Being a lawyer is among the most esteemed professions globally and can open several opportunities for you and allow you to interact with people from all walks of life. However, this sector is pretty broad and has different sections, which begs the question: can lawyers practice any type of law? If you want to become an attorney, it is wise to understand the different kinds of law to help you identify one that suits your passion and preferences. In this article, you shall learn about these types and get a detailed explanation of the process of becoming a lawyer.
Different Types of Law
It has been a major concern when many people ask; can lawyers practice any type of law? The decision you make about the field of law is based purely on how well you understand your strengths and weaknesses. You can even handle more than one field of law. However, professionals in the legal industry advise that you would be better off focusing on a single type to ensure that you make the most out of it. You can choose any type you feel suits you, which answers the question; can lawyers practice any type of law? Here is a list of the different law fields to give you a better understanding of what they entail:
The global number of criminals has risen over the last few decades, so criminal law has become one of the prominent fields. As a lawyer in this field, it is your duty to find individuals who break the law through criminal acts. This particular field deals with simple crimes, such as pirating copyrighted content, and severe offenses, such as murder, rape, and homicide. You may even know someone who is lying in a funeral home as a result of criminal activity. Under this type of law, you can work with the accused as their criminal defense lawyer or with the plaintiff.
In both cases, your duties will entail gathering adequate evidence, interviewing the witnesses, handling the legal documents, and filing them with the court. When working with an offender, you should develop ways to help them win the case by keenly reviewing the trial paperwork and presenting exhibits for court.
In the current generation, you will attest that cases of failed marriages have skyrocketed. That is why this field has become essential in today’s world and is among the best answers to the question; can lawyers practice any type of law? Family law is a field that deals with various aspects, the main ones being marriage, domestic partnerships, legitimacy, and child abuse. Most family attorneys work in medium and small law firms where they focus on several areas, including divorce, adoption, and child welfare. As a paralegal in family law, you get an excellent chance to know your clients on a more personal level than other lawyers.
Therefore, if you are a friendly person and have the dream of helping families with complex issues, such as domestic violence, this is the area of law you should consider specializing in. You can also go for other specializations in this field, such as becoming a child custody lawyer. There have been incredible changes in family law since the 1970s. Today, it has become part of national debates on morality, the proper family structure, and gender bias.
Another type of law is business law, where attorneys in this area focus on enterprise formation, dissolution, and other aspects related to corporations’ management and administration. This field is also referred to as corporate law. As a corporate lawyer, you will be responsible for ensuring that all the enterprises within your jurisdiction adhere to the set state, federal, and international laws regarding business operations. Additionally, you will have other duties, including handling mergers, disputes between businesses and individuals, acquisitions, and patents. As a business attorney, you can work in-house, where your sole client is a corporation, or you can work in an established law firm. Wherever you land, you can be sure that your schedule will be very tight, considering that the number of business entities has significantly increased in today’s generation.
Declaring bankruptcy is not an exciting thing, but sometimes it is inevitable. The process of filing for bankruptcy is not a simple one either, which is why you can never go short on the number of clients you get in this particular area. In the U.S, this law aims at solving the insolvency problems that individuals and organizations may have. So, can lawyers practice any type of law? If you feel you have a calling to solve such insolvency for companies and individuals, becoming a bankruptcy lawyer can be a wise decision. During your working hours, you will spend most of the time developing motions, filing for your clients, and perusing financial documents. This explains why the majority of bankruptcy attorneys do not spend a lot of time in courtrooms. When offering bankruptcy services, you can be hired by the debtor (the individual or company that owes money) or the creditor (the person or corporation to whom the debt is owed).
Accident and Personal Injury Law
Besides consuming many lives, road accidents have become a common source of disputes, disagreements, and fights among road users. This law field is essential because you help different people get justice or have a fair judgment in court. As a car accident lawyer, you could also work as a personal injury attorney. This is where you represent an individual who alleges to have incurred physical or psychological injury due to another person’s negligence or intentional acts. As a personal injury attorney, you can handle cases concerning workplace injuries, deliberate or unintentional medical malpractice, wrongful death, and product liability. Becoming an auto accident attorney will see you handling compensation cases amongst the people involved in a particular accident.
