What does a Trial Attorney do?

Trial attorneys represent clients or other parties in legal cases and frequently make their arguments in a courtroom setting. If they are in the prosecuting role, they typically work for a government department or entity, whereas other trial lawyers work for businesses or private firms. They oversee depositions, question witnesses, present closing arguments, and guide the overall legal strategy. They provide legal advice throughout the entire process, and may coordinate settlements or pleadings. They also manage appeal proceedings. They conduct extensive research to explore legal precedents.

Trial attorneys must possess a JD degree and be licensed to practice law in their state. They should have extensive courtroom experience and the ability to make a strong, persuasive argument. These roles require excellent research skills, and in-depth understanding of legal strategies and procedures.

What responsibilities are common for Trial Attorney jobs?
  • Review and edit attorney motions and responses relevant to court cases.
  • Analyze assigned cases and prepare the cases for trial.
  • Review documents and provide direction and oversight to non-legal staff.
  • Direct and undertake discovery practice including depositions, expert selection and all other pre-trial preparations.
  • Complete work assignments in a timely, accurate and efficient manner.
  • Develop and implement harm reduction strategies for both pre-trial monitoring and dispositions.
  • Keep clients updated on case status and answer questions.
  • Identify and address both routine and complex legal issues and develop creative solutions.
  • Prepare pleadings, motions, briefs, letters, memoranda, reports, appeals, articles, etc. using our legal case management software.
What are the typical qualifications for Trial Attorney jobs?
  • Bachelor's Degree in business, law, or computer science.
  • Advanced expertise in working with plaintiffs.
  • Comfortable serving in an advocacy role.
  • Strong leadership, negotiation, and critical thinking skills.
  • Able to project a strong sense of confidence.
  • Highly collaborative, capable to work with staff and other attorneys on-site and remotely, as well as serving as a role model and mentor to other associates within the office.
Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Trial Attorney make near United States?

$153,239 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
See More Insights

Trial Attorney Career Path

Learn how to become a Trial Attorney, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Trial Attorney

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Trial Attorney Insights

Read what Trial Attorney professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Senior Trial Attorney
Nov 20, 2021

“Good work life balance; I get 25 days PTO a year (been here 4 years).”

Kings County District Attorney's OfficeKings County District Attorney's Office
Assistant District Attorney
Oct 30, 2022

“I have seen people held back from promotion and the supervisors specifically said it was because they needed that person to train new ADAs.”

City of HoustonCity of Houston
Senior Assistant City Attorney
Jun 10, 2021

“Regular hours for working is attractive .”

Martelli McKegg Lawyers
Litigation Associate
Apr 23, 2023

“Very supportive and help with career development.”

New York City Department of EducationNew York City Department of Education
Agency Attorney I
Jan 15, 2022

“Good amount of responsibility and learning early in your career.”

Katz, Friedman, Eagle, Eisenstein, Johnson and Bareck
Trial Attorney
Mar 22, 2022

“Career advancement including pathway to income and equity partnerships.”

Mecklenburg County's District Attorney Office
Assistant District Attorney
May 5, 2023

“Awesome place to work and such a great mission.”

The McShane FirmThe McShane Firm
Litigation Associate
Jan 21, 2022

“There are endless opportunities to learn and become better.”

See More

Trial Attorney Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Trial Attorney

The most similar professions to Trial Attorney are:
  • Document Review Attorney
  • Attorney
  • Project Attorney
  • Of Counsel

Related Careers

Document Review Attorney
No skills overlap
No skills overlap
Project Attorney
Of Counsel

Trial Attorney Jobs