What does a Staff Attorney do?

Learn all about Staff Attorney duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Staff Attorney.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A staff attorney is a lawyer who works for a government agency, non-profit organization, or corporation. They provide legal advice and represent their employer in court.

Staff Attorney job duties include:

  • Research and analyze legal sources such as statutes, judicial opinions, and legal articles
  • Draft and file pleadings with the court
  • Manage discovery process including document production and depositions
  • Engage in motion practice including drafting, filing, and arguing motions
  • Attend hearings, mediations, and settlement conferences
  • Handle client communications and maintain client confidentiality
  • Manage case files and calendars
  • Work with support staff to ensure cases are moving forward efficiently
  • Bill clients for services rendered

Staff Attorney Job Requirements

Most staff attorney positions require a Juris Doctor degree from an accredited law school and admission to a state bar. Many positions also require 1-3 years of experience working as an attorney, although some entry-level positions may be available for recent law school graduates. Some employers may also require that staff attorneys be certified in a specialty area of law, such as tax law or family law.

Staff Attorney Skills

  • Research
  • Writing
  • Analysis
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Organizational
  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Interpersonal
  • Negotiation
  • Conflict resolution

Related: Top Staff Attorney Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Staff Attorney

There are many ways to become a staff attorney. The most common way is to attend law school and then pass the bar exam. Once you have passed the bar exam, you can apply for a position with a law firm or other legal organization. Some organizations may require that you have a certain amount of experience before they will hire you as a staff attorney. Other ways to become a staff attorney include working as a law clerk for a judge or working as a legal assistant for a law firm.

Related: Staff Attorney Resume Example

Related: Staff Attorney Interview Questions (With Example Answers)