as: immigration attorney, criminal justice lawyer, and tariff counsel.

There are 274 schools of higher education in the Los Angeles area, including twelve within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can get a degree to start your career as a lawyer. Lawyers usually hold a Law degree, so you can expect to spend about three years studying 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

Lawyer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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 Los Angeles 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

Southwestern Law School - Los Angeles, CA

Southwestern Law School, 3050 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90010-1106. Southwestern Law School is a small school located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,044 students. Southwestern Law School has 2 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree and professional certificate which graduated 282 and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.

Whittier College - Whittier, CA

Whittier College, 13406 E Philadelphia Street, Whittier, CA 90601. Whittier College is a small college located in Whittier, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,895 students and an admission rate of 72%. Whittier College has 2 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 163 students in 2008.
  • Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.

University of California-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

University of California-Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405. University of California-Los Angeles is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,782 students and an admission rate of 24%. University of California-Los Angeles has 2 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 341 students in 2008.
  • Programs for Foreign Lawyers, master's degree which graduated 46 students in 2008.

Kaplan College - Panorama City, CA

Kaplan College, 14355 Roscoe Blvd, Panorama City, CA 91402-4222. Kaplan College is a small college located in Panorama City, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 260 students. Kaplan College has a less than one year program in Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties which graduated forty-seven students in 2008.

Chapman University - Orange, CA

Chapman University, One University Dr., Orange, CA 92866. Chapman University is a medium sized university located in Orange, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,131 students and an admission rate of 50%. Chapman University has 2 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 182 students in 2008.
  • Tax Law/Taxation, master's degree which graduated 13 students in 2008.

Western State University-College of Law-Argosy - Fullerton, CA

Western State University-College of Law-Argosy, 1111 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92831-3014. Western State University-College of Law-Argosy is a small university located in Fullerton, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 390 students. Western State University-College of Law-Argosy has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 108 students in 2008.

University of La Verne - La Verne, CA

University of La Verne, 1950 Third St, La Verne, CA 91750-4401. University of La Verne is a medium sized university located in La Verne, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,331 students and an admission rate of 65%. University of La Verne has a professional degree program in Law which graduated seventy-eight students in 2008.

Kensington College - Santa Ana, CA

Kensington College, 2428 N Grand Ave Ste D, Santa Ana, CA 92705-8708. Kensington College is a small college located in Santa Ana, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 16 students. Kensington College has a less than one year program in Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties.

Trinity Law and Graduate School - Santa Ana, CA

Trinity Law and Graduate School, 2200 N Grand Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92705. Trinity Law and Graduate School is a small school located in Santa Ana, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 137 students. Trinity Law and Graduate School has a professional degree program in Law which graduated fifty students in 2008.

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA

University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089. University of Southern California is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 33,747 students and an admission rate of 22%. University of Southern California has 3 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 207 students in 2008.
  • Programs for Foreign Lawyers, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated zero and eighty-five students respectively in 2008.
  • Comparative Law, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Loyola Marymount University - Los Angeles, CA

Loyola Marymount University, One Lmu Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045-2659. Loyola Marymount University is a medium sized university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,011 students and an admission rate of 50%. Loyola Marymount University has 3 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 403 students in 2008.
  • International Law & Legal Studies, professional certificate which graduated 17 students in 2008.
  • Tax Law/Taxation, professional certificate which graduated 18 students in 2008.

Pepperdine University - Malibu, CA

Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90263. Pepperdine University is a medium sized university located in Malibu, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,170 students and an admission rate of 35%. Pepperdine University has 2 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 211 students in 2008.
  • Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 49 students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LICENSES

Lawyer

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: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.