Law Professions Video: Popular Fields of Law to Practice
Law Professions Video: Popular Fields of Law to Practice Transcript
As a lawyer, there are many legal areas that one can practice or specialize in. Some of these areas may include immigration law, corporate law, or even environmental law. Additional training and certification may be needed to specialize in such an area on top of the traditional post-secondary schooling and bar examination.
Lawyers are able to specialize in a braod range of areas including international, environmental, immigration, and probate law. The most common two areas for lawyers to specialize in are criminal and civil law. Lawyers choose the specialty area of law they wish to practice while earning their law degree.
Job Duties and Skills
Lawyers need great research and debate skills along with excellent speaking, reading, writing and analytical skills. Lawyers should enjoy working with others and be confident in their abilities. They should be able to gain and retain the respect of their clients, coworkers and the general public. Lawyers who deal with civil law areas should be knowledgeable of the law as it pertains to contracts, titles, wills, trusts and estates. Because lawyers often handle complex issues and cases, it is important for them to be able to reason well and to problem-solve accurately. All lawyers should be knowledgeable of the law and know where to gather such supporting evidence when defending their cases. Lawyers must meet with clients, establish strategies, gather information, and conduct research to help their client in a court of law or other type of litigation.
It takes approximately seven years of post-secondary schooling to become a lawyer. This includes four years of undergraduate work and three or four years of law school. To attend law school, applicants must first complete their bachelor's degree. Bachelor's degrees can be received in a variety of areas, though most law schools look favorably on those who have a multidisciplinary background. Law schools who are approved by the American Bar Association require their applicants to have taken the LSAT (Law School Admission Test) before acceptance. Upon completion of law school, you must also become licensed in the state or jurisdiction you wish to practice law. All states require lawyers to pass a written bar exam and many states also require an ethics exam.
The majority of lawyers work in a private practice or are self-employed. Other lawyers may work for government agencies or larger organizations that have their own staff lawyers. There are quite a few different areas of law one can practice, which makes for many choices in this profession. Some of these law areas may include: international, criminal, contract, property, probate, bankruptcy or elder law. Lawyers are typically able to set their own hourly or retainer fees and as such, the career can be quite lucrative.
However, despite the popular perceptions on television, lawyers often need to work long stressful hours on tedious tasks, often sacraficing personal endeavors. It does however give great reward and accomplishment in assuring that equal justice is perserved under the law.
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