LAWYERS AND LAW FIRMS
A lawyer, according to Black’s Law Dictionary, is “a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person who is licensed to practice law.” Law is the system of rules and regulations established by the sovereign government of a society to correct wrongs, maintain stability, and to give justice. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of legal theories and knowledge to solve specific problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.
Oral argument in the courts
Arguing a client’s case before a jury in a court of law is the traditional province of the barrister in England. In united kingdom today, the barrister monopoly covers only appellate courts, and barristers must compete directly with solicitors in many trial courts. In countries like the United States that have fused legal professions, there are trial lawyers who specialize in trying cases in court.
Client intake and counseling (with regard to pending litigation)
An important factor of a lawyer’s job is to develop and manage relationships with clients (or the client’s employees, if the lawyer works in-house for a government or corporation). The client-lawyer relationship often begins with an intake interview where the lawyer gets to know his client, discovers the facts of the client’s case, clarifies what the client wants to accomplish, shapes the client’s expectations as to what actually can be accomplished, begins to develop various claims or defenses, and explains his or her fees to the client.
Legal advice is the application of abstract principles of law to the concrete facts of the client’s case in order to advise the client about what they should do next and how he will be at ease. In many of the countries, only a properly licensed lawyer may provide legal advice to clients.
A law firm is a business formed by one or more than one lawyer to engage in the practice of law. The primary service provided by a law firm is to advise clients about their legal rights and responsibilities, and to represent their clients in civil or criminal cases, business transactions and other matters in which legal assistance is required.
The smaller law firms tend to focus on particular specialties of the law e.g. patent law, labor law, tax law, criminal defense, personal injury and the larger firms may be composed of several specialized practice groups, allowing the firm to diversify their client base and market, and to offer a variety of other services to their clients. Law firms are organized in a many different ways, depending on the jurisdiction in which the firm practices.
In some countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, the rule is that only lawyers may have an ownership interest in, or be managers of, a law firm. Because of this reason, law firms cannot quickly raise capital through initial public offerings on the stock market, like most other corporations. In the United States, this rule is promulgated by the American Bar Association and adhered to in almost all U.S. jurisdictions.
Large law firms usually have separate litigation and transactional departments. The transactional department advises clients and handles legal work, such as drafting contracts, handling necessary legal applications and filings, and evaluating and ensuring compliance with the relevant law; while the litigation department represents clients in court and handle necessary matters (such as discovery and motions filed with the court) throughout the process of litigation.