Maisha, a staff attorney at a nonprofit organization, spends her typical day doing community outreach, answering emails and phone calls, and working with her clients. She feel in love with the idea of becoming an attorney in middle school and followed through with it, becoming a licensed attorney after passing the bar exam. She tells us that she has met many attorneys in nonprofit work who do the work because of passion in their hearts and not because of the money that they get paid.
Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, or government agencies on legal issues or disputes. Lawyers, also called attorneys, act as both advocates and advisors. As advocates, they represent one of the parties in criminal and civil trials by presenting evidence and arguing in court to support their client. As advisors, lawyers counsel their clients about their legal rights and obligations and suggest courses of action in business and personal matters. All attorneys research the intent of laws and judicial decisions and apply the laws to the specific circumstances that their clients face.
Becoming licensed as a lawyer is called being "admitted to the bar" and licensing exams are called "bar exams."
To practice law in any state, a person must be admitted to its bar under rules established by the jurisdiction’s highest court. The requirements vary by individual states and jurisdictions.
Most states require that applicants graduate from an ABA-accredited law school, pass one or more written bar exams, and be found by an admitting board to have the character to represent and advise others. Lawyers who want to practice in more than one state must often take separate bar exams in each state.
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