Publishing Law Attorney: Job Outlook & Career Requirements

Publishing law attorneys safeguard free speech and intellectual property rights. Continue reading to learn more about the education and licensing requirements, career outlook, and salary potential for publishing law attorneys.

Career Definition for a Publishing Law Attorney

Publishing law attorneys oversee the legal issues associated with the publication of books, newspapers, and other printed materials. In general, attorneys who specialize in this field ensure that works awaiting publication won't cause legal problems for the publisher or author. Areas of expertise may include contracts, intellectual property laws, and free speech concerns.

Requirements Juris Doctor required; state bar exam must be passed in order to practice law
Job Skills Advanced reading and writing skills, interpersonal skills, critical thinking skills, attention to detail
Median Salary (2017)* $119,250 for all lawyers
Job Growth (2016-2026)* 8% increase for all lawyers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Publishing law attorneys must complete a Juris Doctor program, which is typically three years in length. Coursework may include topics in contract, copyright, and intellectual property law. Aspiring attorneys may also participate in moot court competitions, legal clinics, and practice trials. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree in an acceptable field of study and a passing score on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT).


All states require attorneys to be licensed or admitted to the bar. Although each state has its own requirements, in general, candidates for licensure must complete a Juris Doctor program that has been accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA), pass the bar exam, and provide proof of good character.

Required Skills

Publishing law attorneys must have advanced reading and writing abilities, as well as the interpersonal skills necessary for building long-lasting relationships with clients. Critical thinking skills are also required, along with a strong attention to detail.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for attorneys, in general, are expected to increase by 8% nationwide from 2016 to 2026, which is as fast as average when compared to all other occupations. In May 2017, the states with the highest levels of employment included New York, California, Florida, Texas, and Washington, D.C. In the same month, all attorneys earned a median annual wage of $119,250, as reported by the BLS (

Alternate Career Options

Check out these other options for starting a career in the legal field:

Arbitrators, Mediators, and Conciliators

Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators use their communication and dialogue abilities and knowledge of the law to resolve conflicts outside of the court system. A bachelor's degree is required to obtain a position; certificate and master's degree programs in conflict management or resolution may be available at some schools. As reported by the BLS, job opportunities are anticipated to increase by 10% from 2016-2026. In May 2017, arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators received a median annual wage of $60,670.

Judges and Hearing Officers

Judges and hearing officers may also participate in conflict negotiating activities, in addition to presiding at pretrial hearings, settling administrative differences, and issuing legal pronouncements. Entry-level requirements typically include a law degree, as well as a passing score on the U.S. Office of Personnel Management exam. According to the BLS, administrative law judges, adjudicators, and hearing officers collectively earned a median annual salary of $94,790 in May 2017, with a 4% increase in employment opportunities expected for these three positions between 2016 and 2026.

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