According to Boston University, you can follow several career paths as a lawyer. These include corporate law, government law, public interest, and private practice. On top of that, there are several sub-paths, such as tax law, real estate law, and employment law that legal professionals choose to specialize in. It’s a good idea to understand aspects of the law for the career path you want to pursue, as the decision can affect the type of cases you handle, your compensation, and even your own personal or professional fulfillment. If you want to practice law, below are some types of law you can practice and what they involve.
Assisting Families With Legal Disputes
Family law is one of the career paths you can follow as an attorney. According to the National Business Institute, it’s one of the most popular law practice areas, so if you’re considering family law, you’re not alone. As a family law attorney, your work will focus on issues affecting families. However, one of the top aspects of the law you’ll likely come across often is family disputes. For example, you can represent clients in child custody disputes, paternity disagreements, and child visitation issues.
As a family lawyer, you can assist your client if they are involved in a domestic dispute. For example, you can help them file an order of protection or sue for full custody. Being a family attorney can be very fulfilling, as you’re helping families resolve disputes, leading to happier families. You can also look out for the interests of children or, in the case of domestic violence, help remove clients from dangerous situations.
Representing a Client During a Divorce
According to Forbes, there were reported 689,300 divorces across the U.S. in 2021. On top of that, according to Psychology Today, nearly half of first-time marriages are predicted to fall apart, with divorce incidences being higher for subsequent unions. There’s a high demand for divorce lawyers, making this another top area of law where you can practice.
One of the top aspects of the law you can expect to deal with as a divorce lawyer is the dissolution of marriages. You’ll represent your client when they file for divorce or legal separation. You’ll also help protect their rights regarding child custody, child support, and spousal support.
The division of assets is another of the top aspects of divorce law; represent your client in court, ensuring that they get a fair share in the property division. You can also offer legal advice to your clients, protecting them from costly mistakes, such as hiding their assets. Therefore, your services as a lawyer can be beneficial in situations such as high asset divorce cases, where your client has much to lose.
Helping Kids Find the Right Home
According to the Child Welfare League of America, protecting kids is one of the top aspects of the law. So, if you want to practice law, you can dedicate your career to protecting children’s interests. One of the best ways to do this is by helping them find an ideal home.
One of the ways you can help children find suitable homes is by being a guardianship lawyer. In this capacity, you can help your clients to file petitions for legal guardianship and navigate the court hearings. You can also offer them advice on legal and welfare issues, thus protecting their rights and the interests of the children involved.
You can also help kids find their ideal home by becoming an adoption attorney. As an adoption attorney, you’ll help clients who are looking to adopt to navigate the complex legal adoption process. You can also help parents who are giving up their child for adoption to terminate their parental rights.
Representing a Worker’s Claim
Employee rights are another one of the top aspects of the law and, in the United States, there’s a huge need to protect workers’ interests. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were over 2.6 million workplace injuries in 2021. So if you’re looking to become an attorney, employment law may be the area of law that’s right for you.
Employment law has several career paths that you can choose from. One of the top ones is a personal injury lawyer. In this capacity, you can help workers injured on the job to file a claim and receive compensation for their injuries, lost wages, disabilities, and other damages.
Another way you can protect workers’ interests is by becoming an employee rights lawyer. In this role, you can protect your clients from various injustices during their work. These can include unfair dismissal, discrimination (age, sex, race, sexuality, etc.), unfair wages, and sexual harassment.
Managing Major Purchases
Another way to have a fulfilling career as a lawyer is to protect your client’s interests when making a significant financial decision. Consumers are usually at an increased risk of being scammed when making high-value transactions. As a lawyer, you can be instrumental during such transactions by offering your clients legal advice to protect them from scams.
The real estate industry is one of the top areas where you can protect your client’s interest during big purchases. In real estate, one of the top aspects of the law is the transfer of property ownership. In such a situation, you can protect your client by ensuring all the paperwork and contracts are correctly drawn and filed. On top of that, as a real estate lawyer, you can perform due diligence on the buyers, protecting your client from being scammed.
Transaction law is another area where you can protect your clients when they are making big purchases. As a transactional lawyer, you can advise businesses and individuals before they make large transactions. You can also help them to negotiate, review, and assess contracts, thus mitigating the risks involved in the transactions.
Helping People Plan Ahead
According to New York Times, more people are now planning for their future and death. Such plans usually involve legal processes, and individuals often require advice from professionals to make the right decisions. One of the ways you can help people plan ahead is by practicing estate law. Some aspects of the law you can deal with as an estate planning attorney include drafting the last will, creating trusts, and facilitating property transfer to your client’s beneficiaries. As an estate planning lawyer, you can also help your client to prepare for the future through documents such as the power of attorney, living will, and health proxy.
