If you’re reading this, you have probably narrowed it down to law as one of your potential career paths. By choosing law, you have completed half the decision, and what is left is identifying which area of specialty is most suited for you. Your choice will determine your work and where you work for a significant part of your career. Law firms like Real Legal offer students like you opportunities to practice once you complete your degree. As you go through this list of legal path options, note which ones spark your interest and consider venturing into one.
As the name suggests, divorce lawyers represent clients who want to dissolve their marriage. They offer legal counsel and representation throughout the divorce to protect their client’s rights. As a divorce lawyer, you will be responsible for negotiating settlements, filing relevant paperwork, and offering advice to your client. If children are involved, you will negotiate child custody, child support, spousal support, and the division of assets acquired while your client was married to their spouse.
You will need several qualifications to practice as a divorce lawyer. They include acquiring a law degree and passing the bar examination. Each state has varied qualifications for divorce lawyers, so find out which ones you need to fulfill in the state you want to practice. Real Legal has qualified and experienced divorce lawyers who can advise newly graduated attorneys who wish to join this practice area.
Work Injury Lawyer
A work injury attorney represents employees who have suffered a work-related injury to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve. The lawyer is an intermediary between the employee and the employer or insurance company. Often, insurance lawyers try to deal with injury cases quickly and in the most cost-effective way possible. A work injury lawyer ensures the employer or insurance firm does not shortchange the employee.
If you choose this legal path, you will likely work on a contingency fee, meaning you get payments when you win the case. You will need an undergraduate law degree and a Juris Doctor law degree, and a pass on your state’s bar examination. Your clients will have faced minor or major injuries and, in dire cases, death. A work injury lawyer from Real Legal helps clients get compensated for medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, loss of a breadwinner, and emotional and psychological trauma.
A criminal lawyer defends clients accused of criminal offenses like burglary, theft, murder, arson, etc. The attorney’s job is to interpret the law, advise their client on the legal options and present any evidence in court. They represent their clients in hearings, arrangements, and trials. The lawyer negotiates pleas, punishments, and settlements with the prosecutor.
You will need a law degree and admission to your state’s bar. Trial experience is mandatory, and most law firms will likely consider hiring you when you have at least two years of experience in this practice area. Law firms like Real Legal provide criminal defense services and can help mentor you in this area. This legal path requires ongoing training to stay updated on new developments in laws in your selected state.
DUI lawyers represent those charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Their work is more straightforward than other legal paths, mainly focusing on negotiating the fairest punishment possible with the prosecutor. Their approach is streamlined because, many times, law enforcement has enough proof to show the accused had higher levels of alcohol than permitted by the state’s laws. The cases are, therefore, relatively fast and much easier to remove compared to other niches like criminal law.
If you choose this legal path, you will need a law degree- Juris Doctorate, and admission to the bar. Having good professional relationships with prosecutors can go a long way during negotiation. As a DUI attorney at Real Legal, you will advise your clients and inform them of their legal options and the most suitable legal strategy based on their unique case details.
Car Accident Lawyer
Car accident attorneys represent victims of car accidents who have suffered injury or loss resulting from another driver’s negligence. The personal injury cases in this legal path might involve minor or major injuries- in some instances, victims suffer long-term, and some never fully recover. You are likely to represent clients with disability and injuries and those that have lost their loved ones in an auto accident. Your primary goal is to ensure they get fairly compensated for their losses.
You will seek monetary compensation if the client’s car was damaged and has accrued repair expenses at an auto repair shop. Depending on the case, you may need to negotiate with the insurance company or the reckless driver if their vehicle is not insured. Regardless, your main job is to prove that the accident happened due to the driver’s negligence and that the injuries suffered are a direct result of the occurrence. Your clients may need emotional and psychological support, so an empathetic approach is preferable when listening to their case.
An estate lawyer protects and transfers assets upon a client’s death. They help clients’ families avoid the private process by providing a detailed property transfer plan when the owner is dead or incapacitated. Sometimes, the client may offer partial or complete power of attorney, allowing the lawyer to say what happens to the client’s assets and medical care in line with the expressed wishes. The lawyer also steps in if there is no will and the family is trying to find the fairest way to divide the property.
As an estate planner, you will draft wills and trusts that reflect your client’s decisions about how they want to transfer their assets. You will oversee the transfer upon their death to ensure it complies with the predetermined will. You will also advise your client to ensure their decisions are within the industry’s fair laws and policies. An estate planning lawyer advises clients on minimizing taxes on estate transfers.
