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Career and Education Opportunities for Lawyers in San Francisco, California

If you want to be a lawyer, the San Francisco, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 85,000 people work as lawyers in California. This is expected to grow 15% to about 97,900 people by 2016. 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.

Income for lawyers is about $63 hourly or $131,810 annually on average in California. Nationally, their income is about $53 hourly or $110,590 per year. Incomes for lawyers are better than in the overall category of Representation in California, and better than the overall Representation category nationally. Lawyers work in a variety of jobs, including: litigation attorney, agency legal counsel, and general counselor.

There are five schools within twenty-five miles of San Francisco where you can study to be a lawyer, among eighty-six schools of higher education total in the San Francisco area. The most common level of education for lawyers is a Law degree. 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 starting with 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 San Francisco 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

John F Kennedy University - Pleasant Hill, CA

John F Kennedy University, 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523-4817. John F Kennedy University is a small university located in Pleasant Hill, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,511 students. John F Kennedy University has a post-master's certificate program in Law which graduated thirty-four students in 2008.

University of San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton St, San Francisco, CA 94117-1080. University of San Francisco is a medium sized university located in San Francisco, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,772 students and an admission rate of 64%. University of San Francisco has 3 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 227 students in 2008.
  • Advanced Legal Research/Studies, master's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Programs for Foreign Lawyers, master's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.

University of California-Berkeley - Berkeley, CA

University of California-Berkeley, , Berkeley, CA 94720. University of California-Berkeley is a large university located in Berkeley, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 35,353 students and an admission rate of 23%. University of California-Berkeley has 3 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 291 students in 2008.
  • Advanced Legal Research/Studies, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated eighty-three and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated five and five students respectively in 2008.

Golden Gate University-San Francisco - San Francisco, CA

Golden Gate University-San Francisco, 536 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-2968. Golden Gate University-San Francisco is a small university located in San Francisco, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,555 students and an admission rate of 100%. Golden Gate University-San Francisco has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 271 students in 2008.

University of California Hastings College of Law - San Francisco, CA

University of California Hastings College of Law, 200 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94102-4978. University of California Hastings College of Law is a small university located in San Francisco, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 23 students. University of California Hastings College of Law has 2 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, doctor's degree which graduated 397 students in 2008.
  • Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 17 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: San Francisco, California

San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California photo by Optigan13

San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.

San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.