The practice of law includes two broad divisions, criminal and civil law. A criminal lawyer either prosecutes or defends individuals accused of violating laws. A civil lawyer represents clients in disputes between two or more parties; such disputes may concern contracts, personal injuries or property damage. The party who files the suit is the plaintiff, and the party who is being sued is the defendant, but civil lawyers represent both sides in any civil action.
Topics in Civil Law
According to the Missouri Bar Association, topics dealt with in the practice of civil law include agricultural law, animal law, business law, consumer law, employment law, entertainment law, family law, intentional torts that include defamation of character, slander, libel, battery and assault, negligence and sports law.
A Generic Job Description
Resume Objective, an informational website, offers a sample job description for a civil lawyer working for a law firm. According to the job description, the primary obligation of a civil lawyer is to conduct lawsuits for the purpose of earning income for the company.
The civil lawyer's cases can involve any or all of the topics described, depending on the size of the firm and her legal specializations and experiences. The civil lawyer must be prepared by education and experience to handle such cases adroitly.
Curbing the Impulse to Criminality
According to Resume Objective, civil lawyers should have an interest in criminal psychology and use it to develop measures that will keep potential criminals in check.
Civil lawyers also supervise and mentor the work of junior attorneys on their cases. They must oversee the creation and care of legal documents and portfolios connected to the cases they handle. The civil lawyer must also handle legal-related business dealings on behalf of his firm.
As in all professions, the specific qualifications that the partners of a law firm look for in a newly hired civil attorney depend somewhat on the qualifications, experience and abilities of the lawyers already working for the firm. Thus a firm might advertise for a civil lawyer with a certain amount of experience in trying personal injury cases, or someone who has verifiable abilities in handling complicated financial data generated by the clients she will represent.
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