What Are Law Specialties? Do I Need To Choose One?

Regardless of what type of law you choose to study or practice, few would argue that the legal system can’t be extremely complex. For this reason, it’s important to specialize in the type of law you’ll devote your career to. Not only will specializing make you a more competent attorney, but it could help you rise to the top of your field. For a closer look at just a few legal specialties, you might consider focusing on, read on.

Big Picture Administrative Law


Whether you’ll be studying and practicing law in the United States, Canada, or another country, it’s important to understand the impact your profession can have on the world. One way to do this is to look at the careers of successful attorneys who have made the great change using their legal degrees and passion. Perhaps one of the specialties where it’s possible to make the most change is administrative law.

Administrative lawyers like Malliha Wilson are in the position to make huge changes at the governmental level. Over the course of Wilson’s career, for example, she was able to fight for equal rights in the workplace and make huge changes in human rights in the Ontario government. 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 take that office. Wilson currently serves as a partner at the law firm Nava Wilson in Toronto, Ontario.

If you’re someone passionate about human rights, social justice issues, and making change at the governmental level with your law degree, an administrative law specialty might be right for you.

Criminal Law


Glamorized on television and in the movies, many people are familiar with the complex litigation and trials that come with criminal law. In fact, most students meet with college admission counseling services with an initial interest in criminal law. If you’re like many others who are passionate about justice, you’ll eventually need to determine whether you hope to work as a prosecutor of criminal law or defender of those accused. A criminal law specialty is great for people interested in law enforcement, a passion for justice, and who look forward to complex litigation, trials, notable cases, and criminal suits.

Personal Injury Law


Personal injury lawyers work to get people who’ve been hurt on the job or in an accident the fair compensation they need to improve their quality of life. These attorneys work with insurance companies and healthcare facilities to determine future medical expenses and the extent of injuries. Common in most towns and available in all cities, personal injury lawyers work hard to help people have peace of mind post-injury. If you have an interest in medicine, a personal injury specialty might be for you.

Civil and Business Law


There are many types of civil and business law. From real estate and probate law to bankruptcy and workplace harassment and IP law, the options for legal specialties in civil matters are nearly endless. Focused on mediation, settlements, complex paperwork, and investigations, civil lawyers don’t go to trial as often as criminal attorneys. Civil law is a great specialty for those who can analyze fine details and juggle large volumes of information simultaneously.

At the end of your career, you’ll be glad you chose a legal specialty if you take the time early on to take a deep look at the types of law that interest you. In considering your passions and personal experiences and looking at your lifestyle and the big picture, you’ll put yourself in the position of having a career you’ll be proud of and enjoy looking back on. Good luck in your legal studies and choosing the right type of law to specialize in. Trust your instincts.