Career and Education Opportunities for Lawyers in San Diego, California
Lawyer career and educational opportunities abound in San Diego, California. About 85,000 people are currently employed as lawyers in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 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%. 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.
The income of a lawyer is about $63 hourly or $131,810 annually on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $53 hourly or $110,590 annually on average. Earnings for lawyers are better than earnings in the general category of Representation in California and better than general Representation category earnings nationally. People working as lawyers can fill a number of jobs, such as: solicitor, corporation counsel, and criminal defense lawyer.
The San Diego area is home to sixty schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of San Diego where you can get a degree as a lawyer. The most common level of education 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 San Diego 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
Thomas Jefferson School of Law - San Diego, CA
Thomas Jefferson School of Law, 2121 San Diego Ave, San Diego, CA 92110. Thomas Jefferson School of Law is a small school located in San Diego, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 797 students. Thomas Jefferson School of Law has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 221 students in 2008.
University of San Diego - San Diego, CA
University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110-2492. University of San Diego is a medium sized university located in San Diego, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,832 students and an admission rate of 52%. University of San Diego has 6 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:
- Law, doctor's degree which graduated 324 students in 2008.
- Advanced Legal Research/Studies, master's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
- Banking, Corporate, Finance, & Securities Law, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
- Comparative Law, master's degree which graduated 28 students in 2008.
- International Law & Legal Studies, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
- Tax Law/Taxation, master's degree which graduated 37 students in 2008.
National University - La Jolla, CA
National University, 11255 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037-1011. National University is a large university located in La Jolla, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 26,414 students. National University has a bachelor's degree program in Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties which graduated five students in 2008.
California Western School of Law - San Diego, CA
California Western School of Law, 225 Cedar St, San Diego, CA 92101-3046. California Western School of Law is a small school located in San Diego, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 946 students. California Western School of Law has 3 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:
- Law, professional degree which graduated 255 students in 2008.
- Programs for Foreign Lawyers, master's degree which graduated 16 students in 2008.
- American/US Law/Legal Studies/Jurisprudence, master's degree which graduated 8 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: San Diego, California
San Diego is situated in San Diego County, California. It has a population of over 1,279,329, which has grown by 4.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Diego, 141, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Diego are valued at $323,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-one new homes were constructed in San Diego, down from seven hundred forty-eight the previous year.
The three big industries for women in San Diego are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 35.0% of San Diego residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in San Diego is 10.5%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of San Diego residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Penasquitos Nazarene Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Paul E Kidd African Methodist Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in San Diego. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.
San Diego is home to the Zlac Rowing Club and the Rancho Los Penasquitos Golf Course as well as Adobe Bluffs Park and John F Kennedy Park. Shopping malls in the area include San Diego Factory Outlet Shopping Center, San Carlos Shopping Center and Montgomery Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to San Diego can choose from Best Western Posada at the Yac, Beachfront San Diego and Banana Bungalow Hostel San Diego for temporary stays in the area.