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different types of lawyers

xomegxoxomegxo Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited March 2012 in Law School
I want to be a lawyer but I know there is so many different kinds I don't know which one yet. I'm only a junior in high school but i'm already thinking of careers. My mom works for a Real Estate lawyer and she says it's not like the usual lawyers that go to court and talk in front of a courtroom which I like because I want to be a lawyer but I don't think I could do the whole court room ordeal. I want to be something like a real estate lawyer but what characteristics does a person have to have to be one and what are some other types of lawyers?
Post edited by xomegxo on

Replies to: different types of lawyers

  • Shark_biteShark_bite Registered User Posts: 1,561 Senior Member
    Good Question. there are tax attorneys and things like that. I'm sure if you googled, or wikipediad it, you could probobly come up with some answers. does anyone have a link?
  • AmericanskiAmericanski Registered User Posts: 683 Member
    If you're a high school junior, it's ridiculously early to be thinking about what type of lawyer you'd want to be. Most 1Ls don't even know. There's no point in thinking about it now.
  • Shark_biteShark_bite Registered User Posts: 1,561 Senior Member
    well, im not thinking about it, i just have no idea. its just not in my bank of knowledge. for example everyone knows there are different types of doctors, but not many know about the different types of lawyers.
  • ihateCAihateCA Registered User Posts: 1,656 Senior Member
    There are basically two types of lawyers: transactional and litigation. Transactional attorneys, well that's pretty self-explanatory. They do financial transactions and stuff and work alot with investment bankers and corporations. Real estate transactional attorneys close real estate deals, and write up leases and stuff. Litigation lawyers, well they sue people. Real estate litigators would settle property disputes in court and stuff. Your pick.
  • dadofsamdadofsam Registered User Posts: 1,635 Senior Member
    xomegxo: there are many categories of lawyers, and most of them rarely if ever spend time in court. Even those who do litigation spend more time out of the courtroom, preparing the case for the trial, than they do in it.

    Transactional law, that is, one involving business transactions such as contracts, is only one area. Others include family law (marriages, divorces, adoptions, other family-related items), wills/estates law (wills, trusts, probates, etc.), intellectual property law (patents, trademarks, copyrights), elder law (Medicare, Medicaid, estate planning, insurance, other items), entertainment law (primarily a combination of transactional and copyright law - music, film, TV, publishing contracts).

    Heck, there are a lot of fields of law, and some are still being invented. But don't worry about that right now; keep the idea of being a lawyer in mind, but when you get to college you will become exposed to whole new areas of possible careers.
  • NwestmomNwestmom Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    The Law School Admission Council webite has a section that briefly summarizes various fields of law. There is also info on preparing for law school and skills required:

    This page from JD Jungle has more extensive info on areas of practice:

    There is also a lot of info available on the American Bar Assoc website:

    I do agree that it is too early to focus on one career, and college will provide you with the chance to explore a lot of options you probably haven't even considered. However, it isn't too soon to begin thinking and learning about careers that may interest you.
  • c/o20102011c/o20102011 Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    well i can say that it is good you are thinking of a career already and only being a jr in high school. im only a sophmore and ive been thinking about it and i dont know. i wanna do business but i wanna be a lawyer so i was thinking of being a lawyer and oopening my own office. but i dont know what kind of lawyer i want to be i am confused on that part. can anyone help me and give me there opinion on different kinds of lawyers?
  • himynameis.himynameis. Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    i too am a sophmore in high school and ive been thinking about becoming a lawyer. i was also thinking of the business area. ive heard that there are lawyers in the business field, but i dont know what they are called and the details about it. if anyone has any ideas please help =]
  • Jennifer0weJennifer0we Registered User Posts: 14 New Member
    I'm in the same boat. I'll be a freshman next year at University and I plan to Law school after and I've been thinking what kind of lawyer I would want to be.
    But obviously, there are other things I should be thinking about, like the present, and very close future.

    My dad always says to get to law school first. Don't think about what kind of a lawyer you are going to be now, because it won't help you if you don't get there.
  • futurenyustudentfuturenyustudent Registered User Posts: 5,366 Senior Member
    I've been thinking about bankruptcy and tax. Firstly, the two kind of compliment each other->bankruptcy proceedings result in tax consequences (well duh, anything results in tax consequences) and secondly corporations will ALWAYS go bankrupt and the Internal Revenue Code isn't going anywhere.

    I'm a second year at university but now I'm just focused on getting good grades and acing the LSAT. My GPA sucks so I need to get like a 175.
  • TexasJJKernalTexasJJKernal Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    See the new thread


    I find that there are more and more young people (even those just beginning high school) boldly, albeit naively, exclaiming that the want to go to law school and become "lawyers". But, in all of their naive innocence, what they don't realize is law school is NOT what it is all hiped up to be.

