Career and Education Opportunities for Lawyers in Dallas, Texas
Lawyers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Dallas, Texas area. There are currently 46,660 working lawyers in Texas; this should grow by 17% to 54,410 working lawyers in the state 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.
Lawyers earn approximately $52 per hour or $109,260 per year on average in Texas. Nationally they average about $53 per hour or $110,590 per year. Earnings for lawyers are better than earnings in the general category of Representation in Texas and better than general Representation category earnings nationally. Lawyers work in a variety of jobs, including: criminal defense lawyer, assistant attorney general, and attorney general.
There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Dallas area, including two within twenty-five miles of Dallas where you can get a degree to start your career 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
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 Dallas 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
Southern Methodist University - Dallas, TX
Southern Methodist University, 6425 Boaz St, Dallas, TX 75275-0221. Southern Methodist University is a large university located in Dallas, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,965 students and an admission rate of 50%. Southern Methodist University has 4 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:
- Law, professional degree which graduated 291 students in 2008.
- Programs for Foreign Lawyers, master's degree which graduated 35 students in 2008.
- American/US Law/Legal Studies/Jurisprudence, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.
- Tax Law/Taxation, master's degree which graduated 12 students in 2008.
Arlington Career Institute - Grand Prairie, TX
Arlington Career Institute, 901 Ave K, Grand Prairie, TX 75050. Arlington Career Institute is a small school located in Grand Prairie, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs and has 270 students. Arlington Career Institute has a one to two year program in Legal Professions and Studies, Other Specialties.
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: Board of Law Examiners
Address: PO Box 13486, Austin, TX 78711-3486
Phone: (512) 463-1621
Website: Board of Law Examiners
LOCATION INFORMATION: Dallas, Texas
Dallas is situated in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 1,279,910, which has grown by 7.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Dallas, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Dallas cost $295,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, 1,198 new homes were constructed in Dallas, down from 2,090 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Dallas are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.7% of Dallas residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.6%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Dallas is 8.7%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Dallas residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Samaritano Methodist Church, Penuel Seventh Day Adventist Church and Peoples Baptist Church are all churches located in Dallas. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Dallas is home to the Camp Wisdom and the North Bishop Avenue Commercial Historic District as well as Trinity River Greenbelt Park and Buckner Park. Shopping centers in the area include Wynnewood Village Shopping Center, Valley View Center Shopping Center and Galleria Shopping Center at Dallas. Visitors to Dallas can choose from Benjamin West Dallas LLC, Bucks Bar and Candlewood Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.