When considering what is the best kind of lawyer to become, you have a lot of options. Starting out, it can be difficult to decide which specialization would be best for you. The specialization that you choose will determine not only what you study, but the types of cases that you will be qualified to work on. It’s a huge decision overall, and it isn’t something that you should make lightly.
However, to help put some of the most common specializations into perspective, here is what you need to know.
Accident and Injury Lawyers
When it comes to accidents and injuries, you have a few realms that you can function in. For instance, personal injury, auto accidents, and workers comp, are all areas that revolve around helping people who are struggling after an accident or injury.
Let’s take a look at each of these specializations in-depth so that you can get a better idea of what is the best kind of lawyer to become.
Personal Injury Lawyers
Personal injury lawyers help clients who have sustained injuries via an accident, usually so that they can recover financial compensation either from their insurance or other involved parties. The compensation received will usually be used to help pay for medical costs, wages lost from the injury, and pain and suffering.
A personal injury lawyer can also help those hurt during motor vehicle accidents, as well as accidents that happen anywhere else. Because of this, it encompasses both auto accidents and worker’s compensation, although you could choose to focus on one as a primary specialty. For instance, working at an auto accident law firm that is geared towards helping car accident victims will give you more experience with those types of cases, giving you more experience as an accident injury lawyer. However, other law firms might choose to specialize in workers compensation cases specifically. Whether you choose to become known as a workers comp attorney really depends on what you want your primary focus to be.
Because personal injury lawyers, regardless of their specializations, often work with people who are injured, it’s essential that you approach this specialization with a caring mindset. Whether someone was injured on the job, in a car, or while walking down the street, these clients will be in a highly vulnerable state and are usually seeking help because they can’t get the compensation they deserve.
As a general personal injury lawyer, you should be able to explain the rights of your clients clearly and in a way that they can understand. Different states and even different counties can have varying statutes that you will need to be aware of. You should stay up to date with all legislation pertaining to injury law in your area, and be prepared to offer the best advice that you can.
Some other responsibilities that a personal injury lawyer will be responsible for include:
- Conducting a professional investigation into the accident by interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence that proves your client’s side of the story.
- Connecting with medical providers to set up services for your client under the condition that a lien is placed on the future settlement.
- Negotiating with the insurance company and their representatives to try and reach a settlement without the need to go to court.
If the case does end up going to court, you should also be prepared to represent your client during a civil trial.
As you can see, personal injury lawyers have their work cut out for them, and there is a lot that goes into this specialization, regardless of what avenue you may choose to focus on.
When an accident or illness happens in the workplace, a client may wish to pursue workers compensation. Sometimes, a workplace may fight this, resulting in the injured or ill party needing a lawyer. An injury lawyer who chooses to work with a focus on workers comp cases will be needed in this instance.
Similar to the above responsibilities, this focus also includes needing to work with lawyers who may be representing the workplace. As a workers comp lawyer, you will need to facilitate communication between them, medical staff, and insurance providers. You should also be up-to-date on any laws in your area pertaining to workers compensation.
Business attorneys and lawyers work for businesses to anticipate legal problems that may arise for their clients and plan accordingly for them. For example, if you are representing a bank, you’ll be tasked with drafting documents such as promissory notes, and security and loan agreements. These documents will have to be drafted in such a way that they are both fair to the customer of the bank, but also protect the bank from legal ramifications.
In some instances, business lawyers will also be tasked with making sure that legal documents are submitted to government authorities to ensure that the business can function legally.
With all of that being said, when considering what is the best kind of lawyer to become, it’s important to understand that business law is vast and it covers a wide range of legal areas. Similar to how personal injury attorneys can choose to focus on a specific area, business lawyers may choose to focus on corporate law, banking law, sales law, security law, product liability, or a combination of these.
If you choose to focus on product liability, you could represent a business in the instance that they are sued by someone claiming a product produced by your client harmed them. On the other hand, a product liability lawyer can also choose to represent people against businesses that they feel have a product that has caused harm.
Regardless of what you choose to focus on as a business lawyer, this specialization will require you to complete law school and obtain a JD degree. While it’s not required that you have a business background, it can help to be familiar with business terminology and basic concepts. However, a lot of this will come with experience in the field, and if you’re willing to dedicate yourself, this can be a great type of lawyer to become.
