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Career and Education Opportunities for Lawyers in Columbia, Maryland

If you want to be a lawyer, the Columbia, Maryland area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 13,590 working lawyers in Maryland; this should grow 12% to about 15,250 working lawyers in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for lawyers, which sees this job pool growing by about 13.0% over the next eight years. 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 approximately $53 hourly or $111,400 annually on average in Maryland. Nationally they average about $53 hourly or $110,590 annually. Lawyers earn more than people working in the category of Representation generally in Maryland and more than people in the Representation category nationally. Jobs in this field include: assistant prosecutor, trial lawyer, and rating board specialist.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including eleven within twenty-five miles of Columbia 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 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 Columbia 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

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has 3 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 154 students in 2008.
  • Banking, Corporate, Finance, & Securities Law, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has 2 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Legal Research & Advanced Professional Studies, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree.
  • Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties, associate's degree.

Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Georgetown University, 37th and O St NW, Washington, DC 20057. Georgetown University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,318 students and an admission rate of 19%. Georgetown University has 2 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 645 students in 2008.
  • Legal Research & Advanced Professional Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated 352 and four students respectively in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia David A Clarke School of Law - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia David A Clarke School of Law, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia David A Clarke School of Law is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 251 students. University of the District of Columbia David A Clarke School of Law has a professional degree program in Law which graduated sixty-eight students in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has 5 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 529 students in 2008.
  • Advanced Legal Research/Studies, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated thirty-six and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Energy, Environment, & Natural Resources Law, master's degree which graduated 20 students in 2008.
  • International Law & Legal Studies, master's degree which graduated 40 students in 2008.
  • Legal Research & Advanced Professional Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated eighty-one and one students respectively in 2008.

Stevenson University - Stevenson, MD

Stevenson University, 1525 Greenspring Valley Rd, Stevenson, MD 21153-0641. Stevenson University is a small university located in Stevenson, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,435 students and an admission rate of 62%. Stevenson University has a master's degree program in Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties which graduated fifty-one students in 2008.

University of Baltimore - Baltimore, MD

University of Baltimore, Charles at Mount Royal, Baltimore, MD 21201-208. University of Baltimore is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,844 students and an admission rate of 50%. University of Baltimore has 3 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 292 students in 2008.
  • Tax Law/Taxation, master's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated nineteen and thirty-three students respectively in 2008.

Catholic University of America - Washington, DC

Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20064. Catholic University of America is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,705 students and an admission rate of 81%. Catholic University of America has 3 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 272 students in 2008.
  • Advanced Legal Research/Studies, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Programs for Foreign Lawyers, master's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.

American University - Washington, DC

American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001. American University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,684 students and an admission rate of 53%. American University has 3 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, doctor's degree which graduated 475 students in 2008.
  • American/US Law/Legal Studies/Jurisprudence, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated five, sixty, and four students respectively in 2008.
  • International Law & Legal Studies, master's degree which graduated 98 students in 2008.

George Mason University - Fairfax, VA

George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has 3 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 216 students in 2008.
  • Legal Research & Advanced Professional Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.

University of Maryland-Baltimore - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore, 520 West Lombard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1627. University of Maryland-Baltimore is a medium sized university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 6,156 students. University of Maryland-Baltimore has 2 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:

  • Law, professional degree which graduated 268 students in 2008.
  • Legal Research & Advanced Professional Studies, Other Specialties, professional certificate.

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

ATTORNEY (LAWYER)

Licensing agency: State Board of Law Examiners
Address: 251 Rowe Boulevard, 3rd floor, Annapolis, MD 21401

Phone: (410) 260-1975
Website: State Board of Law Examiners

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.