They will also spend time in court meeting with other attorneys for routine processes. These include arguing motions, selecting jurors for jury trials, and scheduling. Because trials are expensive, many cases, both criminal and civil, never even make it to the courtroom; the case is often settled out of court instead.
Trial Lawyer Education Requirements
Trial lawyers, like any attorneys, will need an education that includes an appropriate bachelors degree, taking an LSAT test to enter law school, completing law school, and passing a bar exam. Each state may have varying requirements for their state bar. It’s a good idea to consider each state’s requirements when selecting a school.
For the most part, all students will take similar courses of study for law.
Coursework in the core areas of law will include topics in:
Ethics and Lawyers
Civil and criminal procedures
The law is fluid and dynamic. New laws take the place of old and precedents change. The educational requirements for the trial lawyer will be a lifetime pursuit if they want to stay current and relevant.
Pick from the links below, depending on your education level that best describes your situation
Pre-law Undergraduate Programs
Online and Campus Law and Legal Studies Programs
ABA Accredited Law Schools — Juris Doctor (JD) Degree
Skills for the Trial Lawyer
The trial lawyer first and foremost must be well versed in the law. They also must stay current on changes in the law throughout their career. They need to be extremely detail oriented as well. Trials are complicated and filled with a myriad of facts and issues. The skilled trial lawyer will be able to spot small issues that could make or break a case.
The trial lawyer’s personality will also need to fit the demands of the job. While they need to be shrewd and cunning negotiators, they also need to be personable, persuasive, and get along well with others. They will have to posses a certain finesse that allows for confrontation and assertiveness while maintaining an open line of communication.
Trial lawyers must excel in communication skills as well—both verbal and written. They will spend a great deal of time either writing, or speaking with others in connection with the trial. This style of communication needs to be artfully persuasive and legally accurate.
Salary and Career Outlook for Trial Lawyers
Indeed places the average trial lawyer salary at $66,000 per year. Assistant or junior attorneys may be under $60,000 while senior positions can pay well over six figures, depending on the employer. Private attorneys often make more than public defenders, for instance.
As a professional group, the job outlook for lawyers is average. In the next decade, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows a ten percent increase for all attorneys. The trial lawyer job outlook is also relatively stable compared to other corporate professions.