Associate attorneys at law firms are responsible for completing legal tasks for their firm. They conduct research for current legal cases, attend court proceedings, and provide accurate analysis and advice on future legal actions. In addition, they complete and deliver crucial documents to courts as needed. Associate attorneys provide legal advice to their clients, and thus must respect confidentiality agreements. They also negotiate on behalf on their firm with jury selection, and they may also argue cases in court.
Additionally, associate attorneys also assist other attorneys with complex or high-profile cases.
Associate attorneys should be familiar with many research techniques to locate information relevant to cases in their area of responsibility. They must also have the ability to interpret current laws and rulings, as well as advanced knowledge of court decisions and local, state, and federal law. They must have strong writing abilities, as one of their main responsibilities includes creating briefs used in court.
These attorneys work in an office setting, and one of their main tools is a personal computer to keep key files and conduct research. They report to more senior partners in the law firm.
A law degree and licensure to work in their state is needed for this position. Previous years of experience in another law firm may be preferred.
Associate Attorney (Law Firm) Tasks
- Gather evidence to formulate defense or to initiate legal actions; evaluate findings and develop strategies and arguments for presentation of cases.
- Analyze and interpret laws, rulings and regulations with probable case outcomes for individuals and businesses.
- Represent clients in court or before government agencies, present and summarize cases to judges and juries.
- Advise clients in business transactions, claim liablility, advisability of prosecuting or defending lawsuits or legal rights and obligations.
- Select jurors, argue motions, meet with judges and question witnesses during the course of a trial.