Elder Law Lawyer
Elder law attorneys protect and preserve the rights and privileges of older adults. They are conversant with the state, federal, and local requirements and benefits affecting older adults and help their clients maximize these opportunities. They assist clients with finances, health, and asset planning issues. Their roles differ from estate planning attorneys because elder law also focuses on safeguarding the client’s assets when they are alive and in the future.
As an elder law lawyer, you will assist your clients with Medicaid or Medicare claims, long-term care, retirement plans, grandparents’ visitation rights, guardianship, conservatorship, etc. You will provide legal advice for them to make critical financial and healthcare decisions and represent them in unfortunate elder abuse or fraud cases. At Real Legal, you will find elder law attorneys conversant with the civil rights, laws, and policies that safeguard older adults.
Child Custody Attorney
Child custody lawyers represent clients in cases that involve child disputes. They help settle matters when two parents need clarity on sharing responsibilities during or after separation or divorce. Most child custody cases are resolved at mediation through negotiations with the opposing counsel. However, if negotiations fail, child custody attorneys represent clients for a fair judgment.
If you choose this legal path, you will interpret the law to your clients to help them understand their rights and those of the other parent. You will provide insight into the most suitable strategy and develop parental agreements that define each parent’s role. Many of these cases can get heated, and you must inform your client of the need for ethical conduct. Law firms like Real Legal help clients navigate the often emotional process of separation and determination of child custody and parental rights.
Intellectual Property Lawyer
An intellectual property attorney protects their client’s rights of intellectual property ownership. The lawyer helps the client apply for trademarks and patents within their country and worldwide. These may include brand names, logos, slogans, and music unique to a particular individual or business. The lawyer takes legal action if their client’s IP is used without authorization.
As an IP lawyer, you will process the proper documentation to begin the legal process of negotiation to get your client the compensation they deserve for the unauthorized use of their IP. It will help to build a strong network with trademark-issuing organizations to make the application process seamless. After getting your law degree, you can advance with a specialty in this area via your college or state bar. Once done with the studies, take time to learn from reputable law firms like Real Legal, who have knowledge of the industry and can help you get hands-on experience.
Immigration attorneys help students, employees, refugees, and other groups gain legal status to live, work, or study in the country. They help employees navigate the legal process of gaining citizenship or prolonging their legal work status. If there is a suit against their client, the attorney represents them to find ways to help them remain in the country and avoid deportation. They help unaccompanied minors, refugees, and asylum seekers to find asylum in the country by proving that sending them back to their country poses some form of threat.
Some colleges can provide courses that allow you to specialize in this area and receive certification. If your college does not offer this option, try finding out some units you can take as part of your law degree to allow you to enter this niche once you graduate. Real Legal can provide you with much-needed information about this legal path to allow you to make an informed choice. Immigration attorneys can work for NGOs, the government, or privately and independently.
Human Rights Lawyer
A human rights attorney is considered one of the noblest legal paths. They fight for the rights of individuals, groups, and entire communities whose rights are violated by persons, governments, or other parties. Picture a lawyer who organizes and participates in social action activities to advocate for preserving human dignity and autonomy. They also represent clients in national and international courts to handle crimes like torture, genocide, and arbitrary arrest.
Due to their job roles, these attorneys can work in various setups, including international organizations, the federal government, and NGOs. You need a Juris Doctor to become one and strength in precision, persuasiveness, and exquisite knowledge of issues affecting your cases. Contact Real Legal if you or a loved one are interested in this field or know someone whose rights have been violated. The firm will provide the much-need legal representation or referral to seek justice for the offense.
A tax attorney plays a crucial role in smoothly running a business’s finances. They know the ins and outs of state and federal taxes and work to help companies navigate these complexities. They are typically hired by any small, medium, or large business, including NGOs, to help them comply with federal and state taxes. The lawyer also determines if a business faces a legal issue requiring legal representation in court or mediation.
If you become a tax lawyer with Real Legal or any other firm, you will provide legal advice to clients to deter lawsuits. It would help if you stayed on top of the ever-changing tax law development, IRS rulings, and court opinions that affect your legal path. You can take a Master’s degree in Taxation when you have had experience in the field and decide you want to specialize in it entirely.
The above list of legal paths highlights the main niches you can consider in the industry. You can identify the right fit by observing which areas spark your interest and researching more to see if it aligns with your career vision. Please refrain from the notion that you must pick a specific path because it looks good and focus on which one feels more purposeful. You are likely to enjoy decades in your career if you choose a path you are genuinely passionate about.