Law is an incredibly broad field, so any successful lawyer will need to pick a specific area to focus on. Selecting one specialization as early as possible helps future lawyers build the experience and education they need to succeed. How can one find the best practice area? Here are a few things to consider.
Identify One’s Personal Strengths
Finding a specialization requires lawyers to take a good look at themselves. Lawyers should try to think about what sort of things drew them to the law in the first place and think about their strongest personality traits. Often, litigators enjoy legal research, logical thinking, and strategizing. Meanwhile, corporate lawyers tend to enjoy negotiating, contract drafting, and dependable career. Those who like interpreting statutes and continuing their education may enjoy the field of regulatory law.
Look at Demand in One’s Desired Location
The law of supply and demand still holds true for lawyers. It may be helpful for a lawyer to think about where they want to live and then consider what sorts of clients are available in that area. For example, an area with an aging population may require more estate planning attorneys while an area known for the industry may need corporate lawyers to draft contracts.
Try Out a Few Specializations
Those who are struggling to settle on one specialization may benefit from hands-on experience. If possible, try doing a few internships and summer associate programs at various firms. This can give a person an idea of what a field is really like, helping them see if it is right for them. While working for a law firm, think carefully about whether that lifestyle will mesh well with your long term personal goals and general workplace strategy.
Consult With Industry Experts
Many lawyers looking for specialization will not have time to meander through several internships. However, it is still possible to get some firsthand insight into various fields of practice. People can check with their school’s alumni program to see if there are mentorship opportunities where they can talk with local lawyers. Industry events like local bar association mixers can also be an excellent way to talk to lawyers who already work in one’s potential field of interest.