Law is one of the most varied industries that you can work in. There is a huge range of different areas within the field, each of which is completely unique.
When you decide that you want to pursue law as a career, it’s important that you do some in-depth research to determine which area is ideal for you. If you have an interest in a particular area or you feel that your skillset is best suited to one aspect of law over the others, this will influence your decision.
Understanding the roles and responsibilities of lawyers within each area of the field will make your decision much easier.
The area of law that you choose to enter will also affect where you work. Different law firms, such as Lamber Goodnow, have a selection of locations within the country, and you may need to relocate if you are offered a job at a top-ranking law firm.
Here are six specialties to consider if you’re thinking about becoming a lawyer.
Family lawyers deal with any kind of family issue, so it’s one of the broader areas of law.
Most commonly, family lawyers are hired to organize divorces and the separation of marital assets or to resolve child custody disputes. They can also handle adoption, guardianship, paternity, and child welfare issues.
Your role as a family lawyer may involve drafting contracts for both parties (husband and wife or both parents) to sign as a settlement, providing expert guidance to clients regarding their family issues, or helping to resolve disputes within families.
As a family lawyer, you can work in family law firms or for non-profit organizations that are concerned with family care and child welfare.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers usually represent clients who have suffered a physical, emotional, or psychological injury. Most commonly, these injuries are caused by negligence, accidents, medical malpractice, or product liability.
Attorneys who specialize in personal injury work closely with clients to create claims against other individuals or companies that are settled in court. Their job involves collecting evidence and formulating a strong case to win compensation for clients.
It also involves interviewing witnesses, calculating damages, drafting pleadings and motions, and guiding clients through the claims process.
To succeed as a personal injury lawyer, you must have great communication and presentation skills. You should be highly organized and able to empathize with your clients while building a strong and trusting relationship.
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Criminal law involves the laws by which criminal offences are assessed in court. It is concerned with a balance of punishment and rehabilitation of criminals who have violated the law in one way or another.
Criminal defense lawyers represent clients who have been accused of committing a crime. They work to prove the innocence of their clients so that the criminal charges are dropped or reduced while ensuring that their basic human rights are upheld throughout the trial process.
As a criminal defense lawyer, you must have great analytical skills. You will need to be empathetic and open-minded, as well as non-judgmental and impartial.
Lawyers who work in criminal defense will appear in court more often than any other type of lawyer, so you must be comfortable speaking to a full court house. You will be required to present evidence to the judge and fight your client’s case, no matter what evidence the opposing lawyer presents.
Other parts of your role as a criminal defense lawyer include:
- Examining police evidence
- Communicating with the police or law enforcement teams
- Meeting with victims and collecting evidence
- Presenting key evidence in court to defend your clients
Business lawyers are sometimes called corporate lawyers. They work closely with businesses to ensure that they are working within their legal obligations and limitations.
Corporate lawyers also represent companies in the event of a claim, whether this claim has been made by a previous or current employee, or a partner of the company.
Your role as a business lawyer will involve facilitating mergers and acquisitions, resolving liability disputes, and contributing to claim settlements. Your tasks may include:
- Performing legal research
- Creating contracts for clients and partners to sign
- Revising a company’s legal documentation
- Checking intellectual property rights
- Managing budgets
Key skills of a business lawyer include great analytic and research skills, amazing organization and time management, and the ability to work under pressure.
Estate Planning Lawyer
Estate planning lawyers are responsible for working closely with clients who need legal assistance regarding their assets.
The role of an estate planning lawyer is to ensure that wills are handled correctly and assets are divided accordingly, while also addressing any tax or legal issues.
The main duties of an estate planning lawyer include:
- Creating client contracts
- Communicating with third-party financial advisors or insurance agencies
- Discussing and evaluating the distribution of a client’s assets
- Drafting and preparing legal documentation, such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney
- Litigate cases for court
You will need to have great negotiation skills, analytical and critical thinking skills, and extensive knowledge about the laws around wills, trusts, estates, and taxes.
Employment and Labor Lawyer
Employment law revolves around any issues concerning the workplace and the legal rights of employers and employees.
Employment and labor lawyers may work with employers, employees, and unions. They resolve workplace discrimination or harassment, as well as disputes in wages, working hours, benefits, and pensions.
Your role as an employment and labor lawyer can include:
- Assisting and advising employees regarding their work right
- Assisting and advising employers about their legal rights
- Drafting and negotiating contracts between employers and employees
- Working alongside unions to ensure fairness in the workplace
- Advising on HR policies
- Representing clients in court
To succeed as an employment and labor lawyer, you will need to be highly organized, have great communication and research skills, and have an eye for detail.