Attorney Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

An Attorney, also known as a Lawyer, provides legal advice, represents clients in legal proceedings, and draws up legal documents such as contracts and wills. Attorneys can work for a wide range of clients, from providing legal counsel to families to working for a law firm or even specializing in corporate law for organizations. Their duties can be wide-ranging and may include advising clients of their legal rights, conducting research on legal precedents, and presenting clients’ cases before courts of law, tribunals, and boards.

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Attorney duties and responsibilities

Providing legal counsel for clients is one of the top responsibilities for Attorneys, whether their clients are private individuals or organizations. While Attorneys typically specialize in a particular area of law, they may research and advise on other legal matters or refer clients to a specialist in a particular area, if need be. Ultimately, protecting their clients’ best interests is the key to success as an Attorney. Attorneys may be expected to:

  • Provide advice to clients regarding their legal rights and all matters related to law
  • Prepare statements of legal opinions and draw up legal documents including wills, divorces, real estate transactions, and contracts.
  • Research legal precedents and gather evidence in preparation for legal proceedings or providing legal advice
  • Plead clients’ cases before courts of law, tribunals, and boards
  • Act as a mediator to resolve conflicts or disputes, including the negotiation of settlements of civil disputes
  • Act as executor, trustee, or guardian in estate and family law matters
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Attorney Job Description Examples:


Example 1

The opportunity Being an Attorney – US Business Immigration with EY Law LLP, you will help companies address the challenges associated with managing today's globally mobile workforce. EY Law LLP helps companies and their employees efficiently relocate wherever they need them to be. The firm's comprehensive range of [website] business immigration services include obtaining both immigrant (green card) and non-immigrant status and visas as well as providing a range of [website] immigration advisory services for employees and their employers. This position offers excellent opportunities for teaming, leadership, and career advancement to the right candidate. Your key As an experienced Attorney, you will join our [website] Business Immigration team. You will manage multiple and challenging [website] business immigration engagements and to contribute to the delivery of solutions and ideas for our diverse clients. You will provide not only technical expertise, but provide proactive business solutions to our clientele that are in line with their needs. Skills and attributes for success Utilize your technical and procedural understanding of [website] business immigration law - including PERM, NIV and IV law - and effectively apply this knowledge to client situations Prepare, review and submit non-immigrant, immigrant and PERM applications in a high volume environment Manage client deliverables and expectations, and demonstrate an ability to effectively handle multiple engagements Facilitate the legal movement of employees across borders for business travel Manage other attorneys, law clerks and other client service team members Be an active member of our US immigration practice in implementing best practices To qualify for the role you must have JD along with admission to any [website] state bar Minimum two years of business immigration experience, with an emphasis on high-volume H/L NIV, IV and/or PERM filings Excellent managerial, organizational and verbal/written communication skills Ability to provide not only technical expertise, but provide proactive business solutions to our clientele that are in line with their needs. Ideally, you’ll also have The ability to work independently in a fast-paced, dynamic team-oriented environment Sound professional judgement and high level of professionalism What we look for We’re interested in strong team players who support their colleagues in reaching their goals while also considering their own workload and development. If you have the confidence to speak up and influence a team that affects big businesses worldwide, this role is for you. What working at EY offers At EY, our Total Rewards package supports our commitment to creating a leading people culture - built on teaming - where everyone can achieve their potential and contribute to building a better working world for our people, our clients and our communities. It's one of the many reasons we repeatedly win awards for being a great place to work. We offer a competitive compensation package where you’ll be rewarded based on your performance and recognized for the value you bring to our business. In addition, our Total Rewards package allows you decide which benefits are right for you and which ones help you create a solid foundation for your future. Our Total Rewards package includes a comprehensive medical, prescription drug and dental coverage, a defined contribution pension plan, a great vacation policy plus firm paid days that allow you to enjoy longer long weekends throughout the year, statutory holidays and paid personal days (based on province of residence), and a range of exciting programs and benefits designed to support your physical, financial and social well-being. Plus, we offer: Support and coaching from some of the most engaging colleagues in the industry Learning opportunities to develop new skills and progress your career The freedom and flexibility to handle your role in a way that’s right for you About EY As a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, we’re using the finance products, expertise and systems we’ve developed to build a better working world. That starts with a culture that believes in giving you the training, opportunities and creative freedom to make things better. Whenever you join, however long you stay, the exceptional EY experience lasts a lifetime. If you can confidently demonstrate that you meet the criteria above, please contact us as soon as possible. Make your mark. Apply today. EY is committed to inclusiveness, equity and accessibility. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply.

