The legal profession is a very dynamic and diverse profession. There are many different practice areas and legal specialties that you can choose from – which may seem daunting. Determining an area of law that is right for you can happen as early as selecting your undergraduate major and can continue developing through undergraduate course selection, engaging in legal internships & law school classes, utilizing the career office in law school, and beyond.
Below is a collection of some common areas of legal practice to help you begin considering where your interests may lie!
Attorneys working in the public interest take on many roles and can practice many types of law. Ultimately, a public interest attorney serves the community’s interests by ensure access to legal representation for indigent individuals, advocating for policy reform, and commitment to achieving widespread legal and social change. Different types of law public interest lawyers can practice include, but are not limited to:
- AIDS / HIV, Animal Issues, Arts / Entertainment, Bankruptcy / Debt, Business / Economic Issues, Children / Youth, Civil Rights / Liberties, Communications, Consumer, Criminal, Death Penalty, Disability, Domestic Violence, Economic Development, Education, Elderly, Environment / Energy / Utilities, Family, Farm / Migrant Worker, First Amendment, Gay / Lesbian / Bisexual / Transgender Issues, Gun Control Issues, Government Accountability / Legal Reform / Whistleblowers, Health / Medical, Homelessness / Housing, Human Rights, Immigration / Refugee, Intellectual Property / Technology, Juvenile Defense, Labor / Employment, Municipal Law, Native American / Tribal Law, Personal Injury / Medical Malpractice / Products Liability, Prosecution, Poverty, Public Defenders, Legal Services, Prisoner Issues, Property / Real Estate, Racial / Ethnic Justice / Cultural Rights, Religious Issues, Reproductive Issues, Security / Defense / Arms Control, Tax, Trade, Transitional Justice / Democratic Process, Trusts and Estates, Voting / Campaign Finance, Women’s Issues.
Criminal law involves matters regarding a person charged with a crime. Public defenders or defense attorneys (representing the person charged of a crime) and prosecutors (representing the state/government) primarily practice criminal law. An attorney can practice criminal law at all levels: local, state, or federal. The majority of an attorney’s time is spent in court, with typically a heavier litigation case load than other attorneys. It is not uncommon for an attorney practicing criminal law to be in court most days of the week handling many different clients on various criminal charges (ranging from DUIs or minor drug offenses, to homicide and trafficking).
- Specialized Areas: White Collar Defense, Private Defense, and Department of Justice-Criminal Division.
IP attorneys work to protect a client’s inventions and creations and to enforce an inventor or creator’s rights regarding their intellectual property. IP law consists of patent law, trademark law, and copyright law.
- Patent law consists of patent prosecution and patent litigation. Prosecuting patents is no easy task—one must have taken the Patent Bar (administered by the United States Patent & Trademark Office) to become a patent agent to prosecute patents. Patent prosecutors work very closely with inventors to help the inventors get patent protection on their invention—meaning the government will grant the inventor a patent for a limited time so that the patent holder (the inventor) has the right to restrict other inventors from making their inventor, or infringing on their patent. Patent litigation is the practice of patent law when patents are issued. Patent litigators will work with clients to ensure that nobody is infringing on the inventor’s patent. It is typical litigation—pre-trial, trial, the courtroom, etc.; however, it is all within the discipline and subject matter of patent law.
- Trademark law is all about the branding and marketing of one’s mark (i.e., logo, brand, etc.). Trademark attorneys work closely with clients to ensure that their product is marketed in such a way that the consumer is able to connect that such good or service that is being promoted is associated with this certain mark (or logo). Think Nike and the famous “swoosh” mark. Nike works very hard to protect its trademark from infringers and dupes.
- Copyright law is the realm of intellectual property that is closely associated with the fine arts. Creators can get their ideas copyrighted when it is in a tangible medium. Examples of copyrightable material are: literary works, musical works, graphic works, sculptural works, motion pictures, audio-visual works, derivatives of protected works (sequels), original compilations of facts, code (computer science).
- Specialized Areas: Sports & Entertainment Law, Antitrust Law.
Corporate law comes in two forms: corporate litigation or corporate transactional law. Corporate litigation, like most litigation, is your standard litigation (adversarial, plaintiff/defendant, courtroom, pre-trial, trial, etc.) regarding corporations and corporate affairs. In both situations, corporate law attorneys are practicing with the corporation’s best interest in mind. The employees of the corporation are typically represented by other parties for the matter. Additionally, corporate attorneys can be tasked with advising the corporation on legal rights responsibilities, obligations, and best practices. Corporate transactional attorneys are not in court as much. Transactional attorneys focus their practice on deal work, preparing and reviewing contracts, and negotiating with groups to ensure the corporation’s affairs are done. Much of this practice can be high stakes, as it deals with corporations.
