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Why do some lawyers like one cluster more than others?

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Desiree’s Answer

In short, I'd say the preference is based primarily on interest and experience.

In the US, lawyers generally require a graduate degree (i.e., Law School), but lawyers can study whatever they want in undergrad. So an attorney who rocked engineering at university, might be more inclined to go into IP Law; someone who was great at psychology may find their passion in family law. Also, like every person, lawyers have different interest -- an attorney who wants to save the rain forest may end up in environmental law; one who loves movies, could end up in entertainment law. Plus, once you are a licensed attorney, you can stay in your specialty or decide to take up others. If you are willing to put in the effort to get to know new areas of law, the sky is your limit!

Also, it's important to know that there are lawyers who practice a little of everything - general practice attorneys who might help a person write a will one day, defend another person in traffic court or help form a neighborhood business or charity. Even in companies, the in-house attorneys might wear many different hats, managing HR legal matters one day, a supplier contracts another and a consumer complaint the next. Of course, I imagine even these multi-tasking attorneys still have their favorite parts of the law!

Thank you!! Grayson F.

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Zach’s Answer

Hi Grayson,

Great question.

Some attorneys start in one place and end up in another and it's okay to "find your way" to some extent. For example, I know a lawyer who was a well respected up-and-coming criminal prosecutor. After a pivotal case he began to feel that the system lacked appropriate representation for the defense.

This pivotal case cause this lawyer to become a criminal defense attorney and also gave purpose to his work.

There are also lawyers who might be predominantly driven by money and/or prefer to work in a more corporate setting (as opposed to attending hearings, trial, etc.). Those folks tend to pursue a career in corporate or contract law more than criminal for example.

There are benefits to all and of course there is never a "right" answer.

Good luck!

Zach recommends the following next steps:

Good questions to ask yourself: - When you envision practicing law, what do you see? How do you see yourself when you envision being a lawyer? - Have you heard of any practices/clusters that have piqued your interest in the past?
This may take a bit of courage, but if you find a specification that sounds interesting, you would be surprised at how willing a lawyer might be to meet with you and answer any questions you might have about what it's like to walk a day in their shoes. You can do this simply by calling the number they list on the internet, telling them why you're calling and what you're looking to learn, and asking for a meeting.

Thank you!! Grayson F.

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Glenn’s Answer

Hi Grayson,

I think some lawyers prefer one area of the law, or one type of practice the law, over another because the area or practice they choose best suits their personality and their individual talents and strengths. I found that it was hard to know what would best suit me when I was attending law school. I thought I wanted to work in one area of the law, but ended up working in several different areas of the law during my career. The flexibility to work in different law practices and different substantive areas of the law is one of the best things about being a lawyer.