Example 2

Overview: You’ve got big plans. We have opportunities to match, and we’re committed to empowering you to become a better you, no matter what you do. When you join KPMG you’ll be one of over 219,000 professionals providing audit, tax, advisory and business enablement services across 147 countries. With the support to do things differently, grow personally and professionally and bring your whole self to work, there’s no limit to the impact you can make. Let’s do this. About the team: KPMG’s Immigration Law practice is looking for an Attorney (PERM/IV), to join our US Immigration Law group. You will be part of a busy, fast-paced and ever-changing environment. This is an exciting opportunity for an individual who enjoys a team work environment with client contact. The successful candidate will demonstrate initiative, strong attention to detail, and organizational skills, with a desire to work in and promote a client first focused culture. KPMG Law LLP is a national law firm with offices in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal. KPMG Law LLP is affiliated with the professional services firm of KPMG LLP. Since our approach is to be an integrated multidisciplinary firm, our team of lawyers work closely with accountants on client engagements in other tax practice areas. To learn more about KPMG Law LLP visit our website here. What you will do: Independently and effectively manage a high volume of corporate immigration cases under strict deadlines Supervise a team of support staff, including Administrators and Coordinators Provide timely, comprehensive, and strategic legal counsel related to PERM and IV matters, while applying knowledge of NIV-related considerations Develop and maintain client relationships Track cases in progress to monitor for timing issues and overall client satisfaction Conduct legal research and draft advisory opinions Notify clients of changes in immigration law and draft alerts for publication Stay current with changes in immigration law Participate in speaking engagements and other thought leadership opportunities Demonstrable business development and involvement in RFP processes Responsible for providing support and coaching to more junior team members What you bring to this role: Law degree from an accredited institution Called to a US Bar and in good standing At least 3 years of high-volume experience with PERM labor certification applications for clients in a variety of industries, PERM audits, I-140 petitions in the EB-1C, EB-2, and EB-3 categories, I-485 applications Experience with employment and family-based consular immigrant visa applications Experience assessing eligibility for I-485 portability under AC21 Strong technical knowledge and legal writing skills Excellent written and verbal communication skills Ability to work independently and as part of a team Proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel Experience using legal case management software Keys to your success: Outstanding communication, research, and analytical skills Strong attention to detail Ability to work in a fast-paced, high volume environment Learn more about where a career at KPMG can take you. All applicants must include post-secondary transcripts (official or unofficial) from law school and their undergraduate studies. If you do not have access to an electronic copy of your transcript, we ask that you attach a screenshot of your grades from your school’s website. For an easy application process, please combine all documents into one PDF file. Our Values, The KPMG Way: Integrity, we do what is right | Excellence, we never stop learning and improving | Courage, we think and act boldly | Together, we respect each other and draw strength from our differences | For Better, we do what matters KPMG in Canada is a proud equal opportunities employer and we are committed to creating a respectful, inclusive and barrier-free workplace that allows all of our people to reach their full potential. A diverse workforce is key to our success and we believe in bringing your whole self to work. We welcome all qualified candidates to apply and hope you will choose KPMG in Canada as your employer of choice. If you have a question about accessible employment at KPMG, or to begin a confidential conversation about your individual accessibility or accommodation needs through the recruitment process, we encourage you to contact KPMG’s Employee Relations Service team for support at email: [email address] or phone: [phone number] or toll free 1-[phone number] Option 3. For general inquiries, please contact the HR Delivery Centre at

