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What kind of law did you study/are you practicing, and why?

I am in my junior year of college and will be applying to law schools next year. I have no idea what law I want to do and I am concerned because I know I should at least narrow it down so that I can choose the law school that best matches me. #law #legal #lawyer #attorney #law-school #lawyers #law-school #lawyers #law-school

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Jennifer’s Answer

There are all different types of lawyers. Generally lawyers are transactional lawyers or litigation lawyers, or even non-traditional practicing attorneys. Transaction attorneys may work in a law firm and may work on deals, such as contract negotiations or providing legal advice. Litigation attorneys will focus more lawsuits and representing clients on a legal matter in court or dispute resolution.

When you are in law school, think about what kinds of classes are interesting you most...perhaps Property, maybe Con Law, maybe even Torts! That should give you an idea of what you may like doing, but sometimes it's not as simple as that because some legal jobs can be hard to get and very competitive so you may have to take a position that is not your ideal one. If this happens, think of it as a stepping stone to where you want to be in your career.

I am an in-house technology lawyer and work for a very large company. I never expected this to be my career or the type of law I would be practicing. I studied literature in undergrad and always gravitated to more artsy topics, such as art, literature, and music. However, one of my first jobs after law school was working as an in-house attorney at a start-up...I started learning about technology and legal issues related to this space, including drafting contracts, developing company policies, giving trainings on confidentiality, and providing legal advice on product development. This experience helped me get my next job at another larger technology company, where I was able to build on my prior skills and learn more, including about Government contracts, financing, Saas, the cloud, compliance, international dealer/distribution laws, and even newer developments in technology. These experiences helped prepare and shape me for my current role, which I absolutely love!

So, what do recommend? Don't limit yourself! Be open to learning/trying new things! Ask questions and ALWAYS be curious! You never know where your career can take you...but as long as you are open to the new experiences in front of you and are willing to take a chance on something out of your comfort zone, the sky is the limit!!!! Good luck!

Thank you Jennifer for your insight! Joselyn R.

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Mariana’s Answer

Hello Joselyn,

I´m a lawyer and this question I made to myself thousands of times since I entered to law school, but in my experience I could tell you that it's all a matter of learning and getting to know the different specialties that exist as you go, now a days It may be that from this moment there is some branch of law that may catch your attention but it may happen that at the end of the degree and since you studied all the subjects related to it, they do not attract as much attention as before.

Today this profession adapts to new technologies and therefore incorporates new fields of study, what you can do is do an investigation of the different law schools that interest you, consult the study plan that each one has and see which one. It attracts your attention, you can do an investigation of the different branches of law that exist in your country and see which one best suits your interests.

From my experience I can tell you that I have dedicated myself to 3 different ones, such as administrative law when I worked in an office, financial and securities law when worked in a bank and currently I am dedicated to corporate law when working in a private company, so this is a matter of trying a little of each one.

I hope this can work for you and clarify your doubts.


Hi Mariana, thank you for your response. From the sounds of it, I think I am going to explore internships before and during law school to get an idea of what I might want to do now. As you stated, this might change and it is reassuring to hear that. Joselyn R.

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Kim’s Answer


When it comes to law school, obviously you want to apply to those that you prefer to attend. However, because admission is highly competitive, many students will attend whatever school happens to extend them an acceptance offer. Because of this competitiveness, you will want to apply to other schools that are "okay," but not really on your preferred list of schools.

When it comes to landing a job after law school, again, it is highly competitive, and, some law school graduates in fact do not find jobs as lawyers. So, as to what kind of law they practice, it will be whatever they can get.

I'm not trying to dissuade you, but these are facts you need to know. Unless you are super talented or have strong connections that will offer you your first job, it's not easy! You will want to take full advantage of opportunities while in law school. This includes writing for/editing the school's law review, working at legal aid clinics, and interning over the summer with various law firms.

As to your original question. . . What aspects of life/society are of interest to you? Because, even though your first job might be in any field, with experience, you will eventually find your way into that area where you prefer to be. But there are so many fields of law! To see a few of the different possibilities, scroll through the drop down menus of "what do you need help with" and "board certified in. . ." on this link: https://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Find_A_Lawyer&Template=/CustomSource/MemberDirectory/Search_Form_Client_Main.cfm

Each area has many subspecialties. For example, perhaps contract law really doesn't appeal to you. But, you might love to be an agent for a professional athlete. Attorneys who specialize in criminal defense often got their start in criminal prosecution (which is helpful, because it lets you learn how your "opponent" thinks!) There is a whole field of Administrative Law which has to do with understanding Agency regulations (Food and Drug Administration, etc). There are jobs writing and revising all these regulations! So, ask yourself, WHY are you going to law school? Some sort of interest has to be driving you, what is it? What's your major?

Hi Kim, thank you for giving me an honest answer! I have realized the importance of networking in law school. Joselyn R.

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Atul’s Answer

I am not a lawyer but I have relatives and friends who are lawyers.
Most of them are practicing corp (review contracts, etc.) and/or civil (divorce, etc.).
You will find many commercials on TV where there are ambulance chaser who will file a lawsuit against insurance companies or class action lawsuits such as asbestos exposure.
For some people, only thing matters to these lawyers is to make money while others take pride in their work and pursue to become a good lawyer.
You should be able to sleep at night if you practice law that is ethical.
IMHO - Corp Law is not a bad option. But fight for the cause.
There is a reason Lawyers are not well respected in our country.

Hi Atul, being ethical and passionate about my work is something that I prioritize when researching law careers. Thank you for your input and response! Joselyn R.

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