- Specialized Areas: Mergers & Acquisitions, Bankruptcy Law, Securities, Corporate Compliance, and In-House General Counsel.
Environmental law concerns laws and regulations at local, state, and federal levels that affect wildlife, land, water, air quality, and business practices in relation to the environment. Environmental attorneys can focus their practice in preservation, litigation, and advocacy and can work in the private sector, the public sector, or even for the government. However, environmental lawyers can also work for the other side—meaning environmental lawyers can work to defend corporations and various business practices that may offend best environmental practices.
- Specialized Areas: Energy Law, Oil & Gas, Regulatory Law, Administrative Law
Attorneys who practice in the area of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties are committed to ensuring the preservation of individual rights derived for the Constitution. Civil Rights attorneys will represent individual clients to preserve individual rights and advocate for changes to policy and laws that threaten individual rights. Civil Rights attorneys examine issues related to discrimination (based on race, gender, age, disability, sexuality), free speech, freedom of religion, due process, privacy, voting, incarceration, education and beyond. Civil Rights attorney may practice in a public or private setting – for non-profits, private firms or the government.
This area of law concerns the relationship between employers and employees and/or independent contractors. There is federal employment & labor law and regulations, as well as state-specific laws and regulations. Labor & Employment attorneys can work at all levels: local, state, or federal. Attorneys can work for the employer, spending most of their practice being proactive and advising the client employer on what to do to avoid legal trouble, plaintiffs, or the government.
- Specialized Areas: Employment Discrimination, Title VII, Worker’s Compensation, Labor Unions, Employee Benefits, Retaliatory Discharge, and Federal Employment Acts.
Personal Injury (PI) attorneys are among some of the most common tort lawyers representing individuals who have suffered a physical or psychological injury. Personal Injury law covers intentional or unintentional matters that have affected their client. Attorneys typically will represent the individual who has suffered a harm, but may also defend a client who has been accused of the harm (whether it is a person, business, or organization).
- Specialized Areas: Personal Injury, Mass Torts, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability, Wrongful Death, Insurance, and Worker’s Compensation.
Tax attorneys primarily focus on tax legislation and helping their clients maneuver the Tax Code. This is a specialized practice, requiring attorneys to have a good understanding of Tax Law and staying informed and up to date with frequent modifications to the local, state, and federal tax codes.
Attorneys handling trusts and estates focus on financial planning, creation of trusts, and managing (whether it be planning or seeing through) estates. It can involve setting up trusts and estates for the future, probate process, tax implications, or handling the matters as they arise—in connection to a client’s trust or a client’s estate—in the present.
This focuses on all matters property and real estate. Attorneys can focus on residential or commercial real estate, but ultimately can handle matters involving land, construction, development, acquisition of real estate, tenant rights, or landlord disputes.
Elder Law focuses on specialized issues that affect the aging population. Typically, this consists of an older clientele and the various and diverse matters presented with an elder client including health care, finances, guardianships, public benefits, and estates. An elder law practice may also examine issues of elder abuse or crimes against elderly populations.
This area of the law focuses in the context of the family and the various legal matters that may arise in this context. This can include child welfare, adoption, emancipation, child abuse, domestic partnerships, marriage, civil unions, parental rights and paternity, and divorce.
Immigration attorneys work with clients navigating the naturalization process. Additionally, attorneys work with clients facing threats to their naturalization process or potential deportation, individuals seeking asylum, or refugees. Immigrational Law attorneys may work in the private or public sector and may also focus on special intersection of immigration laws and other areas of practice such as family law or criminal law.
Health Law is a very diverse and dynamic practice. Healthcare laws are always evolving, so health care attorneys must be adaptable. Attorneys in this field may represent patients, clinics, hospitals, insurance companies, or individual health practitioners navigate health care legislation, rules, and regulations.
International Law is a broad category that includes many diverse, specialized areas of law. Inherently, international lawyers will practice in an area of law that intersects with the laws of another sovereign entity, international treaty, international organizations, or international policy.
