Becoming a lawyer not only requires commitment and a passion for law, but the ability to complete law degree programs while simultaneously passing the bar. As a graduate lawyer, you may be wondering which branches of law to consider for yourself. For any new graduate lawyer, familiarizing yourself with branches of law that are currently in need of more attorneys is highly advisable. The more familiar you become with different branches of law, the easier it will be for you to determine the course of action that best reflects your own goals and the vision you have for your future.
1. Real Estate
As a graduate lawyer, one area of law that is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon includes real estate. Working as a real estate attorney can provide you with an opportunity to help others invest in or lease new real estate. Whether you prefer to represent standard single-family homes or if you’re interested in pursuing rooftop lease agreements for clients, there are many different ways you can work in real estate once you are a graduate lawyer. As a real estate attorney, you may be required to manage various litigation requests, negotiations, and leasing contracts, depending on the client you are representing and the type of real estate you are interested in representing.
Responsibilities of Real Estate Lawyers
Working as a professional real estate lawyer is a way to assist clients with the facilitation of titles and the transferring of documents. Monitoring property taxes, terms and conditions of leases and sales, and regulatory changes is also the responsibility of those who are working as professional real estate attorneys. Attorneys who work in real estate should also become familiar with predicting potential legal and financial risks for individual clients to assist them in their decision-making every step of the way.
2. Commercial Law
If you’re a graduate lawyer and you are interested in working in commercial or corporate law, you can do so by entering the field of commercial law. When you work as a commercial lawyer, you can represent individuals or owners of a local roofing company, depending on the services they currently need. Commercial lawyers understand the ins and outs of contractual agreements, policies, and making legal decisions in corporate settings.
Responsibilities of a Commercial Lawyer
Working as a commercial lawyer will require you to understand the process of reading through and negotiating contractual agreements, typically on behalf of a company or individual client. Commercial lawyers also represent clients in litigation and legal proceedings, especially when involved with other individuals or companies. Knowing how to manage and direct the legal framework of a company or entity is also imperative for those who are interested in working as full-time commercial lawyers, whether they intend to do so independently or with a local law firm.
3. Labor Law
For those who have a passion for labor laws and the rights of workers, going into labor law is one option as a graduate lawyer. Working in labor law will allow you to represent individual clients or owners of a particular business or entity, such as an auto glass company. Working in labor law is a way for professionals to determine if state and federal laws and regulations are being followed and abided by at all times for the sake of the workers.
What a Labor Lawyer Does
An attorney who specializes in labor law understands the union laws, regulations, and state laws that are associated with particular positions, roles, and industries. Labor lawyers can help advise clients on union directives, bargaining options, and negotiations that may be possible based on a particular situation their client has found themselves in. Labor attorneys will take the time necessary to determine which current protections are in place for their clients to protect them as best as possible.
4. Property Law
As a graduate lawyer, you may find yourself wanting to immediately enter the real estate industry or property law. If you want to steer clear of traditional real estate clients but prefer to work with cases that surround property laws themselves, you can do so by honing in on the field of property law. Property lawyers understand the laws regarding the use of a commercial fire alarm to negotiating contracts for various types of properties and lots, depending on where you are currently located, as well as any zoning laws that may be in effect.
Responsibilities of a Property Lawyer
Working as a property lawyer will require you to understand the ins and outs of regulations and laws in place at a state and federal level, based on where you are currently located and practicing. Attorneys who specialize in property law will also be responsible for reviewing and negotiating contractual agreements that pertain to any piece of property that is being represented in an individual case. Attorneys who work in property law will also need to be present during the closing process of purchasing or leasing a new piece of property or any lot, regardless of its intended purpose. Property lawyers should have a thorough understanding of zoning restrictions, requirements, and legalities associated with investing in lots, residential properties, and commercial buildings in your city and state.
5. Environmental Law
As the environment becomes an increasingly important global issue, the industry of environmental law has significantly expanded. If you have a passion for helping the world and giving back, consider honing in on environmental law once you are ready to begin practicing independently or with a local law firm. Environmental lawyers can with individual litigation cases or even provide life science consulting to various entities and non-profit organizations, depending on your own goals and the type of clients you intend to represent.
Responsibilities of an Environmental Lawyer
Environmental lawyers are responsible for keeping up with local, state, and federal laws as they pertain to real estate and environmental investments. Environmental lawyers understand the importance of protecting natural resources and can help assess potential risk factors for new investors who are looking to create jobs and businesses in a particular area. Environmental attorneys help to determine the potential risks for each new decision made that may negatively impact the surrounding environment in both the short and long-term.
