Career Development

What Does a Litigation Attorney Do?

Find out what a litigation attorney does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a litigation attorney.

Litigation attorneys represent clients in court or other formal proceedings. They may be involved in a wide range of cases, from simple contract disputes to complex class action lawsuits.

Litigation attorneys are often tasked with gathering evidence and building a strong case for their client. This might include conducting interviews, reviewing documents, analyzing data, etc.

Litigation Attorney Job Duties

Litigation attorneys are responsible for a wide range of duties, including:

  • Conducting discovery, including issuing subpoenas, conducting interviews, and reviewing documents
  • Negotiating with opposing counsel to reach settlement agreements
  • Drafting pleadings and other legal documents, such as motions and discovery requests
  • Preparing witnesses for court appearances by coaching them on what to say and how to behave during testimony
  • Communicating with clients throughout the litigation process to keep them informed about the status of their cases and any new developments
  • Conducting research on legal issues associated with cases
  • Interviewing witnesses, gathering evidence, and interviewing experts to support the client’s case
  • Drafting legal briefs and motions to be submitted to the court
  • Presenting cases in court by arguing facts and citing laws to support the client’s position

Litigation Attorney Salary & Outlook

Litigation attorneys are typically paid a salary, and their salaries can vary depending on a number of factors.

  • Median Annual Salary: $115,000 ($55.29/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $225,000 ($108.17/hour)

The employment of litigation attorneys is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

Demand for legal services will depend on the volume and complexity of litigation, which in turn depends on the economy and the types of cases filed. As demand for legal services increases, demand for litigation attorneys also is expected to increase.

Related: Litigation Attorney Interview Questions and Answers

Litigation Attorney Job Requirements

There are a number of qualifications required to become a litigation attorney. They include:

Education: Litigation attorneys need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in a field such as English, political science, history or another liberal arts discipline. Many law schools prefer to hire candidates who have a master’s degree in law, which takes two years to complete after earning a bachelor’s degree.

Training & Experience: Most litigation attorneys will receive on-the-job training in their first few years of employment. This training will help them learn the specific procedures and practices of their firm. They may also receive training in the firm’s computer programs and software.

Certifications & Licenses: Most states require attorneys to be admitted to the bar in order to practice there. Bar admission requirements vary from state to state, but most require an applicant to pass a bar exam.

Some states also require attorneys to pass a moral character review and to submit proof of good moral character, such as a certificate of good moral character from a former judge or professor.

Litigation Attorney Skills

Litigation attorneys need the following skills in order to be successful:

Research: Litigation attorneys often research laws, precedents and other information to support their cases. They may research laws to find the most advantageous argument or to find a loophole that allows them to pursue a case that might otherwise be dismissed. They may also research information about the opposing party or witness to find information that supports their case.

Communication: Communication is the ability to convey information to others in a clear and understandable way. Litigation attorneys use their communication skills to explain complex legal issues to clients, other attorneys and judges. They also use their communication skills to negotiate with opposing parties and to draft legal documents.

Organization: A litigation attorney needs to be organized to keep track of their case files, research and other materials. Organization skills can help you keep track of deadlines, court appearances and other important dates and events. Organization can also help you keep track of evidence and other case-related information.

Negotiation: Negotiation is the ability to persuade others to agree with your point of view. Litigation attorneys use negotiation skills to settle cases. They may also use negotiation skills to convince opposing parties to agree to a particular course of action.

Persuasion: Persuasion is the ability to convince others to agree with your point of view. Litigation attorneys use persuasion skills to convince judges and juries to rule in their favor. Persuasion skills can also help you negotiate with opposing parties to reach an agreement outside of court.

Litigation Attorney Work Environment

The work environment for a litigation attorney is usually fast-paced, deadline-driven, and high-pressure. Litigation attorneys often work long hours, including evenings and weekends. They may also travel to attend depositions, court hearings, and client meetings. The work can be stressful and demanding, but it is also exciting and challenging. Litigation attorneys often find their work to be very rewarding, as they help their clients to resolve their legal disputes and to obtain justice.

