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Career and Education Opportunities for Lawyers in Santa Clara, California

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for lawyers in the Santa Clara, California area. 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.

The income of a lawyer is about $63 per hour or $131,810 annually on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $53 hourly or $110,590 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Representation, people working as lawyers in California earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Representation nationally. Jobs in this field include: immigration lawyer, corporation counsel, and patent attorney.

The Santa Clara area is home to thirty-five schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Santa Clara where you can get a degree 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 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 Santa Clara 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

Stanford University - Stanford, CA

Stanford University, , Stanford, CA 94305. Stanford University is a large university located in Stanford, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 19,782 students and an admission rate of 9%. Stanford University has 2 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 178 students in 2008.
  • Advanced Legal Research/Studies, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and forty-four students respectively in 2008.

Santa Clara University - Santa Clara, CA

Santa Clara University, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053. Santa Clara University is a medium sized university located in Santa Clara, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,987 students and an admission rate of 61%. Santa Clara University has 4 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 297 students in 2008.
  • Programs for Foreign Lawyers, master's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • International Law & Legal Studies, master's degree.
  • Legal Research & Advanced Professional Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 5 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: Santa Clara, California

Santa Clara, California
Santa Clara, California photo by Coolcaesar

Santa Clara is located in Santa Clara County, California. It has a population of over 110,200, which has grown by 7.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Santa Clara, 158, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Santa Clara cost $196,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were constructed in Santa Clara, down from eighty-five the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Santa Clara are computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is computer and electronic products, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 42.4% of Santa Clara residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.6%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Santa Clara is 10.9%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Santa Clara residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.2%, is less than both the national and state average. Peace Lutheran Church, Good News Community Church and Universal Church of the Master are some of the churches located in Santa Clara. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Muslim Estimate.

Santa Clara is home to the Santa Clara Unified School District Office and the Santa Clara Municipal Golf Course as well as Westwood Acres Park and Washington Park. Shopping centers in the area include Moonlite Shopping Center, Fairway Glen Shopping Center and Youth Shopping Center.