- Specialized Areas: Criminal Law, Human Rights, Corporate/Business Law, Litigation, Economics, Foreign Service, International Governance and Organizations, Family Law, Environmental Law, Technology, Health Law, and Security/Armed Conflict.
For more information on different practice areas in the law, see
- American Bar Association
- The Official Guide to Legal Specialties by Lisa Abrams
Still looking to explore what interests you? Take the quiz!
December is finally here and with it the end of the semester! Our best wishes as you complete end of semester tasks and prepare for finals. Below please see a list of important dates, upcoming events, and reminders for December 2020.
- Tuesday, December 1: PLAS Workshop – To Go or Not to Go? Deciding if Gap Year is Right for You
- Wednesday, December 2: Access Lex – Financing Your Legal Education Webinar
- Wednesday, December 2: Writers Workshop Program – “Revision Strategies for Structure and Argument“
- Wednesday, December 2: January 2021 LSAT Registration Deadline
- Thursday, December 3 – Friday, December 4: UIUC College of Law Criminal Defending Conference
- Friday, December 4: Pre-Law Advising (virtual) Open Office Hours (11:30 am – 12:30 pm)
- Monday, December 7: Golden Gate University School of Law JD Flex Program Application Workshop
- Tuesday, December 8: Writers Workshop Program – “The Final Check: Proofreading and Editing Strategies”
- Thursday, December 10: Registration Deadline for LSAC Forum
- Thursday, December 10: Law School Admission During COVID-19: A View From the Bench
- Friday, December 11, 2020: Chapman University Pre-Law Winter Institute Application Deadline
- Saturday, December 12: LSAC Digital Forum
- Good Luck on Exams!
Take Care and Be Well! The end of the semester is always a stressful time of year, this year presents unique and unprecedented challenges for many. Be sure to take care of yourself during the upcoming weeks and be sure to take advantage of the many resources available on campus to support you during this time!
- Check back later this week for information regarding the 2020 edition of our Annual Internship Newsletter…
This year the Pre-Law Advising Services Office will be featuring law students, admissions deans, and attorneys as guest bloggers to help provide unique and valuable perspectives on law school, the application process, and the legal profession. Stay tuned throughout the year for our guest blogger spotlights!
Guest Blogger: Martin Kiernan
Class Year: 1L
Undergraduate Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Hometown: Libertyville, IL
Undergraduate Major/Minor: I have a B.S. in Agricultural & Consumer Economics with two concentrations in Public Policy & Law and Consumer Economics & Finance.
Why did you decide to attend law school and pursue a legal career?
Law school was a great fit for me because I have many interests and the legal implications that arise in most every industry fascinate me. Also, the conceptualizing of justice, the rule of law, and societal inhabitance as foundations to the success of nations I believe is a worthwhile academic pursuit.
Do you know what type of law you will practice?
Currently, I have interests in securities, banking, family, criminal law. I’ve done some work in personal injury and I found that to be intriguing as well.
Why did you choose the University of Iowa College of Law?
The University of Iowa College of Law displays a proven history of fostering prepared and conscientious attorneys. The decision to attend has afforded its students the opportunity to become competent leaders in the field. I chose to attend because under its instruction I can prepared for whatever is to come in my professional career.
What surprised you the most about law school?
I was surprised about the varying approaches professors take to teaching a class. There is a wide spectrum.
What has been your favorite class in law school?
I really enjoy my American Property Law course. My professor is experienced and passionate about the material.
What type of activities, programs, internships, or extracurricular activities did you participate in prior to law school?
While at UIUC, I volunteered at a couple Champaign elementary schools as a mentor/tutor, and sat on the Undergraduate Student Advisory Board. I worked at Parkland College’s Counseling Department and then at the Alice Campbell Alumni Center. After graduation, I worked as a paralegal and then as a court reporter doing criminal background checks. Outside of work, I volunteered at a courthouse helping pro se litigants and I coached my sister’s middle school basketball team.
What are some of the best aspects of living in the Iowa City community?
It is a really fun and kind community of people. Whenever I want a study break there is always something to do.
What do you like best about being a law student?
I like the challenge it presents. Some of the more abstract concepts can be difficult to comprehend, but engaging with the material is rewarding. Also, the opportunities that are available during school and after graduation are exciting.
How did you prepare for the LSAT?
I took the Testmasters LSAT Prep Course.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to a student applying to law school?
For the applications, focus on highlighting strengths, but just as significant is explaining inconsistencies or negatives in application materials. Try not to leave important questions left unanswered.
