While most of what Lucy has written is correct, I felt the need to correct her on one point. Just because an attorney doesn't see the inside of a courtroom once a week doesn't make him/her a "slimy" attorney, and one should really try not to make such generalizations. Especially coming from second hand knowledge of one area of law.
I work for three construction litigation attorneys. Because we handle multi-BILLION dollar claims, most clients are not willing to go to trial and put their commercial construction matters in the hands of a jury that could care less about the damages caused by specifications being off by .01 millimeters. 98% of what our firm does is out of a courtroom and we pride ourselves on that. That doesn't make my bosses slimy. What it does make them is VERY good at their jobs.
The more you can stay out of the courtroom, the better attorney you are and those of us actually in this profession know that. If you mediate and/or settle, you save your client thousands, and in our case, hundreds of thousands in legal fees which in the end, keeps them coming through your door. Keeping your client from the courtroom is good business.
There are many areas of law like construction law where lawsuits are filed but never make it to a courtroom. You may go to a Motions hearing once a month. Why? Because usually in smaller areas of law, you all know each other and work to stay out of the courtroom for your client's sake. I would have to say my experience is family, criminal and tort law are courtroom heavy due to the nature of the scenarios. The only time you are going to have to "fight" for your client is if your clients are actually fighting.
All other areas of law are not courtroom intensive and that has NOTHING to do with the attorney's character or ability. Law is NOT about arguing. It is about compromising and coming to the best resolution for your client. That means taking into consideration whether or not your client can afford to go to trial or hearings in the first place. There ARE areas of law you can practice in that doesn't require debating skills or persuasion. There is tax law, probate law (you go to court, but it is usually just you and a judge), and other areas called "transactional" law. Not ALL attorneys duke it out in the courtroom and that does NOT make them slimy.
Construction litigation paralegal with first-hand knowledge - State of Texas