Example 3

Clear Access Law is a specialized immigration law firm primarily focused on helping people obtain temporary or permanent admission to Canada while facing issues of inadmissibility, but steadily expanding into other areas of immigration law (permanent residence/spousal sponsorship, study permit, work permit, business investors). Our work has a real and major impact on our clients' lives, so our primary concern is to meet their needs to the best of our ability. Ours is a &;virtual&; office, in that the entire team works remotely, using collaborative online tools (even before the pandemic), so you could be located anywhere in Canada. We are looking to hire a talented Lawyer or Notary (QC) or Immigration Consultant (ICCRC) to join our existing top-notch team for the long term. If you're eager for your next challenge, you are independent and have a strong work ethic, and are excited at the prospect of (continuing to) working remotely and bypassing the daily commute to the office, this may be an ideal position for you. Apply now! Responsibilities: - Prepare applications by reviewing and analyzing court records and other relevant documents - Research criminal offences in foreign jurisdictions (typically in the U.S.) and their Canadian equivalents - Communicate with and strategically counsel clients on legal matters - Review and revise applications, and provide constructive feedback Qualifications: - Bachelor's degree, with exceptional academic credentials - Member of a Bar of any province (lawyer), or of the Chambre des notaires du Québec (QC notary), or of ICCRC (immigration consultant) - Located anywhere in Canada - 1+ years of experience at a law firm, within an in-house legal department, or working for own account - Exceptional written and verbal communication skills - Excellent time management and organizational skills - Exceptional attentiveness to detail - High level of professionalism - Ability to work independently, with little to no supervision Application deadline: [phone number]12-03 Expected start date: [phone number]12-06 Job Types: Full-time, Permanent Salary: per year Schedule: * 8 hour shift * Monday to Friday COVID-19 considerations: We have little to no physical contact (with each other or with clients), so there are no COVID-19 precautions to speak of. Education: * Bachelor's Degree (preferred) * lawyer, notary (QC) or ICCRC licence (required) Work remotely: * Yes

What does an Attorney do?

Attorneys generally specialize in certain areas of the law, for example, corporate law, contract law, criminal law, taxation law, and immigration law, among others. Attorneys will often perform a broad range of duties. Attorneys can provide mediation services to resolve disputes. They also take on more technical responsibilities such as researching legal precedents and gathering evidence to provide both legal advice to clients and best represent them in court. Day to day, Attorneys will also draw up legal documents, including real estate transactions, wills, divorces, and contracts.

Attorney skills and qualifications

A combination of strong research and comprehension skills, and excellent communication and people skills are key skills for a successful Attorney. Both elements are imperative to perform the role well, as complex research and investigation are often necessary, alongside the ability to present those findings to clients and provide legal advice based on the research undertaken. Top skills for Attorneys include:

  • Proficient multi-tasking, as Attorneys often work for multiple clients on multiple tasks on any given day
  • Excellent research and analysis capabilities to provide informed legal opinions
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, including advising, representing, and negotiating on the behalf of clients
  • Thorough knowledge of law, government, and business
  • Attention to detail during research projects and in the creation of legal documents
  • Ability to work independently and self-direct work

Attorney experience requirements

Candidates will have experience in the legal industry before undertaking an Attorney position. Applicants with 2+ years of experience within Legal Assistant, Paralegal, or other junior positions will often have a good understanding of the industry. Any relevant internship experience is also beneficial.

Attorney education and training requirements

Attorneys must successfully complete the bar examination to be legally able to practice law. Licensing by the provincial or territorial law society is also required, though regulatory bodies vary by region. Candidates are often expected to have completed a period of articling to qualify for the role.

Attorney Salary Expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, an Attorney in Canada can expect to earn an average salary of $121,800 per year. This varies depending on location, experience, and size of the company hiring. 

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Attorney job description FAQs

What is the difference between an Attorney and a Notary?

Broadly speaking, Notaries generally handle non-contentious legal matters, including drafting and preparing legal documents, acting as legal witnesses, and arranging the proceedings of agreements. Whereas an Attorney can represent clients in court, and is likely to be more involved with the negotiation and mitigation process when settling civil disputes. While both Attorneys and Notaries are employed by federal, provincial and municipal governments, and various organizations, Attorneys can also be found working for law firms and prosecutor’s offices. Notaries are also employed by notary offices.

Who reports to an Attorney?

Attorneys often work independently. However, Attorneys may have a legal assistant or law clerk who reports to them in larger organizations or law firms. If an Attorney has a direct report, they will be expected to provide supervision and direction to their assistants.

What are the day-to-day duties of an Attorney?

Day-to-day Attorney’s duties can vary greatly, depending on the field the Attorney specializes in, and will often vary depending on clients’ needs too. A typical day may include: court appearances, consulting and advising clients, undertaking research, and drafting legal documents and statements.

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