Specializing in a particular legal field has many benefits. It makes a lawyer efficient and dependable and gives him or her a competitive edge over more generalized competitors. That said, choosing a specialty can be difficult; law students should consider their passions, their expertise and future aspiration, kind of law school they attend or will attend and job opportunities before settling on any one particular field. In this post, I list a few common specializations.


Criminal Law

Criminal law centers around individuals who violate any public law. As any serialized crime show would tell you, these proceedings usually involve players including but not limited to: government prosecution, the District Attorney, defense counsels, and those working in detention systems. This field is ideal for those who want to serve public good and work on behalf of those caught in the criminal justice system.


Admiralty law

Admiralty law is one of the field’s oldest specialties. It primarily deals with maritime issues such as shipping, piracy, canals, insurance, navigation waters, ocean policy and employee rights while working at the sea. The laws binding seafaring commerce and conduct are distinct from those of the land. As such, a lawyer needs to know the maritime legislation of different countries. It has diverse work opportunities and is ideal for those who love water and traveling.


Intellectual Property and Patent Law

Intellectual property and patent law deal with enforcement and acquisition of copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, patents, and licensing. It covers exclusive rights to a registered innovation, business process and methods, products, artistic works, and ideas.  If they plan to specialize in patent law, law students need to take a patent bar exam and must already hold an undergraduate degree in science or engineering. With constant changes in the economy and technology, such attorneys are continually in demand.


Healthcare and Environmental Law

Healthcare law handles the implementation, enforcement and craft of healthcare policies. It has vast opportunities, offering legal specialists the chance to interpret legislation concerning medical malpractices, bioethical policy and patient rights. It is vital for a healthcare attorney to undertake classes in health technology and privacy law. Environmental law tackles private and public actions that affect the environment. It involves different treaties, regulations, conventions, and statutes. It involves matters of public health, pollution, and natural resource management.


Business Law

Being a specialist in this field requires one to be conversant with the legal system and how they impact the operations of a business. It covers all aspect of industrial and commerce such as formation and dissolution of a business, M&A, disputes between companies and individuals/corporations and compliance with state and federal laws.


While I won’t fully cover them here, other famous specializations include constitutional law, joint degree programs, and First Amendment law.