What Does an Assistant Attorney Do?
An assistant attorney is more often known as an assistant attorney general or assistant district attorney. Many work for local, state and federal government offices. This article details the different responsibilities assistant attorneys may hold.
What an Assistant Attorney Does
Assistant attorneys may work in several offices at different levels of government. District attorneys', public defenders' and state attorneys' offices all hire assistant attorneys. Depending on the employer, an assistant attorney may argue cases for the plaintiff or defendant.
Important Facts About Assistant Attorneys
|Median Pay (2018)||$120,910 per year (for all lawyers)*|
|Degrees||A Juris Doctorate is required|
|Licensing||Assistant attorneys must pass a state bar examination for the state where they intend to practice.|
|Job Outlook||Expected employment growth from 2016 to 2026 for all lawyers is 8%*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Duties in a District Attorney's Office
Assistant attorneys in a district attorney's office represent their state as trial attorneys in all cases. They also act as the petitioner for children, the mentally ill and juvenile defendants. They may provide training for government agencies.
Duties in a Public Defender's Office
Assistant attorneys can also be found working for the state under the public defender's office. As a public defender, an assistant attorney provides legal representation for defendants without counsel. In this capacity, assistant attorneys use functional knowledge of methods, principles and practices of criminal law to argue criminal cases.
Duties in a State Attorney's Office
An assistant attorney in the state's attorney office helps carry out the policy of the state's attorney. He or she may conduct legal research and represent the state's attorney in routine legal issues. Assistant attorneys in this position must understand civil law, criminal law and rules of procedure. In addition, assistant attorneys in the state's attorney office must be comfortable arguing cases in court and capable of handling unforeseen issues.