6. Tax Law
If you are a graduate lawyer who has an interest in helping your clients overcome financial strain and struggles, consider focusing your time on tax law. Working in tax law is a way to help individuals avoid tax debt while also assisting local companies such as a water conditioning company from going under due to back taxes that may currently be owed to the state or even to the IRS. If you want to work as a tax lawyer, consider the type of cases and clients you want to take on based on your location and experience in the field.
Tax Lawyer Responsibilities
A tax attorney will take the time to assess the needs of their clients on an individual basis. When working with a new client, tax lawyers will take the time to determine the complete financial picture that a client is working with as an individual or business owner. Tax attorneys can then assess what a client is capable of paying off and how to go about best managing any tax troubles they may currently be experiencing. A tax attorney can represent clients in court, negotiate with the IRS on behalf of clients, and offer direct guidance to clients who are in need of direction while attempting to remedy their tax debt.
7. Personal Injury Law
A graduate lawyer who is interested in representing individuals who have a personal injury case can focus on personal injury law. This can be a very fulfilling branch of law. Working as a personal injury lawyer will allow you to guide clients through the process of seeking financial compensation based on any accident they have been involved in or a recent injury they may have sustained due to no fault of their own.
Responsibility of a Personal Injury Lawyer
Whether a client is unsatisfied with the skin cancer treatment they have received or if your client has been permanently disabled due to no fault of their own, personal injury lawyers are responsible for assessing cases on an individual basis. Screening potential clients, gathering evidence, investigating claims, and calculating potential damages are all part of the job when you are working as a personal injury attorney. Personal injury lawyers will also help file legal documents and paperwork as necessary before appearing in front of a judge or in a court of law on behalf of their client.
8. Family Law
If you are someone who enjoys mediating and helping others communicate, consider going into family law as a graduate lawyer. The area of family law typically involves everything from divorce proceedings to drafting and agreeing upon new custody agreements, depending on the clients who are involved and the case you take on. Working in family law is a way to connect with members of your local community while establishing a professional reputation for yourself as a family attorney.
Responsibilities of a Family Law Attorney
Working in family law as a graduate lawyer is a way to provide relief to those in your community who may be struggling with their family and close relationships at the time. From drafting custody agreements and even prenuptial agreements to guiding clients to attend family therapy, there are many different ways to give back once you begin working in the field of family law. Family law is optimal for attorneys who want to incorporate a general sense of giving back into their daily job.
9. Civil Law
If you prefer to represent clients with matters that are non-criminal or non-violent, consider learning more about the benefits of entering civil law. Civil law includes the handling of non-violent issues and legal claims, typically involving domestic disputes or disputes over property of any kind. Working in civil law is a way to alleviate stressors from your client’s life without working in an industry that involves violent or heinous crimes.
Responsibilities of a Civil Lawyer
Working as a civil lawyer will require you to meet with all parties who are involved in a civil case. Managing witness statements, collecting evidence, and properly organizing paperwork are all responsibilities of a civil lawyer, whether the case involves portable restroom trailers or a commercial zoning issue. Civil law attorneys will communicate directly with all legal professionals involved in a case while also streamlining communications with the court, filing motions, and handling necessary briefs on demand.
10. Bankruptcy Law
If you have a passion for helping others and want to prevent your clients from experiencing unnecessary stress related to financial difficulties, consider working as a bankruptcy lawyer. Working in bankruptcy law allows you to represent a company such as a concrete delivery company or individuals who may be struggling to stay afloat financially with their everyday expenses. As a bankruptcy lawyer, you can help to guide your clients to a path that is conducive to their financial future and overall stability.
What a Bankruptcy Lawyer Does
Bankruptcy attorneys are responsible for assisting clients with specific phone calls and, in some cases, paperwork and negotiations. Bankruptcy lawyers will need to assess the individual needs of their clients on a case-by-case basis to determine the best course of action to take. Attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy law can also attend various hearings, meetings, and conferences on behalf of their clients to help in the process of negotiating any potential settlements that are currently on the table. If you have an interest in assisting others with getting out of debt and getting their lives back on track, consider working in the field of bankruptcy law.
Learning various areas of law as a graduate lawyer is essential before you begin practicing on your own or even working for another local law firm. The more you understand about branches of law that are appealing to you, the easier it will be for you to determine what type of cases and clients you want to take on and represent in the future. Becoming familiar with different areas of law will not only help you to navigate the legal system with ease, but it will also ensure that you feel comfortable with and confident in any decisions you make that will immediately impact your career.