The type of law you hope to practice may be easier to decide than you realize. To determine what law school specialty you should pick, think about other areas of study that interest you. Ask yourself what was your major in your undergrad? What subjects in school did you enjoy most? These simple answers can put you in a great position to determine what sort of law you should specialize in now.
In looking at your other interests and determining the things you are passionate about, as well as deciding what your financial needs will be, you will be one step closer to figuring out the right kind of law for you. To learn more about types of law you could potentially specialize in, read on.
Are you someone who has always had an interest in relationships and families? Did you grow up in a dysfunctional family and know how it feels to be a kid stuck between parents? Are you concerned about children or people in general? Before you commit to your interest in becoming a renowned lawyer and mineral enthusiast, family law is another option to think about and the need out there is growing every day for it. Family lawyers can handle everything from divorce to working in family courts with court-appointed advocates and guardians who work to help kids in high-risk situations. They work one on one with spouses in divorces or even help with family law when it comes to next of kin guardianship placements and more.
If you are someone who cares about making a direct and big difference in people’s lives, family law might be one area where you could specialize. From representing one or the other side in custody fights to help families mediate emotional situations to avoid fighting altogether, family lawyers work directly with advocates, therapists, and even state case managers.
If you’re considering specializing in family law, it will be important to consider that family lawyers who work with the social services system don’t typically make the same lucrative money as their divorce attorney counterparts. For that reason, you will want to specialize even more if the bottom line and your paycheck is a top priority. Either way, a job in the family and divorce courts could be a great place for people who are great at working with people in crisis or where emotions run high. In this type of law, you’ll never get bored.
If you are passionate about the environment, environmental law is an obvious choice. From working on state and local environmental regulations to helping out in disputes that make a huge difference in the future of our world and Earth, this is another specialty where your work will make a big impact.
For the most part, lawyers in this specialty can even get away with business casual dresses and pants. In a relaxed environment with a big picture mission, environmental lawyers are generally people who like the sciences, are concerned about things like pollution, and believe in causes that will add up to a healthier world.
If money is your goal, one of the most lucrative types of law you might consider getting into is bankruptcy. Believe it or not, because most of the work in this specialized field consists of paperwork and not the long court battles, this type of law is mostly done from the office. If you aren’t one for court like Chicago birth injury lawyers, who are often in front of the judge, this type of law might be for you.
Do you love math? Was your undergrad degree in finance? Are you comfortable working with people and businesses down on their luck or even closing? If you like to think analytically and aren’t afraid of spreadsheets, bankruptcy law might be the perfect specialty for you.
Personal injury and health law are great fields of study for people with medical backgrounds. Like with family law, this type of law involves the ability to work with people in crisis. Whether working with clients who have suffered from life-changing injuries or helping to navigate a disability claim, health law has many specialties and would be great for someone who isn’t quite sure exactly what they hope to focus on but know they enjoy medicine.
From malpractice suits to defending a hospital or doctor, health law could mean a lot of time in court but a big paycheck too.
Civil Rights Law
If social justice is important to you, civil rights law could be the perfect specialty where you are able to make an impact on the bigger picture. From helping to hold up state and federal policies to protect workers, civil rights lawyers are generally big picture thinkers who believe in diversity and are highly passionate about the cases they take on. While the paycheck might be lower in smaller or public firms, the reward in practicing this type of law can be worth it.
Every kid who ever watched a crime series on television and was interested in law has wondered if they’d someday grow up to be a public defender or prosecutor. If your dreams haven’t changed much since those days early on, criminal law might be the perfect area for you to consider.
Many who chose to specialize in criminal law come from a law enforcement background. Maybe your bachelor’s degree is in criminal justice or criminology or forensics. With a criminal law degree, you can work on either side — defending the accused or prosecuting those who are up on charges.
Law students who excel in this field of specialty generally have a strong sense of right and wrong, are able to argue well in court, don’t mind public speaking, and hope to make a big change in the world. Whether you are passionate about making the streets safer or social justice issues that come along with people deserving equal and fair representation, criminal law may be for you.
In the end, the choice is up to you. But if you think about who you are and what you hope to accomplish as well as the ideals and things that matter most to you, you will be one step closer to knowing which type of law is a good fit for you.