So, you’ve chosen to study law. That’s an excellent career path, but you’ll have to further define your area of study at some point. This can be challenging for law students, especially with so many areas of law to choose from. How can anyone be expected to choose the right specialization for them?
It’s tough, but there are a few ways you can better identify the type of law you wish to practice. This article is here to help you through the process and set you on the path to success. Here’s how to choose the right area of law specialization.
Start by Experimenting
You probably have a few ideas of what specializations you would prefer. Once you finish your first year of school, which is an introduction to the basics, your classes will allow you to experiment with various specializations.
Most students feel pressured to choose one area of study, but you should take this time to explore your options and see what you like best. To stay on schedule for graduation, you should conduct your experimentation through electives during your second and third year of college.
The Procedural View
With those electives down and your final year approaching, you can decide which specializations you liked the most. Don’t think about it in terms of the legal structure. Instead, look at the procedural aspect of the area of study.
Do you enjoy the type of research, writing, and negotiating that comes with the territory? How about the advising and calculating? If research and writing are your favorites, then you might be better off practicing something like copyright protection under intellectual property law. Public speakers, on the other hand, would do better in litigation.
Maybe you want to be able to make a difference in a more personal way that effects families and children. Choosing to become a family law attorney can prove to be heart-wrenching at times, but you can also have a lasting positive impact in someone’s life when they need it most.
Speak with Attorneys
Once you have your favorite procedural elements identified, it helps to speak with some professionals in the field. You might be surprised at how open attorneys are with up and coming law students. They can tell you more about the areas you’re interested in and what a day in the life looks like for this type of lawyer.
Follow Your Passion
You can further define your specialization of choice by simply following your passion. So, which area of law are you most passionate about? Maybe you want to help individuals after a personal injury, stop discrimination through employment law, or work in a more political setting.
Don’t feel as though you have to follow the money. While some specializations pay more off the bat, you’re more likely to succeed doing something you love. The last thing you want is to hate waking up and going to work each morning.
During your summer breaks, it’s in your best interest to pursue internships. With a few possible specializations in mind, you can experience what working in those fields would be like. This real-life experience can help you identify what you like about working in potential areas of the law and what you aren’t quite as keen on.
At the same time, your internships are helping you gain valuable skills that make you a better lawyer at future jobs. Regardless of the specialization, you’ll develop skills that relate to working in a law office as well as those that enhance your professionalism.