Besides estate planning, you can also help people to plan for their futures as an investment lawyer. In this capacity, you can advise individuals and businesses when investing, thus protecting their financial future. You can also defend your client’s rights in civil or criminal litigations arising from their interests.
Assisting People With Their Citizenship
According to Migration Policy Institute, nearly one million people apply for citizenship annually in the United States. On top of that, over 45.3 million immigrants live in the country, many of whom often require legal help with citizenship issues. If you’re looking to make a significant difference in people’s lives, citizenship and immigration is an excellent area of law to practice in.
As a citizenship or immigration lawyer, one of the ways you can help your clients is to acquire their citizenship. Other aspects of the law where immigration and citizenship are concerned include visa applications, visa extensions, and work permit applications. Furthermore, as a citizenship lawyer, you can protect your client’s interests in situations where their citizenship status affects their business, family, and tax status.
On top of assisting people with their citizenship issues, you also offer your services to immigrants who find themselves in unfortunate situations. These include illegal immigrants who are facing deportation and people seeking asylum. These individuals often need the best immigration lawyer to help them navigate their complex legal issues.
Representing Those Accused of a Crime
According to Cornell Law School, proper legal representation in court is one of the top aspects of the law. With more than 10 million people arrested yearly in the United States, according to the Vera Institute of Justice, criminal defense lawyers are in high demand. So, criminal law is an excellent area to consider if you want to practice law.
If you want to practice criminal law, you can offer general legal services, defending individuals accused of various crimes. Alternatively, you could specialize in one specific area of criminal law. For example, most criminal DUI lawyers only represent clients who are charged with driving under the influence offenses.
As a criminal defense attorney, you can also have a private practice or work as a public defender. If you opt to become a private lawyer, you’ll mainly deal with clients who can afford to pay for your legal services. However, as a public defender, you’ll be appointed by the court to defend accused persons who can’t afford legal services. Whatever path you choose under criminal law, you can help to defend your client’s rights and interests in many ways. This can include representing them in court proceedings, offering them legal advice, negotiating plea settlements, and more.
Helping People Get Back on the Road
According to the Washington Post, millions of people in the United States lose their driving privileges due to suspended or revoked licenses. Unfortunately, in most cases, the reasons for this are minor and unfair, such as the inability to pay court fines and fees. The loss of driving privileges can be very frustrating for an individual. It can also interfere with their economic status, and inconvenience parents who must drop off and pick up their kids from school. So, if you want to practice law, becoming a license reinstatement lawyer is an excellent idea.
As a license restoration attorney, one of the aspects of the law you’ll be dealing with is representing your clients during hearings. This way, you can help them avoid losing their driving privileges in the first place. You can also appeal license suspension and revocations, helping your clients get back on the road. On top of that, you can represent clients in more complex situations, such as the ones whose driver’s license has been revoked due to a DUI conviction.
Protecting the Interests of Abuse Victims
According to the Centre for Family Justice, millions of people in the United States suffer from abuse yearly. Most of these victims are often disadvantaged members of society, while others suffer in silence due to fear. As a result, they usually have very few places to turn to, making lawyers specializing in abuse protection vital.
One of the aspects of law you can deal with as an abuse lawyer is domestic abuse. Domestic and intimate partner violence is one of the most common forms of abuse, affecting millions regardless of gender or age. As a lawyer, you can help these victims in many ways, including seeking legal protection, medical care, and compensation for their sufferings.
Another way you can help protect abuse victims is by becoming an elder care lawyer. Eder abuse and neglect, like domestic violence, is widespread, affecting millions yearly. According to New York State Enhanced Multidisciplinary Team Inative, about 16% of adults living in community-dwellings, or one in every six, have suffered some form of abuse in the last year.
Besides domestic violence and elder abuse, there are other forms of widespread violence. These include child abuse, sexual violence, racially-motivated abuse, modern slavery, physiological abuse, etc. As a lawyer, you can offer your services to the many victims who experience these types of abuse, thus helping to protect their rights and dignity.
Lawyers play a vital role in society by protecting their client’s rights and interests. As a result, several areas of law exist which touch on various sectors, including business, corporate, criminal, family, estate, and more. If you’re looking to practice law, the above are some of the top practice areas you can consider and the various aspects of the law you can choose to focus in. Selecting the one that’s right for you depends on how you wish to make a difference for others.