    First, if you're thinking of having fun in law school, THINK AGAIN! The three or four years of law school is designed to be nothing less than willpower-testing and emotionally-defeating experience. If you think getting into law school is hard, GETTING OUT is ten times HARDER. Over the many decades of developing the modern law school experience in the US, law schools have come up with tools such as the Socratic Method, the first year curve, rankings and law review honors to "weed out" those whose resolve is not strong enough to be there. Once you are in law school, I guarantee you (and no one is an exception to this - whether you're at Harvard or Thomas Cooley) that you will question yourself time and time again, "do I belong here" or "what else could I be doing" or "where am I headed".

    Second, law school is a tremendous financial endeaver. While some of you may not be concerned with this aspect of law school yet, you will realize that the average law school debt of $100,000 is nothing to take lightly. Even though your parents may be glad to take out that second mortgage for you to be able to pursue your dream, in effect, it all comes down to a $100,000 loss or, rather, a $100,000 opportunity cost (i.e. $100,000 is plenty of money to, in fact, start your own business/company after college). It also boggles the senses, why professionals, in this bad economy, are willing to leave their jobs in order to get MORE DEBT for something that is definitely not a sure thing. I will tell these people that you are definitely looking in the wrong place. Career changes rarely make people happier and the last place where you will find happiness is in the legal profession - which is a cruel cruel world for those who don't know - comprised of bitter drawn out feuds one after the other.

    Third, while a law degree is versatile in some ways, the overwhelming majority of lawyers are litigators. In other words, if you don't like speaking in public, don't like being in courtrooms and don't like reading and writing hundreds of pages of legal documents, and don't like being constantly criticized for your work, then being a lawyer will probably not make you happy. Perhaps, another "bubble burster" is that most lawyers don't make six figures starting salaries as much as Hollywood would like to have us believe. While they do make more than the average college graduate, most lawyers only make about $10,000-$30,000 more on average. Oh, don't forget about the debt that I mentioned earlier. You may be paying about $1000 per month for several years until the principle and interest is paid off for your legal education.

    Fourth, being a lawyer is NOT are marketable as is used to be. In fact, it is a fact that people with technical knowledge and skills have a much easier time finding jobs. The US, especially, is lacking in this area. It is no wonder why, we have to drawn foreigners to the US with full tuitions to boost our technical know-how. I guarantee you that a chemical engineer is much more marketable than your average lawyer. If you want job security, the key is to MAKE yourself MARKETABLE. You can do this by studying math, science, engineer, diplomacy, economics and, to a lesser extent, even business.

    So, to conclude, consider your options before even thinking of applying to law school. It is a decision not to be taken lightly. While it make some people successful in the end, it makes most misersable. And if you are still in high school, then you'll find your interests might change several times over and you will forget about law school (for whatever reason you wanted it in the first place). For those thinking of a career change in this aweful economy, you should also seriously rethink your options. While prospects may be poor now, recessions ALWAYS turn around eventually. It is normal to be unhappy in such a difficult time, but you should feel GOOD knowing that you don't have it all that bad (this is truly nothing compared to the Great Depression Era). You have food on your plate and you are still able to enjoy life, even if you do have to be more thrifty. But trying to throw money at your problems to put yourself in more debt (like the US government is now doing) will NOT solve your problem. Repeat after me: this will NOT solve my problems!
  • GreybeardGreybeard Registered User Posts: 2,355 Senior Member
    I don't believe it's true that "the overwhelming majority of lawyers are litigators." It's my distinct impression that significantly fewer than half litigate.
  • XoCeCeXoXoCeCeXo Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    So...I am really new to all of this. I am a sophomore. I am really starting to think about what I want to do when I grow up. I am seriously considering becomeing a lawyer. It all seems really interesting to me. I've tried googling things...and that is how I discovered this website. I am thinking about all the different kinds of lawyers (there are soooo many). I am interested in knowing more about corperate lawyers. The thing is a really don't like math. Is there a lot of math involved with corperate lawyers? And what about Civil lawyers? What do they do? I really don't want to be the kind of lawyer that sits in court. That is not what all lawyers do...right? Thanks to anyone who can help me!
  • IBfootballerIBfootballer Registered User Posts: 2,250 Senior Member
    there are two types of lawyers. litigators and trial attorneys. like soliciters and barristers.

    neither has a soul. the difference is in how their souls met their demise.
  • LergnomLergnom Registered User Posts: 7,926 Senior Member
    You won't know until you get into law school, assuming you apply, etc. You might then find that trying cases is the absolute best thing in the world and may want to become a prosecutor. You tend to go where your talent lies and that is not obvious in high school.
This discussion has been closed.