Career and Education Opportunities for Lawyers in Houston, Texas
If you want to be a lawyer, the Houston, Texas area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 46,660 people are currently employed as lawyers in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow 17% to about 54,410 people employed. 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 about $52 hourly or $109,260 yearly on average in Texas and about $53 hourly or $110,590 annually on average nationally. Lawyers earn more than people working in the category of Representation generally in Texas and more than people in the Representation category nationally. Lawyers work in a variety of jobs, including: litigation attorney, real estate lawyer, and immigration lawyer.
There are eighty-one schools of higher education in the Houston area, including three within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can get a degree to start your career as a lawyer. Given that the most common education level 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 Houston 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
South Texas College of Law - Houston, TX
South Texas College of Law, 1303 San Jacinto St, Houston, TX 77002-7000. South Texas College of Law is a small college located in Houston, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,267 students. South Texas College of Law has a professional degree program in Law which graduated 342 students in 2008.
University of Houston - Houston, TX
University of Houston, 212 E. Cullen Building, Houston, TX 77204-2018. University of Houston is a large university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,080 students and an admission rate of 79%. University of Houston has 6 areas of study related to Lawyer. They are:
- Law, professional degree which graduated 331 students in 2008.
- Banking, Corporate, Finance, & Securities Law, master's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
- Energy, Environment, & Natural Resources Law, master's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
- Health Law, master's degree which graduated 8 students in 2008.
- International Business, Trade, & Tax Law, master's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
- Tax Law/Taxation, master's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
Texas Southern University - Houston, TX
Texas Southern University, 3100 Cleburne St, Houston, TX 77004. Texas Southern University is a medium sized university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,062 students and an admission rate of 99%. Texas Southern University has a doctor's degree program in Law which graduated 181 students in 2008.
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: Houston, Texas
Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.