Law students need to be informed about their choices before deciding which law field they want to join. They should identify what they are passionate about and figure out the best specialty based on that. If you’re a parent of a hardworking law student, you can help them make this decision. Here are a few legal specialties your graduate student may consider.
Criminal law deals with crime and punishment for anyone who breaks the law. Whether you will be prosecuting people for breaking the law or defending the ones accused of a crime, this field is crucial in ensuring justice is administered. A criminal lawyer should have a few essential qualities, including interpersonal skills, critical thinking, and good verbal and written communication skills.
As a criminal lawyer, there are many diverse job opportunities for one to choose from, starting with public defenders, private attorneys, state prosecutors, and judges. A criminal lawyer needs to have an association with bail bond agents, as some of their clients may need to utilize an agency. Bail bond agencies will pledge money or property as bail, which acts as a surety that a defendant will appear in court after going home.
Family law deals with all matters family-related, like divorce, child custody, and inheritances. With the rate of divorce being on the rise, divorce attorneys have become very important. If family matters interest your law student, then consider this field. There have been many national debates over family structure, morality, and gender bias, meaning family law is evolving with time. Judges and legislators have had to redefine and re-examine legal relationships to suit the modern world. When dealing with family law, note that you will be touching some aspects of a client’s personal life. You will therefore need to establish a boundary and keep your emotions in place not to cross it.
Estate lawyers perform duties like reviewing and prepping documents like wills and trusts. About 37% of American seniors have advanced directives set up for end-of-life planning in the event of incapacitation or sudden illness. An estate attorney’s job is to ensure that those directives are followed to the latter. As an estate lawyer, your law student would be helping families through difficult conversations that involve life post-death. Understanding the fragility of these subjects is important.
For law students with a passion for protecting the environment, this is an appropriate field. Environmental law covers rules and regulations set to protect the environment and our community from public and private actions. These laws address the effects of human practices on our environment. A lawyer practicing environmental law ensures that our planet is safeguarded and manages our natural resources sustainably.
You will find most environmental lawyers working with companies or organizations that are eco-friendly and hold institutions accountable for their environmental actions. According to the UN, if people were to shift to a greener economy, more than 24 million jobs can be created globally. That means this is the best time to get into environmental law. Also, one feels self-fulfilled when working to protect the environment.
Business law deals with industry and commerce aspects from licensing and intellectual property to trademarking, taxes, and liability. There is small business law that focuses on businesses that are just starting and need legal counsel. Some issues that a small business lawyer will address include taxation, licensing, and hiring of employees.
Then there is corporate law, which deals with established companies. In such companies, you will find they have an in-house counsel for advice on day-to-day matters. Take the example of a construction company; you will find that in some projects, approximately 84% of contractors, 90% of engineers, and 76% of architects use prefab/ modular construction processes. An attorney would likely handle legal matters involving the contract between the manufacturer and the construction company.
If your law student is struggling to figure out which specialty to go for, consider strengths and weaknesses as well as passion. Your graduate student has put in plenty of hard work to get where they are today, so guide them in figuring out the best specialty that will suit their personal and career goals.