University of Iowa College of Law Snapshot*:
- Total JD Enrollment: 460
- First Year Class Size: 166
- Median LSAT/GPA: 161 / 3.64
- Application Deadline: May 1, 2021
- Website: https://law.uiowa.edu
*The enrollment and profile data listed above are as of October 5, 2020 and include information for the Fall 2020 entering class.
1. Finalize Applications
Applying this year? Set a goal date for application submission and stick to it! The current application cycle is proving to be a very competitive year. Application numbers have increased significantly, and law schools have reported a very high quality applicant pool. If you are still working to submit applications for a Fall 2021 start don’t be discouraged, but do make sure you are employing strategies that can help maximize your chances of success!
We highly recommend trying to apply by December 1 if possible. Use Thanksgiving break as an opportunity to finalize your applications and submit to schools. If you will be applying later than December 1, use Thanksgiving break to complete as many of the application components as you can and identify the earliest date you feel you can apply. Here is a brief checklist of basic items you will need to complete.
- CAS, LOR, Transcripts – make sure you are familiar with the LSAC Credential Assembly Services (CAS), stay current on the status of your materials and application components. Request transcripts NOW, these will take several weeks to process. Be sure you have submitted ALL required transcripts. Follow-up with recommenders, be sure they are aware of your goal timeline, and be sure to check CAS to confirm when your letters of recommendation are uploaded.
- LSAT – you will need your final score to apply. If you don’t have your score, confirm when it will be available and plan your goal submission date accordingly. Have you completed the LSAT Writing? You must complete the Writing portion to receive your score. Be sure to do that prior to the score release date (11/24).
- Personal Statement – Fall break is a great time to draft and hopefully finalize your statement! Edit, Edit, Edit.
- Resume – make sure it is current and ready to apply! Edit, Edit, Edit.
- Addendums – Are there addendums required by your schools? Are there optional addendums? Be sure you have confirmed what addendums you will be submitting and try to complete this week!
- School specific requirements – make sure you have reviewed the specific application requirements for the schools you will be applying to, create a check-list for each school.
- Questions? If you have questions about an individual school’s application requirements or process ask NOW! Don’t wait until your goal submission date to confirm details. Reach out directly or send emails over Thanksgiving break!
- Think broadly – Review your list of target schools, make sure you are casting a wide net (this is a very competitive year), be strategic…
2. Relax and Rejuvenate
The end of the semester is always a busy, and often stressful, time. This year particularly has presented difficult challenges for us all. Make time for yourself over break to rest and rejuvenate prior to the end of the semester. Campus also provides a wide-variety of services and resources to help make the end of the semester as manageable as possible!
3. Plan the End of Your Semester
Make a strategic plan for the end of the semester to help make things manageable. Think backward from deadlines and due dates to ensure you have enough time to prepare for each end of semester item. Take into account:
- Final academic obligations (papers, projects, final exams, and study time). Mark deadlines and dates on your calendar.
- Upcoming deadlines for internships or other special programs.
- Admissions events and programs you may wish to attend (Last LSAC Forum is on December 12th!).
- Time for life logistics – plan around busy times and deadlines for things like groceries/bills, exercise, family and friends.
4. Start Thinking Ahead
Make efforts to finalize your spring plans including course selections, extracurricular involvements, and goals for internships and other opportunities. Stay tuned for our annual Internship Newsletter which will be available in December. In the meantime, be sure to check out our Thanksgiving Break Internship Newsletter for opportunities with deadlines in the upcoming weeks!
Upcoming Events and Programs
- November 24 | 2:00 pm: Illinois Department of Human Services Virtual Info Session
- December 1 | Noon: PLAS Workshop – “To Go, or Not to Go – Whether to Take a Gap Year”
- December 2 | 3:00 pm (4pm EST): Access Lex Workshop – Financing Your Legal Education
- December 4 | 11:30 am – 12:30 pm: PLAS Open Office Hours
- December 8 | 3:00 pm (4pm EST): Access Lex Workshop – Applying to Law School: A Strategic Approach for Underrepresented Students
- December 9 | 11:00 am (12:00 pm EST): Access Lex Workshop – Optimizing Your Law School Decisions
- December 10 | 2:00 pm (3:00 pm EST): LSAC – “Law School Admission During COVID-19: A View From the Bench”
- December 12 | 1:00 – 6:30 pm (2-7:30 pm EST) – LSAC Digital Forum
Where Lawyers Practice…
Attorneys may practice in a wide-variety of settings. A legal career provides a dynamic and diverse set of options. Below is an overview of some of the most common practice settings available to attorneys.
