The decision to attend law school is a big deal that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re considering studying law to become an attorney, it’s a good idea to have a basic plan about the type of lawyer you hope to become. Knowing yourself and your interests and personality will go a long way in helping you to decide the type of attorney you might eventually be.
Armed with this knowledge, you’ll have a better chance of succeeding in law school. If you’re considering studying law and aren’t sure what type of attorney to become, read on for ideas of what might work best for you.
Are you highly concerned with social justice?
If you’re naturally someone who believes in human rights, has empathy, and wants to see everyone get a fair shake, a career in administrative law might be for you. Administrative law is a legal specialty where you’ll be able to make big changes. One way to understand what’s involved with this type of law is to look at the careers of successful administrative law attorneys.
Malliha Wilson is a Tamil Canadian lawyer who served as the Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the Government of Ontario from April 2008 to November 2016. She was the first visible minority to hold that office. Wilson currently serves as the Senior Partner at the law firm Nava Wilson LLP in Toronto, Ontario. If you’re passionate about social justice, specializing in administrative law and building a career like Wilson’s might be a fantastic fit that would make a huge difference in labor laws around the world.
Do you worry about victims of accidents?
Perhaps you have a loved one who was hurt in an accident due to hospital negligence or an issue at work. If you worry about people with serious injuries, it might be a good idea to specialize in personal injury law. For example, if you plan to go to law school in New Mexico and are inspired by the fantastic legal advice a friend or family member there got after an accident, it could be smart to explore further. A Google search like “medical malpractice attorneys Albuquerque, NM” could be a great way to look closer at the careers of attorneys doing the kind of work you’d be most passionate about.
As a personal injury lawyer, you’d be able to help victims of all kinds of accidents to get fair compensation for their injuries due to medical error, someone else’s negligence, and more.
Is your top concern justice?
If justice for victims is a top concern for you, a job as a prosecutor could be a great way to serve the community. On the flip side, a job in criminal defense could be a great way to stand up for people who you believe to be wrongfully convicted or facing bogus charges. Either way, with a specialty in criminal law, you’ll be able to make a big difference for victims and those charged with crimes alike.
Would you enjoy going to trial?
When determining the right kind of law for you, it’s important to understand your strengths and weaknesses. If you enjoy public speaking and won’t mind a lot of time in court or trial, it could be a good idea to specialize in administrative or criminal law. On the other hand, if you’re more of an introvert, business law or probate might be a better fit.
In the end, whether you hope to go on to make big changes in the world, offer legal advice, or work your way through complex litigation, the type of attorney you’ll become is a very personal decision. In knowing your strengths, weaknesses, and special talents, you’ll be one step closer to being the best attorney you can possibly be. Best of luck to you with your law school applications. The law firm that ultimately hires you will be lucky to have you on their team.