Choosing Options For Careers In Law

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So you’re considering going to law school. You’re good with details, always enjoyed law and politics, and have a talent for rhetoric and debate. Your undergrad GPA is high, and you’re not daunted by the LSAT. That’s amazing! Of course, you’ll also want to narrow down your options. When you consider the broad range of specialties for careers in law, it can get overwhelming.

As overwhelming as it can be, though, it’s not actually cause for worry! There are many future law students, as well as current law students, who have absolutely no idea which area of law they are most interested in. That makes sense! Your pre-law studies may include some basic survey courses in law. However, you simply haven’t had enough exposure to the intricacies of different legal areas to get an accurate sense of where your interests and strengths may lie.  That’s something you’ll do more of in law school.

Law School

Law school is the most typical time for choosing a specialty, and that makes sense. Law school is the first time you’ll have consistent opportunities to actually work in law offices and speak with legal experts. It’s always a good idea to sample a few specialties before you choose one.

After Graduating

You may even change your specialty after graduation! Although it can be tough to jump specialties late in your career, plenty of lawyers change the direction of their legal careers earlier. And at all stages in a legal career, there are opportunities to change careers entirely. Lawyers may end up as politicians, judges, or high-ranking businessmen and women. A legal degree opens a lot of doors, and it doesn’t close many!

What you can do right now

So, don’t stress. Just spend some time thinking about what you might like most, because it may help you narrow your focus once you enter law school and move toward your goals. You don’t have the legal background to entertain specific questions, but you can still consider big-picture ones. For instance, do you find yourself drawn to criminal law or civil law? Are you looking for a way to help people? How important is money to you? Would you like to work in a big city or in a small town? Would you like to be on your own or in a big firm? Do you want to spend a lot of time in court?

As you answer these questions, you’ll begin to narrow your focus and identify specialties that may suit you. For instance, says Jeff Preszler of Preszler Law, personal injury lawsuits are perfect for entrepreneurial-minded attorneys who are looking to help people and have an interest in an area that will lead to more settlements than court dates. A person with different interests might opt for criminal law, contract law, or any number of other specialties.

So, while it’s too early to worry about whether you want to be, for instance, a business attorney who works with contracts related to utilities companies in big cities, it might not be too early to know that you’re interested in law as it related to businesses. Consider the big questions, and don’t forget to take a deep breath, relax, and remember that you have a lot of time to do so.