Job Search

Lawyer vs. Teacher: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

Lawyers and teachers are both important professions that contribute to society. They share some similarities, but there are also many differences between the two. If you’re interested in working in either field, learning more about each profession can help you make a decision. In this article, we compare and contrast lawyers and teachers, and we provide information on what you may expect from each profession.

What is a Lawyer?

A lawyer is a professional who practices law. They represent clients in court, provide legal advice and draft legal documents. Lawyers can specialize in a particular area of law, such as criminal law, family law, business law or intellectual property law. Lawyers typically work in private law firms, but they can also work for corporations, non-profit organizations or the government. Lawyers must have a law degree and pass a state bar exam to be licensed to practice law.

What is a Teacher?

Teachers typically work in schools and classrooms, where they instruct students in a particular subject area. They develop lesson plans, deliver lectures, lead discussions, assign and grade classwork and homework, and provide other support to students. Teachers also work with students one-on-one or in small groups to help them understand material and complete assignments. They also develop and implement special education programs for students with learning disabilities or other needs. Outside of the classroom, Teachers may also be responsible for meeting with parents, developing curriculum, attending professional development workshops, and performing other administrative tasks.

Lawyer vs. Teacher

Here are the main differences between a lawyer and a teacher.

Job Duties

Lawyers and teachers share some job duties, like preparing lesson plans, instructing students and evaluating performance. However, the daily tasks involved in teaching and lawyering differ because of the different ages and developmental stages of their respective student and client groups. For example, while a lawyer might meet one-on-one with an adult client to discuss strategy, a teacher might hold one-on-one or small group meetings with students to help them understand material on which they’re struggling.

In addition to these professional differences, there are also important personal differences between clients and students that affect the way lawyers and teachers approach their work. For example, while a lawyer might schedule regular office hours during which they can meet with multiple clients at once, a teacher typically has only one class of students at a time and meets with them as needed. A lawyer may also have more control over when and where they perform their duties, while many teachers must adhere to strict classroom scheduling rules.

Job Requirements

To become a lawyer, you need to earn a Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school and pass your state’s bar exam. Once you have passed the bar, you will be able to practice law in that state. Some states also require lawyers to complete continuing legal education credits on a regular basis to stay up-to-date on changes in the law.

To become a teacher, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree in education or a related field. You will also need to complete a teacher preparation program and student teaching internship. Once you have completed these requirements, you will need to obtain a teaching license from your state.

Work Environment

Lawyers and teachers work in different environments. Lawyers typically work in an office setting, where they can focus on their clients’ cases. They may also travel to meet with clients or attend court hearings. Teachers spend most of their time working with students in a classroom environment. However, some teachers may have additional responsibilities outside the classroom, such as coaching sports teams or leading extracurricular activities.


There are several similarities between lawyers and teachers in terms of the specific skills they use on the job. Both professions require excellent communication skills, as they need to be able to explain complex concepts clearly and concisely. They also both need strong research skills to be able to find relevant information quickly and efficiently. Additionally, both lawyers and teachers need to have good organizational skills to keep track of multiple cases or students simultaneously.

However, there are also some key differences between the specific skills used by lawyers and teachers. Lawyers need to have strong argumentative skills to be able to persuasively argue their points in court. Teachers, on the other hand, need to have good classroom management skills to maintain order and discipline in their classrooms. Finally, lawyers need to be able to think critically and analytically to identify potential legal issues, while teachers need to be able to think creatively to develop engaging lesson plans.


The average salary for a lawyer is $94,905 per year, while the average salary for a teacher is $54,715 per year. The salary for a lawyer can vary depending on the type of law they practice, their location and their experience level. The salary for a teacher can vary depending on the type of school they work for, their location and their experience level.


Quality Specialist vs. Quality Engineer: What Are the Differences?

Back to Job Search

Personal Banker vs. Relationship Manager: What Are the Differences?