Attorneys working in public interest take on many roles. Typically, public interest attorneys represent indigent clients, with little resources. The role of a public interest lawyer is to serve the community’s interests. In addition to indigent and low-income clients, public interest lawyers will also litigate and represent bigger interests permeating society. Examples of this are attorneys at the American Civil Liberties Union, public defenders, and nonprofit organizations.
- Public interest lawyers can also practice in private public interest firms. These types of private law firms take on clients, but practice cases relating to public interest issues.
- Public interest lawyers can also focus their practice in criminal law, representing people who are facing criminal charges. Public defenders work in offices across the country, serving as many criminally charged or incarcerated clients’ lawyers. They represent clients in court, fighting for the client’s best interest.
- Non-profit organizations and Legal Aid organizations also have lawyers who are helping fight their cause, while also ensuring that the non-profit’s mission is being served. Legal Aid organizations provide legal services for low-income and need-based individuals in the community seeking legal help.
- Public interest organizations may focus on litigation to achieve legal and social change, develop public policy, engage in community development, or specialize in international affairs focusing on activism or diplomacy.
Think of the traditional law firm setting. Whether it’s a big law firm with many different legal teams and hundreds of attorneys, or a small firm with a specialized practice group and a few attorneys, attorneys in private practice will represent clients (individuals, organizations, or business entities) that seek their assistance. The private practice setting provides flexibility. If you are interested in a general practice area, or want to practice a niche and specific field of law, you will be able to find a practice in the private sector.
- Big law firms. Big Law firms will typically have hundreds (possibly thousands) of lawyers in the firm and will offer representation in many different practice areas. The biggest law firms will have offices in multiple cities and potentially even in international locations. Law firms organize attorneys into specific practice areas with partners and associates in each group. Bigger law firms tend to have bigger client portfolios, representing many clients in a variety of industries and in areas of law.
- Medium law firms. Depending on the location medium size firms may consist of 10 – 50 attorneys, or even a few hundred. Similar to big firms they will function with a hierarchal structure (Senior Partners, Partners, Associations). Medium size firms may specialize their practice on a limited number of areas of law or may have a variety of practice areas similar to a large law firm.
- Small or Boutique law firms. Small or boutique law firms may host as few as 10 or less attorneys and will typically offer services in very specific practice areas. Boutique firms will tend to highly-specialize in one area of the law. A common example is Intellectual Property boutique firms. As IP is a highly-specialized field, there are firms that will only focus on a very specific aspect of IP and will take on client matters relating only to that specific, niche area of the law.
Local, State, and Federal government provide many options for individuals with a JD degree. Government attorneys practice at the federal, state, and local level. Many attorneys at the Federal level work at the Department of Justice, but also in Congress and the Executive Branch. Government attorneys also represent the United States, such as prosecutors. A government attorney’s client is the government (state, federal, or local) and by extension the citizens. Government attorneys may also work for the various administrative agencies such as the Department of Labor or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The attorneys help ensure compliance with agency rules and policy, including enforcement. The U.S. Military also has its own unique military system through the JAG Corps.
- Prosecutors – found at federal and state level.
- Department of Justice – criminal and civil division, there are many different sections in the DOJ, and attorneys are found in all sections.
- “The Hill” – Legislative directors in members of Congress’ offices, attorneys for specific committees, JDs drafting bills for a congressperson.
- City, State, Federal level of Government – They can work across almost every discipline of the law, however their “client” or whose interest they are advocating for are constituents or larger groups of people, or the government entity itself rather than an individual client or private entities. At the local level, attorneys will work in various aspects of the local government and municipality. At the state and federal level exist assistant attorney generals that litigate for the state’s interest.
- Executive Agencies – Attorneys work in all executive agencies in the Executive Branch working on legal matters and keeping both the United States’, and the agency’s, best interest at hand.
In-house attorneys work in companies—large corporations to start ups. In-house counsel manage the corporation’s legal matters, manage outside counsel, and collaborate with a law firm to advance a corporation’s needs. They represent the interests of the organization, and will require expertise in various disciplines of the law–including corporate, real estate, intellectual property, administrative, and litigation.
