If you plan to become a lawyer but do not know what kind of practice you want to go into, consider looking at the different types of specialization within the legal profession. You may find that one area of law practice interests you more than another. While this is not necessary to become a successful attorney, it can give you an idea about where your strengths lie and the enjoyability factor of practicing certain types of law.

Civil Litigation

This area of law focuses on disputes and lawsuits between individuals or organizations. Examples include contract violations, personal injury, real estate, medical malpractice, insurance claims, business torts, and intellectual property.

Breakstone, White & Gluck can act as the defense or plaintiff in court, but will also perform investigations into facts surrounding the case. They use their understanding of the law and advocacy skills to argue cases before judges and juries. This practice can involve anything from mediation to settlement negotiations to jury trials before state or federal courts.

Corporate Law

The primary focus of this area is the drafting of contracts for businesses. It is also used in mergers & acquisitions by large companies looking to purchase smaller ones. A lawyer may also be employed to review shareholder agreements drafted by a company’s board members or executives.

Other responsibilities that fall under this area are conflict resolution within corporations leading up to possible lawsuits, intellectual property protection for businesses who develop new products/services/technology, compliance with local state and federal corporate requirements, for example, tax filings, and litigation between shareholders in case of a vendetta amongst the upper management.

Criminal Law

Lawyers who practice this area are employed by individuals or companies accused of committing crimes/incidents involving private property, theft, homicide. A criminal defense attorney works to either reduce their client’s sentence, for example. They may plead insanity to an individual who has killed another person or clear them completely of wrongdoing. They can convince a jury that there is reasonable doubt about their client’s guilt.

Some prestigious firms do not offer criminal self-help legal advice on the internet and function solely as corporate law firms because corporate law pays the most money. The same goes for family law instead of divorce or patent/intellectual property instead of business litigation.

Estate planning

Lawyers who specialize in this area, they advise their clients on distributing property/assets after death based on a will or trust agreement. If they cannot speak for themselves, they can work with individuals on living wills that outline their wishes regarding major life support and organ donation.

Some lawyers may choose to focus more heavily on one particular area of estate planning; for example, elder law focuses exclusively on those creating an estate plan for family members that have aged beyond the years where they can take care of themselves.

Family Law

This area includes a broad spectrum of legal issues. These generally involve family disputes such as divorce, child custody/visitation, child support, and adoption. It can also be used in cases involving domestic violence or name changes after marriage or divorce.

Traditionally, this area is associated with women, but it has gained much more attention from men in the past decade. This is because there are now many high-paying jobs in divorce cases and because business litigation/corporate law has become extremely competitive.

As a lawyer, you need a thorough knowledge of procedural rules, evidence, torts, statutes, contracts, and business structures. Your ability to analyze facts quickly will help you identify issues outside the facts at hand which may influence your case. It would be best to work well under pressure because deadlines are involved during every stage of the litigation process. Lastly, strong negotiation skills are needed.