Criminal Defense Attorney: In the U.S., the presumption of innocence requires the prosecution to prove its case against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt before he can be pronounced guilty or innocent, as the case may be. Being a defense attorney in the criminal court system involves going through a number of actions including arraignments, pretrial hearings, settlement conferences, trials and sentence hearings. Throughout this procedure, lawyers offer their clients legal advice that is in their best interests.
The defense lawyer’s knowledge of the law helps him protect his client’s constitutional rights. Defense lawyers invest a lot of time and energy getting evidence that includes police reports, eyewitness testimonies and other materials related to the case. Defense attorneys also use the expertise of paralegals, private investigators and litigation consultants to help build their cases.
Corporate Law Attorney: Corporate lawyers are also called In-House Counsel, Staff Attorney, Deputy General Counsel, General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer. Corporate legal advisors have only one client - the company they work for. Small firms may keep a couple of lawyers on their staff, while large corporations quite often have huge legal divisions, staffed by attorneys, each with his own specialization. Generally speaking, the companies who keep large numbers of lawyer son their rolls are insurance companies, banks, hospitals, oil firms, biotechnology companies, retail stores, manufacturing units, communications and energy companies.
The fundamental role of these lawyers is to serve the interests of the corporation. Other than giving legal advice, corporate lawyers are also called upon to provide business counsel. They may offer legal advice on other sections of corporate law including trademarks law, mergers and acquisitions, tax law, employment law, real estate law, bankruptcy law, securities law and international business law. Corporate attorneys work in a frantic work environment. They are also called upon to take meetings with board members and senior management - to offer advice on strategy and business. Administrative skills, negotiating skills, managerial skills, writing and interpersonal skills – can all be used to their own advantage.