Law graduates can pursue public careers in nontraditional settings as well some law graduate may pursue opportunities in teaching, business, higher education, human resources, foreign-service, or policy. Some may pursue legal research opportunities, work for legal organizations such a state bar associations or organizations that provide continuing legal education for attorneys – while others may pursue opportunities in politics.
Attorneys can also work in the judiciary, as law clerks. Law clerks will work for a judge and collaborate with the judge to write opinions and handle matters in chambers. Clerks work with a judge with on-going trials, and spend time researching case law and writing. Clerking may occur as a short term position immediately following graduation, or early in a career. Some judges employee permanent clerks or staff attorneys who work in their chambers on a permanent basis.
Next week! Alumni Attorney Talks
Check back next week as we explore legal practice areas in Edition 3 of our career series! We will also be posting the inaugural addition of our new Alumni Attorney Talks series featuring Jason Emmanuel and a highlight of his work as an Assistant State’s Attorney…
Welcome November and Daylight Savings…
November is a busy and critical month for pre-law students and alumni, between the LSAT, Fall Break, Thanksgiving holiday, transition to all online courses, the beginning of course registration, and of course working toward application submission – there is a lot to keep track of this month! Below please see a list of important dates, upcoming events, and reminders for November 2020…
- Wednesday, November 4: LSAC Digital Forum
- Wednesday, November 4: University of Tulsa College of Law: Webinar Series McGirt v. Oklahoma
- Friday, November 6: Pre-Law Advising (virtual) Open Office Hours (11:30 am – 12:30 pm)
- Friday, November 6: Cumberland School of Law Fall 2020 Open House
- Friday, November 6: November LSAT Registration Withdrawal Deadline
- Saturday, November 7: University of Kentucky (Caturday) Admissions and Personal Statement Workshop
- Monday, November 9: Registration Deadline National Black Pre-Law Conference
- Wednesday, November 11: NYU Law Information Session (register by 11/8)
- Thursday, November 12: PLAS Workshop –Pre-Law 101
- Thursday, November 12 – Sunday, November 15: 16th Annual National Black Pre-Law Conference and Law Fair
- Tuesday, November 17: PLAS Workshop – Application Excellence: A Guide to Perfecting Your Law School Application
- Tuesday, November 17: Special Event – Demystifying the Admissions Process Presentation
- Wednesday, November 18: PLAS Workshop – Where to Apply? Tips for Choosing the Right School for You
- Thursday, November 19: PLAS Workshop – To Go, Or Not to Go? Whether to Take a Gap Year
- Friday, November 20: Pre-Law Advising (virtual) Open Office Hours (11:30 am – 12:30 pm)
- Saturday, November 21 – Sunday, November 29: Fall Break
- Monday, November 30: Priority registration for Winter and Spring 2021 begins…
Need an advising appointment?
Pre-Law Advisors are available for general advising or for document review (personal statement/resume/addendums) appointments. Be sure to schedule an appointment online for individual questions!
A career in law can be very versatile. The juris doctor degree provides the tools for law graduates to pursue one of many careers, whether it is in private practice or the public sector. This three-part series will give an overview of the law as a career, focus in on different types of practice, and highlight specific practice areas.
What Lawyers Do. Lawyers are advocates, advisors, and problem solvers. Though lawyers practice in a vast variety of settings, ultimately, there are core skills that lawyers all practice.
- Represent clients in courts, before government agencies, and in private legal matters, ensuring their clients have their opportunity to be heard.
- Communicate with their clients, colleagues, judges, and others involved in the case to work towards a desired outcome.
- Research and analyze complex legal problems, and apply the law to a client’s case at hand.
- Interpret laws, rulings, and regulations for their clients.
- Advise and present facts in writing and verbally to their clients, co-counsel, opposing counsel, and the court.
- Draft, revise, and file legal documents, such as lawsuits, appeals, wills, contracts, and deeds.
The law can be an incredibly rewarding profession which provides vast opportunities to develop, change, and evolve your career. At its best, legal practice challenges the intellect and provides rewarding opportunities to exercise leadership, judgement, and advocacy skills. It provides unique avenues to not only assist clients in significant and impactful ways, but to also help shape legal doctrine and processes. The ethics of the profession require attorneys to promote justice, fairness, and morality; thus, legal employment can also bring satisfaction to those who seek to work, within the law, to rectify social injustice.
