Sid, an international trade lawyer for 20 years, describes her work representing corporations and making sure that they comply with federal laws. A duel Canadian-American citizen, she always knew this was what she wanted to practice.
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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