Litigation Attorney Trends

Here are three trends influencing how litigation attorneys work. Litigation attorneys will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Alternative Dispute Resolution

The growth of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is a trend that is quickly changing the legal landscape. ADR is an umbrella term that refers to any process that allows parties to resolve their disputes outside of court. This includes mediation, arbitration, and other forms of negotiation.

As ADR becomes more popular, litigation attorneys will need to learn new skills in order to be successful. They will need to be able to effectively negotiate with opposing parties and be comfortable with using mediation as a way to settle cases.

More Focus on Cybersecurity

As businesses become increasingly reliant on technology, the need for cybersecurity professionals has grown rapidly. This trend is likely to continue as more and more data is stored online, making it vulnerable to hackers.

Litigation attorneys can capitalize on this trend by becoming experts in cybersecurity law. This will allow them to help businesses protect themselves from cyberattacks and also help clients who have been victims of such attacks.

Increased Use of Technology in Legal Research

The use of technology in legal research is becoming increasingly common as lawyers look for ways to make their jobs easier.

This trend is being driven by the increasing availability of legal information online, which makes it easy for lawyers to find the information they need without having to leave their offices. In addition, many law firms are now requiring their employees to use electronic case management systems, which makes it easier to track tasks and collaborate with colleagues.

How to Become a Litigation Attorney

When starting your career as a litigation attorney, it’s important to consider the type of law you want to practice. Do you want to focus on criminal law, family law, or corporate law? Each area has its own unique set of challenges and rewards.

You should also think about where you want to work. Some firms have more experience in certain areas of law than others, so it’s important to find a firm that matches your interests and experience level. Additionally, some firms are larger than others, which can affect the types of cases you handle and the hours you work.

No matter where you end up working, it’s important to be prepared for long hours and hard work. As a litigation attorney, you will often be required to work late nights and weekends.

Advancement Prospects

Most lawyers advance in their careers by taking on more responsibility and complexity in their cases. As they become more experienced, they may be given the opportunity to take on more high-profile or complex cases. Some lawyers eventually become partners in their firms, while others may choose to open their own practices.

In order to advance in their careers, lawyers need to develop a strong understanding of the law and of the legal system. They also need to be able to think critically and to solve problems. Lawyers who are able to do these things will have the best opportunities for advancement.

In addition to taking on more responsibility, lawyers may also advance in their careers by becoming involved in leadership roles. Lawyers who are able to take on leadership roles in their firms or in the legal community will have the best opportunities for advancement.

Finally, lawyers may also advance in their careers by becoming involved in teaching or writing. Lawyers who are able to share their knowledge with others will have the best opportunities for advancement.

Litigation Attorney Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are looking for a skilled and experienced litigation attorney to join our team. The ideal candidate will have experience with all aspects of litigation, from pre-trial through trial and appeal. He or she will be responsible for managing a caseload of complex litigation matters, including discovery, motion practice, and trial preparation. The ideal candidate will also have excellent research and writing skills, as well as the ability to think strategically and solve problems.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Conduct legal research on a variety of topics and issues related to current and potential litigation matters
  • Assist in the drafting of motions, briefs, memoranda of law, and other legal documents
  • Manage and organize discovery requests and responses, including document production and review
  • Attend and participate in depositions, mediations, arbitrations, and court hearings
  • Maintain regular communication with clients, opposing counsel, and court personnel
  • Effectively utilize technology and software relevant to the practice of law
  • Stay abreast of developments in the law and keep up with changes in the rules of civil procedure
  • Handle all aspects of case management from inception through trial or settlement
  • Supervise and train junior attorneys and support staff, as needed
  • Manage client billing and invoicing
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with clients
  • Generate new business through networking and marketing efforts

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school
  • Admission to state bar in good standing
  • 3-5 years of experience in civil or commercial litigation
  • Excellent research, writing, and analytical skills
  • Strong oral advocacy skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience with e-discovery
  • Experience taking and defending depositions
  • Experience with motion practice
  • Trial experience


What Does a Senior Sales Manager Do?

Back to Career Development

What Does a Senior Buyer Do?