You can have an incredibly bright future as an attorney. That’s probably no surprise to you– it’s one of the many reasons so many bright and intelligent people decide to go into law.
But law is a broad area of study, and there are many different areas of practice in the field. So many, in fact, that many law students begin to feel some sense of crippling anxiety when it comes to having to pick one to pursue.
How can you narrow down and pick a field of law that will be satisfying to you? There are a few strategies you can take to help you decide which field of law to go into. Read on, and we’ll break them down for you below.
Make A Battle Plan
You may feel anxious about jumping right into the process of figuring out your future. But it can be a good practice to make a general plan of action before taking any concrete steps. Deciding what field of law to go into is a big decision and not one you can necessarily make overnight.
If you attempt to force yourself into coming up with an instant answer, you’ll likely just stress yourself out. Instead, lay out some parameters for yourself. Accept that you might have to think on this for a little, and lay out a number of weeks or months you’ll give yourself to explore.
If you want to get specific, breakdown this exploration period into different segments, and commit each segment to exploring a certain field you might be interested in. At the end of this exploration period, you’ll need to make a decision. But working towards that far off date can help make this a much easier process.
Talk To Working Professionals
If there’s anyone who will have the knowledge you need to make your decision, it’s those already working in the field. If you’re currently in law school, many lawyers will be happy to do you the favor of sitting down and answering your questions.
Once you have a list of practice areas that you’re interested in, do some research on attorneys who are practicing in that area. You can look via a Google Search on LinkedIn, or you can ask around and work through your own network. Reach out by phone or email, and remember to be polite. Most lawyers are happy to give advice and help out young and aspiring people in their profession.
Whether it’s Peck Ritchey, LLC or another law firm, there’s always a place you can look to reach out for advice or help.
It can also be well worth it to talk in more depth to your own professors. Many people forget just how amazing of a resource these individuals you see many times a week can be. Most professors are either still working or previously worked in the fields of study that you might be interested in. Even if there’s a professor who you’re not taking a class with, feel free to reach out and inquire about picking their brain.
Do Some Research On The Numbers
Once you get an impression of the job from the people who do it, take the time to crunch some numbers on your own. What kind of money do the people in the fields you’re interested in make? How many hours a week do they work, and in what cities or areas do they seem to work most in?
Keep track of all this information in a spreadsheet. Organize things so it is easy to compare and contrast between different fields of study. You might be surprised at the difference in salary or quality of life that exists between some areas of study.
Also, remember to take a look into how many jobs are available in that field each year. Certain areas of law might be harder to break into. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t pursue those areas, but it’s important to be honest with yourself about the challenge breaking in might present.
Listen To Your Gut
In fact, being honest with yourself is one of the most important things you can do when trying to decide which field of law to specialize in. Naturally, certain areas are going to excite you and others might turn you away. It’s essential that you notice and listen to these impulses.
Sometimes, it might not even be the subject or field that provokes these responses. Do you tend to like to work alone or in groups? Do you enjoy a certain kind of work but hate another? Taking time to understand yourself and your preferences can make a huge difference when it comes to deciding which field of law to go into.
You also need to be honest with yourself about your expectations for the long term. What type of life do you hope to have? What kind of work environment do you want to be a part of each and every day? It can be helpful to start brainstorming five, ten, and twenty-year plans for yourself.
Where do you see yourself in each of these different stages of your future? Try to lock down where you might live, what lifestyle you might have, and other such factors. These things might change, of course, but taking the time to think about them can help guide you on a path to a field that will help you obtain them.
Choosing Which Field Of Law To Study
Settling on a field of law to study can sometimes feel like an impossible choice. But if you approach the challenge in the way we’ve outlined above, you can help work your way towards a decision you can feel satisfied with.
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