There are more than 20 speciality areas of law, such as civil rights law, corporate law, finance law, animal rights law, constitutional law, and corporate law, among others. Within those, there are litigators, contract lawyers, and trial lawyers. It is impossible for any lawyer to be well-versed enough in all of them to be regarded as an expert in each. For this reason, after graduating from law school, lawyers should preferably decide the area(s) on which they want to focus. These are called legal practice areas. Generally, lawyers settle on one or two. In crime, there is a further choice of whether, like most barristers, you both prosecute and defend.
Choosing a practice area is a major commitment so it’s vital that you carry out some self-exploration beforehand. The two main questions you should ask yourself are whether a practice area will be sustainable long-term and whether it’s something you are truly passionate about. Being a barrister takes a lot of hard work so it’s important that you love what you do. If you choose from your heart, you will be rewarded with a long life of job security, satisfaction, and contentment
First, take a look at your hobbies and interests. What would you do if you made no salary at all and just had inner peace and joy? In addition to loving what you do, you must also, of course, be good at it. Carry out an honest assessment of where your strengths and weaknesses lie so you can piece together a life plan that fits your skill set and interests at the same time.
If you are someone who loves pouring over reading material and spending hours in the library or online doing research, then you might be a good litigator. Analytical thinkers and well-organized people who love analytics are a great fit for a large firm litigation role. On the other hand, if you are more of a performer and someone who enjoys public speaking, then a trial lawyer might be a better fit for you.
If you enjoy a more business-level type of law, then contract and corporate law might be a good match for you. It will involve drafting, interpreting, and rewriting transactional contracts. There is a sense of comfort for some people who like the patterns and predictability of corporate law.
It is also important to look closely at the legal landscape, and the job market within it. Law schools all over the country have produced an abundance of litigators, so you will need exceptional qualifications in order to stand out among your colleagues. And once you do decide on which area to pursue, try to get ahead of other graduates by making contacts with practitioners as soon as possible.