An Overview Of Law Specializations
If you are interested in becoming a lawyer, you have a vast array of specializations from which to choose and a range of clients for whom to work. Some lawyers work on major cases and huge corporate mergers, while others deal with traffic disputes and small businesses. Lawyers work for the rich and the poor, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Sometimes they work for large firms, with a group of lawyers, or for themselves. Most lawyers are in private practice (usually small offices), while a small percentage work for the government and private industries and an even smaller percentage in public defense and legal education. While some lawyers have a general knowledge of many different areas of the law and engage in a variety of cases, most lawyers develop expertise in one field.
The areas of specialization within the law are many: civil rights law, corporate and securities law, criminal law, education law, employment and labor law, environmental and natural resources law, family and juvenile law, health law, immigration law, intellectual property law, sports and entertainment law, and tax law to name a few. As you study to become a lawyer, you will likely need to choose an area in which to specialize. Here is a very brief description of each to help you get started.
A practice in civil rights, balancing individual liberty and governmental power, usually takes the form of pro-bono work for nonprofit and public interest law firms. Corporate and securities attorneys assist corporations with organization and reorganization, mergers, stock, acquisitions, liabilities, bankruptcy, etc. Criminal defense lawyers do exactly what the name suggests: they represent people who have been accused of committing crimes and deal with the basic issues of personal liberty and justice. Education lawyers often aid or represent school districts or other education organizations; employment attorneys deal with the rights of employers and workers. Lawyers in environment and natural resources law take on regulatory issues that deal with the environment. Family attorneys help with adoption, divorce, and other family matters.
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