Litigator Career Overview
A litigator is a type of lawyer dedicated to settling both civil and criminal disputes. Litigators, also called trial lawyers, often appear in court on behalf of a plaintiff or defendant. As opposed to criminal litigators, civil litigators deal with lawsuits and other non-criminal disputes. Litigators may work in a law firm, corporation, government agency, or private practice, and their work is invaluable to law enforcement professionals.
Like all attorneys, litigators must earn a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from a law school or online degree program. Admission to law school can be highly competitive, and applicants must hold a degree from a four-year college or university. After graduation, litigators must take and pass their state's bar exam.
Litigation is the most common area of law for lawyers to pursue, so a large number of today's 554,000 practicing attorneys are litigators. Criminal and civil disputes must be tried all over the country, but litigators looking to work at a major law firm will find more opportunities in large cities.
Litigator Job Description
As the population continues to grow and business activities increase, employment of lawyers is expected to increase by 11 percent from 2006 to 2016. This level of growth is in keeping with the national average and will affect litigators as well as lawyers as a whole.
Litigator Salary Range
*Litigators working for nonprofit organizations earn less than other attorneys, but in general litigation is a profitable field, and annual wages fall within the following range:
Bottom 10 percent: $54,460
Top 10 percent: $163,320
*Bureau of Labor Statistics