Bankruptcy lawyers are responsible for helping clients understand and file for bankruptcy. When considering what is the best kind of lawyer to become, this is one that many people benefit from.
Because filing for bankruptcy can be a complicated task, as a lawyer specializing in it, you will be responsible for helping clients choose the right type of bankruptcy and filing all the necessary paperwork. You will need to have extensive knowledge of the bankruptcy laws, requirements, stipulations, and types of assets, as well as of the different types of bankruptcy.
With this specialization, you will also find yourself working to help prevent foreclosures and repossessions. This can be challenging work, but it can be well worth it.
Bankruptcy law is also a very secure specialization, and thousands of people file every year. Although this isn’t necessarily a good thing, it does give you the chance to be able to help people through your specialization.
Criminal law is another vast field and there are many different focuses that you can choose. When considering what is the best kind of lawyer to become, many tend to gravitate towards this type of work. Criminal lawyers work to represent clients who are accused of committing a crime. Because of this, it is your job as their representative to prove their innocence or negotiate the best deal possible on their behalf.
Similar to a personal injury attorney, criminal lawyers and attorneys will be responsible for interviewing witnesses. However, they also need to know case law, statutes, procedural law, and criminal codes, as well as how to draft motions and appeals.
In some states, you may also be eligible to work as a bail bond criminal lawyer. This means that you’ll be able to write bail bonds that allow people to get out of jail, usually for about 10% of the total bond amount issued.
If you choose to specialize in criminal law, there are a few areas that you may wish to focus on. For instance, you may wish to work primarily on DUI cases and focus on the laws revolving around that. Some law firms offer a focus on cases like these, meaning it will be easier for you to find a place to work if you are just starting out.
Landlord Tenant Lawyers
Landlord tenant lawyers are lawyers that represent either a landlord or a tenant in legal disputes. If you have an interest in real estate and tenant laws, this is a type of specialization that you should consider when thinking about what is the best kind of lawyer to become.
When working as a landlord tenant lawyer, you’ll be responsible for working with both landlords and tenants as clients. This can mean helping tenants understand lease agreements, negotiating eviction cases, handling security deposit disputes, and any other legal disputes that may arise from disagreements or violations.
In order to be effective in this specialization, you must be able to understand and interpret lease agreements, as well as be knowledgeable about the tenant and landlord rights of your area. While disputes between tenants and landlords can usually be settled quickly, in some cases you will need to be prepared to represent your client in court.
Child Custody Lawyers
When considering what is the best kind of lawyer to become, you may have thought about child custody cases and divorce attorneys. This type of specialization is one that many people gravitate to, and while unfortunate in some cases, it is a needed specialty.
As a child custody lawyer, you would be specializing in cases that specifically deal with the matter of children in a divorcing family. This can be a tricky situation to navigate both legally and emotionally for your clients. Because of this, it is not a focus to choose lightly.
People who are effective child custody lawyers must be both non-judgemental and sympathetic to your client’s case. You will need to know all of the laws pertaining to custody in your area, as well as how to build the best case for your client. Throughout the process, and it can be lengthy, you will need to advise your client on how to conduct themselves so that they don’t jeopardize their position. This can mean counseling them on the importance of not lashing out, not making critical statements, and putting their children first.
Although you could choose to specialize in divorce, adding a focus on child custody gives you a wider client base and it can help you grow more if you’re just starting out your practice.
What is the Best Kind of Lawyer to Become?
When asking what is the best kind of lawyer to become, it’s important to consider the areas that interest you most and your temperament. Business law requires much less emotional navigation than injury law or child custody law. For this reason, it may be a better fit for aspiring lawyers who may feel uncomfortable in emotional situations.
Similarly, you don’t want to spend years specializing in a field that doesn’t interest you. For instance, if you dislike business and enjoy working with families more, working as a lawyer for a bank wouldn’t be a goal you’d want to achieve.
The best type of lawyer to become, really depends on what you want out of your career as well as what you would be more happy and comfortable working with. When you consider those points, coupled with knowing what each specialization is responsible for, you can put yourself in a better place to make the most informed decision possible.