As stated, pursuing a career in law offers vast and diverse career choices, from public interest law and government law to private practice in a firm. As significant as the rewards in a law career can be, it is also a challenging and highly competitive career. An important step in exploring legal careers is to distinguish between commonly held expectations (especially based on media portrayals of lawyers) and the reality of legal practice. Hours can be very long and often include weekends. The differences among starting salaries can exceed $100,000 depending on the type of legal practice. Legal work can require spending considerable time in tedious, painstaking research. Legal practice can be stressful and present challenges for individuals who seek well portioned work-life balance.
The good news is the diversity of career choices available through law can provide many options for individuals to select career paths that are best suited for their individual goals. Not all pre-law students will know the area of law they want to practice, but it is advisable to explore the various career options of a lawyer as part of your decision-making process. In the upcoming blog series, we will explore different types of practice settings and different fields of law to help you begin determining if a law career is right for you.
Learn More about the Legal Profession and Careers:
- LSAC Discover Law
- National Association of Law Placement (NALP) Prelaw Resources
- ABA Law Career Quiz
- LSAC Legal Career Quiz
- Com (Sign-Up for FREE law publications)
Stay tuned for next week’s blog, discussing the different types of practice lawyers have!
Don’t Miss the 2020 MAPLA CARAVAN!
- Wednesday, October 28
- 5:00 – 8:00 pm (CST)
- Via Handshake
- Register Today!
Join students from across the Midwest on Wednesday October 28 from 5-8 pm (CST) for the opportunity to meet with more than 100 law schools from around the country! Admissions representatives from schools in every “tier” will be in attendance to talk about the education their school can offer students, discuss admissions criteria, and answer your questions.
Hosted by the Midwest Association of PreLaw Advisors, this free event is open to all students and alumni from a college or university in the Midwest Region, regardless of major or year in school.
How to Participate:
- Use your Handshake account to register up until and including the day of the event (registering in advance is highly recommended).
- Sign up for school-specific 30 min group sessions and 10 min 1-to-1 appointments.
- On the event page, go to the “Available Sessions” tab. You can also search for a specific law school using the search box. After you have signed-up for a session, it will be added to the “Your Sessions” tab.
- Participate via live video during the event
- Log in to Handshake and click on this event under “Your Schedule“. Go to the “Your Sessions” tab. To join your Expo sessions, click on the “Join Video” link next to each session.
- Once the session has started you will not be able to enter – be sure you are not running late!
How to Prepare:
Dear Current Pre-Law Students,
We hope you’re having a great week and staying healthy. With recent changes of the November LSAT administration to the LSAT-Flex format, we wanted to let you know of a resource available through the Pre-Law Advising Services Office!
The LSAT-Flex exam requires students to take the exam in a quiet, private room with reliable internet access. For students on campus who may be having difficulty in identifying an appropriate space, Pre-Law Advising will make private rooms available for you to reserve for your LSAT-Flex exam.
How it works: Students can request to reserve a private room to take the LSAT-Flex exam. To help maximize the use of space, reservations are available in three-hour time-blocks, with the expectation that students will have 30 minutes before and after their exam to set up, get comfortable, and sanitize the room after the exam. Rooms will be located in the Armory building. Students will receive a more detailed email prior to their exam date outlining the protocol and expectations.
Reservation blocks are available at the following times:
7am – 10am | 10am – 1pm | 1pm – 4pm | 4pm – 7pm | 7pm – 10pm
A few quick notes:
- Be mindful when signing up to ensure the Armory reservation overlaps your LSAT-Flex testing time. (i.e., if your exam is at 7:30am, you would reserve the 7am-10am time-block).
- If none of the Armory reservations work with your LSAT-Flex time, please indicate that in the sign-up form. We will do our best to accommodate but cannot guarantee there will be an available private room outside of the pre-determined time-blocks.
- Per campus policy, you will be required to have a current negative COVID-Test to enter the building.
- We have limited space, all reservations are on a first come, first served basis.
How to Sign Up: To sign up for a space for the October LSAT-Flex, please register at the following link by OCTOBER 30: https://surveys.illinois.edu/sec/409812863
For more information and guidance on where to take the LSAT-Flex, check out our blogpost: http://publish.illinois.edu/prelawadvising/2020/08/22/where-to-take-the-lsat-flex/. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: this is only available to CURRENT U of I students, as only current students can have access to the Armory building, as well as other buildings, on campus. For alumni or off-campus students, please check out THIS blog post for more information on productive exam spaces to take your LSAT-Flex!