Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Lawyers in Chicago, Illinois

If you want to be a lawyer, the Chicago, Illinois area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 33,810 people work as lawyers in Illinois. This is expected to grow by 13% to about 38,080 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%. 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 $60 hourly or $125,690 per year on average in Illinois and about $53 per hour or $110,590 per year on average nationally. Lawyers earn more than people working in the category of Representation generally in Illinois and more than people in the Representation category nationally. People working as lawyers can fill a number of jobs, such as: rating board specialist, real estate lawyer, and law writer.

There are six schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be a lawyer, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Given that the most common education level 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 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 Chicago 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

The John Marshall Law School - Chicago, IL

The John Marshall Law School, 315 S Plymouth Ct, Chicago, IL 60604. The John Marshall Law School is a small school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,585 students. The John Marshall Law School has 3 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 419 students in 2008.
  • American/US Law/Legal Studies/Jurisprudence, professional certificate which graduated 92 students in 2008.
  • Legal Research & Advanced Professional Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.

DePaul University - Chicago, IL

DePaul University, 55 E Jackson, Chicago, IL 60604. DePaul University is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 22,554 students. DePaul University has 4 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 307 students in 2008.
  • Health Law, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Tax Law/Taxation, master's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Legal Research & Advanced Professional Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.

University of Chicago - Chicago, IL

University of Chicago, 5801 S Ellis Ave, Chicago, IL 60637. University of Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,620 students and an admission rate of 28%. University of Chicago has 3 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 211 students in 2008.
  • Advanced Legal Research/Studies, doctor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Legal Research & Advanced Professional Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 53 students in 2008.

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208. Northwestern University is a large university located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,128 students and an admission rate of 27%. Northwestern University has 6 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 272 students in 2008.
  • Advanced Legal Research/Studies, doctor's degree.
  • Programs for Foreign Lawyers, master's degree.
  • Tax Law/Taxation, master's degree.
  • Legal Research & Advanced Professional Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 34 students in 2008.
  • Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree.

Illinois Institute of Technology - Chicago, IL

Illinois Institute of Technology, 3300 S Federal St, Chicago, IL 60616. Illinois Institute of Technology is a medium sized school located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,404 students and an admission rate of 57%. Illinois Institute of Technology has 6 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 316 students in 2008.
  • Programs for Foreign Lawyers, master's degree which graduated 59 students in 2008.
  • American/US Law/Legal Studies/Jurisprudence, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Banking, Corporate, Finance, & Securities Law, master's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
  • Tax Law/Taxation, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Legal Research & Advanced Professional Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree.

Loyola University Chicago - Chicago, IL

Loyola University Chicago, 820 N. Michigan, Chicago, IL 60611-9810. Loyola University Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,670 students and an admission rate of 74%. Loyola University Chicago has 5 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 230 students in 2008.
  • Banking, Corporate, Finance, & Securities Law, master's degree.
  • Health Law, master's degree and doctor's degree.
  • Tax Law/Taxation, master's degree.
  • Legal Research & Advanced Professional Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree and doctor's degree.

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 (ATTORNEY-AT-LAW)

Licensing agency: Illinois Supreme Court
Address: Supreme Court Building, Springfield, IL 62706

Phone: (217) 782-2035
Website: Illinois Supreme Court

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.