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How do I know what type of lawyer to be?

I want to be lawyer, I think. But I can’t figure out what type of lawyer I want to be.

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Cammeo’s Answer

There are so many different types of law with different pros and cons to each. I wouldn't worry about getting too set on one area this early on. I know many lawyers that have completed law school and still don't know what type of law they want to work in. Once you start working or if you can get an internship, I would suggest trying to get into a larger law firm that practices in many different areas. Then you can see first hand if any of the areas interest you.

I would also keep in mind that there are many companies that have internal counsel so you don't always have to end up in a law firm. This opens up the ability to work in many different industries. For example, I work at a tech company and we have many lawyers here that specialize in different areas such as employment law, corporate law, contracts, privacy law etc.
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Bob’s Answer

Hi, Sylvia. Wonderful question!

It is rare that people know what type of law they wish to practice before attending law school.

That said, occasionally your undergraduate studies and interests may impel you towards a specific legal career. As an example, I had a classmate in law school who had obtained a BS in tax as an undergraduate degree, and he was certain that he wished to practice tax law upon graduation, which he did.

In law school you will be offered courses and projects in every type of law, and those courses and projects (such as trial or appellate practice) will tend to show you the way.

My advice--pay attention to what interests you now both in your life (hobbies, volunteering) and in your studies. As an example you may be interested in the environment, or helping the elderly, or animal rights, or many other causes.

The happiest people on the job, in my experience, are those whose interests coincide with their employment. So analyze yourself and your interests and see what currently makes you tick. You will undoubtedly find courses in those topics, but at the same time be open to change, to new vistas and goals that you discover as you progress through school.

This is an exciting time for you, so do a self assessment of what you love, of where you want to make a difference in the world, and if you attend law school, look for courses that will allow you to do just that. But always, be open to growth--you may find something that moves you that today is completely unknown to you. Life offers so much! Good luck, and go make a difference!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thank you comment icon Great answer! I agree with all of this. Jennifer Ashford
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