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Law career starting guide: choosing your specialty

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A career in the legal profession can be pleasant because it is intellectually challenging. The work is never boring nor repetitive. It is necessary to find or supply a creative game plan that the partner can present to the client. An aspiring legal professional needs to have the ability to argue starting from a basis of evidence in a way that is effective. It is important to not forget about the satisfaction that the legal practice provides. Besides the fact that you get the chance to help people in need, you have many career options to choose from.

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The complexity of the legal system has led to the creation of numerous options for those interested in a career path in this industry. Examples include but are not limited to lawyers, judges, paralegals, and consultants. Individuals face challenges when it comes down to figuring out what kind of law to practice. Considering that this is an important career decision, it is required to make an informed decision. As a college or university student, you are ready for the world. Please continue reading to find out how to choose where to focus your practice.

Do your research

Law schools prepare students to practice in any kind of legal field. The vast majority of students select their specialization within the field after graduating. It is not a good idea to wait until then, so use the time that you have to research the main types of law. In other words, determine whether you are interested in commercial law, family/private law, or criminal law. In what follows, you have a brief description of these main areas of law.

  • Commercial law: Commercial law represents the body of law that governs the conduct of persons, merchants, and businesses. Basically, you would be working for companies and organizations. Commercial legal practice is closely connected to several subjects relating to consumer credits, contracts, insurance, and partnerships.
  • Family/Private law: Private law is part of the legal system that deals with individuals and institutions, where you act on the behalf of individuals. This includes everything from contracts to torts and family law. Tort law, in particular, protects people from the bad acts of others. For example, if a healthcare professional breaches their duty of care, the result is medical negligence. Medical malpractice law differs greatly from nation to nation, but the basic principles are the same. The demand in this area is very strong.
  • Criminal law: As the name obviously suggests, criminal law is related to crime. It is focused on punishing the individuals that commit crimes. The aim of criminal law is to deter crime and reform the perpetrator. Criminal justice professionals have the opportunity to engage their brains. There are many challenges to be met and, no matter the chosen discipline, you will be able to test your problem-solving abilities.

Legal professionals activate in almost any conceivable areas. Their total number is astonishing. The fact of the matter is that the practice of law is not limited to putting people in jail or defending individuals accused of doing something wrong. It is important for aspiring legal professionals to take into account the various areas of law and understand that some of them cover a great part of the same space.


Take a self-assessment

Choosing a legal specialty might seem overwhelming. There is an abundance of options and you cannot make a sound decision without making an evaluation of your actions, attitudes, or, better yet, performance. In the off-chance that you are interested in personal injury law, you have to make an assessment of the current state of personal injury claims market and get an idea of whether or not you will enjoy it. In the United Kingdom, for example, the market is projected to grow. Self-assessment is a very important step when it comes down to choosing a specialty, if not the most important. Gain information about yourself and enhance your chances of long-term job satisfaction.

You may not have all the time in the world considering that you are a law school student, yet you can spare a couple of minutes to take some personality tests. An instrument of this kind will help you figure out what aspects of your personality are relevant in the workplace. For example, a personal injury lawyer needs to be frank and sincere, in addition to being compassionate. It practically comes down to knowing yourself and thinking about what will happen in the future. There are several questionnaires and tools that you can use in this respect. It is recommendable to use resources from well-known sources, such as Yale University.

Gain experience off-campus

As a rule, employers are attracted to candidates that have some kind of experience. With trends in globalization, it is more important than ever to specialize and choose a niche for yourself as a lawyer. So as to know for sure if a particular area of the law is right for you it is necessary to get hands-on experience. To put it simply, it is better to do something rather than read about it.

Gaining experience working in the legal field is not at all difficult. Many firms and legal departments are interested in working with top talent. You have the necessary education. All you need now is the ambition. During your degree, you can undertake vacation schemes, pro bono work, and mini pupillages. Not only will you be able to prove your commitment to the profession, but also you will get to see what it is like to practice the law. Attention needs to be paid to the fact that any kind of experience is useful.

Final considerations

Specialization is important and there is no excuse for neglecting it. It is the responsibility of the aspiring legal professional to figure out what the best career path is. All lawyers need to get a good understanding of what is and what is not negotiable and vital in their chosen professions. It is not possible to change the field after years of profession, but it is achievable at the beginning.


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