What Does an Attorney Do?

An attorney (or “attorney-at-law”) is someone who has passed the bar exam and can legally represent clients in court or take part in other legal proceedings. They also provide advice on legal issues that do not require court action.

An attorney may work for a law firm, as an in-house lawyer for a company or as a government advisor. They are typically paid by an hourly fee or a flat rate for their services.


Litigation is the legal process of resolving rights-based disputes through the court system. It includes everything from drafting and filing a complaint, to arguments on legal motions, a discovery phase where attorneys exchange formal information, and a trial in front of a judge or jury.

A litigation attorney will work for either plaintiffs or defendants in a case. For example, in a lawsuit that begins with a plaintiff bringing claims against a company, the litigation attorney will draft and file a summons and complaint and obtain personal jurisdiction over the defendant through service of process. They will then collaborate with their clients to formulate responses to the accusations in the complaint, including affirmative defenses and counterclaims.

Although many cases do end up settling out of court, litigators are still prepared to take their clients’ cases all the way through a trial, should that become necessary. This often involves preparing witnesses, examining evidence and taking depositions.

Client Relationships

Client relationships are the connection and trust a lawyer or business develops with its customers. This includes welcoming feedback and providing customer service that is efficient, effective, and respectful. Clients are more likely to return and recommend your services if they feel like you care about them.

Clients often trust their attorneys with the most consequential problems, whether it’s a fight to retain their freedom or protecting family members from financial ruin. Even less serious cases require a substantial financial and emotional investment from clients.

Maintaining fully transparent communications throughout a case is critical to keeping your clients happy. This includes being honest if you’re not sure you can answer a question or that something is outside of your area of expertise. It’s also important to set expectations for how quickly you respond to client inquiries from the start of the relationship.

Legal Research

Legal research is the process of identifying and retrieving law-related information. Lawyers use this information to support their judicial decision-making. This involves analyzing factual material, determining legal issues and finding applicable legal provisions to a particular set of facts.

The type of law you research depends on your client’s case and the legal issue at hand. For example, if your client has a child custody issue, you will need to research family laws and related cases.

Online legal research tools are available to help you find the law you need for your cases. These tools often include features such as natural language search, citator and citation management, AI legal support and email alerts of new statutes or cases. There are a wide variety of options to choose from, but many attorneys struggle to identify the right tool for their needs. They may feel overwhelmed by sales pressure or frustrated with multi-year contracts and expensive add-on features.Anwalt