If you are a budding attorney, then you will soon have to pick what kind of lawyer you want to be when the time comes to embark upon your career. We caught up with legal superstar and serial winner Jonathan Levin to find out how he selected his specialty. For Jonathan Levin Philadelphia was always where he wanted to work but exactly which field of the law he wanted to work in wasn’t always an easy decision. Attorneys can of course turn their hand to a number of branches of the law depending on what the client wants but they are far better served dedicating themselves to one field of state, federal or county law. Here is how you can decide which type of lawyer you wish to be.
Research is key when making this decision and you need to first think about whether you want to work in commercial law, private law or criminal law. Do you wish to represent societies misfits and criminals, rich corporations or families? To decide this you need to so plenty of research and look into the attributes of each type of law, which will in turn help you decide which path you are going to choose. Expose yourself to a number of legal cases and see where you can picture yourself working in the future.
What is it about the law that you feel very passionate about? Is it environmental law which enthuses you? Working with hedge funds and private investment companies? Working alongside the government? Working with families throughout custody and divorce hearings? Whatever it is that you feel strongly about and would like to help change, this will be the best area for you to look to in terms of your specialism.
In the early stages of your education and career it is important to get some work experience in a number of different law firms which span the range of legal branches that you are considering. The only way that you will really undertone whether or not a particular specialism is for you is to invest your time into it and test the waters. Contact local law firms and see whether or not you can arrange some work experience with them, this will help to determine your choice and it will also help you to gain rich experience which will bolster your job chances later on down the line.
Not everyone has the personality traits or characteristics which certain aspects of the law requires and you should be honest with yourself in terms of what kind of person you are in this regard. For example, you may not have the sharpness that is required in corporate law, you may not have the emotional resolve to work in family law yet you may very well possess the empathy to work in labor law. These skills and attributes are important and once you know which you possess, you can make a more informed choice.