Buying, constructing, selling, and other activities in the real estate industry must follow a code set by the state, federal, and even international authorities. It can be difficult for the players in the property market to understand such regulations or deal with any arising legal charges. This is why you should not be asking yourself, can lawyers practice any type of law? In this field, you can work as an individual lawyer or in an established estate planning law firm. Some of the duties you can anticipate in this area include working with government departments, such as planning, reviewing contracts, and handling residential and commercial transactions. You can run two different types of property in this field: real and personal property. Real property includes any immovable property, including buildings and land. Personal property is any movable property, such as jewelry. Understanding property law can also help you in your life, for instance, to face a landlord who wants to evict you from their building.
Intellectual Property Law
This type of law deals with helping innovators, creators, authors, and businesses from having their tangible and intangible creations and innovations copyrighted. It is a criminal offense to have copyrighted material, which sets the basis for your job as an intellectual property lawyer. The primary purpose of intellectual property (IP) law is to control the existence and registration of intellectual property and ensure that criminals cannot exploit it. Some of the best examples of intellectual property include symbols, music, designs, trademarks, and unregistered rights, such as copyright.
As an IP attorney, your responsibility will be preparing for litigation in instances where the copyright has been violated, or a trademark has been infringed. Additionally, it is your job to negotiate IP rights, research, and file for patents and trademarks.
The Process of Becoming a Lawyer
From the explanation above, you should have a clear answer to the question: can lawyers practice any type of law? Now that you understand the different law fields, you should decide depending on what suits you best. As mentioned before, you can specialize in any field, but it is advisable to stick to one for the best results. That said, it would be appropriate to learn about how to become a lawyer, as explained in the following steps:
Choose the Right Subjects
Your journey to becoming a lawyer starts while you are in high school. In most cases, you will be required to choose subjects in English, psychology, mathematics, and history. If you put in the hard work required, you may find yourself starting a successful career in law even before you apply to an institution of higher learning. It is essential to start early because that is the best time to identify your weaknesses, strengths, and passion so that you know which type of law interests you. During your high school years, you can also ask essential questions, such as; can lawyers practice any type of law?
Check out the Available Law Schools and Apply
Having an undergraduate degree is an essential requirement when it comes to enrolling in a law school. Besides that, most institutions will require you to maintain a 3.0 GPA. It is advisable not to choose complex subjects as they can affect your overall performance. An exception is when you want to major in property law because you must have a degree in mathematics or a technical science, such as biology, chemistry, or electrical engineering. You will also be required to pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) before enrolling in any law school. Typically, the test takes about half a day, and it is intended to assess the learning and verbal reasoning skills you possess.
Another critical point to note is that not all law schools guarantee success in your law career. This is why you should make a few considerations and enroll in an institution with a positive reputation for preparing future attorneys. A Juris Doctor degree is the first degree you should acquire if you want to become a barrister. It is enough for most law fields, but some require you to have more than a JD.
Write and Pass the Bar Exam
Chances are, your state of residence will require you to graduate from an ABA-approved law school, take the bar exam, and pass before you get your qualifications. However, most states will also make it mandatory for you to sit for the MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination), an ethics exam, before you take the bar test. MPRE is a test developed by NCBE, and it is offered three times a year in all U.S states apart from Wisconsin, Puerto Rico, and Maryland. This test lasts for two hours, and it consists of sixty multiple-choice questions. After MPRE, you have to pass the bar exam, which is among the final steps to becoming a lawyer. At this stage, you can ask critical questions like; can lawyers practice any type of law? The exam is not an easy one, which is why you should be well prepared. It is intended to test how well you understand the state laws and how well you can apply them in various scenarios. You are advised to be keen and serious during law school because the knowledge you soak in will play a pivotal role in how well you pass the bar exam.
After a keen assessment and passing the bar exam, you get complete legal licensure to operate as a lawyer. However, you also need to think of how you can take advantage of the many career advancement opportunities in this industry. The first step for freshmen attorneys is to work with seasoned individuals in the sector who will help them hone their knowledge and skills. Such professionals can help you answer different questions, such as; can lawyers practice any type of law? Later, you can decide to partner with an established law firm or start one of your own.
The legal industry is a tricky one, which explains why many people do not fully understand it. However, suppose you are passionate about becoming a lawyer. In that case, you need to understand a few things, including knowing whether lawyers can practice any type of law, the different kinds of law, and the process of becoming a lawyer. That is the information you will gather by reading the above-explained details.