Access for Individuals
with Disabilities

Ask the Court
Directions and Maps
Hours of Operations/
Holidays
Court Ethics
Press Releases
Who's Who
History, Statistics,
Attractions
Court Etiquette
Court Telephone
Directory
Selected Links
Job Opportunities
What the Court
Can Do for You
Limited English
Proficiency Plan
Notices
Lawyer

What Does A Lawyer Do?

Lawyers operate in a wide variety of capacities such as providing legal counsel to governments, corporations and to individuals in a wide variety of situations. In a courtroom, however, the lawyer’s role is narrowed to a more specific purpose.

Generally, there are two sides in a courtroom proceeding. One side, called the plaintiff, who is seeking a remedy for an injury or to a violation of rights. The plaintiff is also called the complainant. A plaintiff can be government, a corporation, a group of people or a single individual.

The other side is the defendant, who is accused of causing an injury or of violating the plaintiff’s rights. The defendant is also called the respondent.

A plaintiff’s lawyer, who is also called an attorney, works for the plaintiff and explains to a judge what happened between the plaintiff and the defendant and why it happened. The attorney for the plaintiff wants the judge to find that what happened was not legal and that something should be done to fix it.

A defendant’s attorney, who works for the defendant, also explains to the judge what happened between the plaintiff and the defendant and why it happened. The attorney for the defendant wants the judge to find that what happened was legal. The defendant can be government, a corporation, a group of people or a single individual.

How Does Someone Become A Lawyer?

The requirements for becoming a lawyer include:

  • Earning a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college and completing a law school program, and
  • Passing a statewide examination called the bar.