Different Paths You Can Take When Starting a Career in Law

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Oct 21, 2021

Oct 21, 2021 • by Rebecca Smith

There are many different law practices to consider when choosing law school. Depending on your interests and the work you want to do, certain areas of law may appeal more to you. 

This article can help you figure out which field of law piques your interest and passion. So, we have listed the different types of lawyers below. You will also see how their practice can help clients.

Bankruptcy Lawyer

A bankruptcy lawyer handles cases involving finances, bills, and debts. They offer valuable insight on how to reorganize their client's financial strategy. 

A bankruptcy lawyer helps prevent their clients from going bankrupt. They address client debts by negotiating with creditors or establishing a repayments plan. 

These lawyers handle insolvency matters for both individuals and organizations. They can specialize in consumer bankruptcy or commercial bankruptcy. 

The latter represents individuals or creditors. Meanwhile, the former deals with corporate creditors and debtors. 

Business or Corporate Lawyer

Corporate attorneys deal with legal matters for businesses. They ensure that all business transactions are in line with local, state, and federal laws. 

Business lawyers handle a wide range of legal transactions, including:

  • Mergers
  • Patents
  • Formation
  • Acquisitions
  • Dissolution of businesses
  • Liability disputes

Corporate lawyers also negotiate contracts, conduct legal research, and write legal documents.

Constitutional Lawyer

Constitutional attorneys deal with the interpretation and implementation of the constitution of Canada. They aim to balance the interests of government institutions with individuals. 

These lawyers can challenge the constitutionality of a piece of legislation. They can represent individuals in discrimination cases. 

Criminal Defense Lawyer

A criminal defense attorney helps those accused of criminal activity. They ensure that the basic rights of the accused are upheld within the justice system.

They provide counsel to their clients during all the stages of a criminal lawsuit. This means they offer counsel from the time of the arrest until sentencing. 

A defense lawyer may work as a public attorney or as a private lawyer. Either way, they are attorneys who use the law to defend the basic rights of the accused.

These attorneys may appear in court more often than other types of lawyers. This is especially true if their cases get tried in court.

Family Lawyer

Family lawyers handle cases involving family matters, including divorce, alimony, and child custody. They also handle legal issues involving divorce and other family law matters.

Other issues that fall into the scope of family lawyer roles include:

  • Child welfare
  • Adoption 
  • Guardianship
  • Juvenile delinquency 

Family attorneys write contracts and prenups. They also counsel clients on legal issues involving their families.

Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal injury lawyers represent clients who sustained an injury. They handle personal injury cases that stem from:

  • Workplace accidents
  • Car accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Product liability

These attorneys must prove that the responsible party is liable. They aim to award compensation for damages to their client. 

Intellectual Property (IP) Lawyers

Intellectual property lawyers provide legal advice to clients. The advice can be about the commercial viability of their creation.

IP lawyers also have different areas of specialties. They can handle IP cases involving:

  • Biotechnology
  • E-commerce
  • Computer engineering
  • Internet
  • Pharmaceuticals

IP lawyers work with various government institutions. This is because of the broad scope of their roles.

Estate Planning Lawyer

An estate planning lawyer deals with legal matters involving property rights and trusts. 

These attorneys ensure the proper transfer of will or trust. During this process, they also address the associated tax and legal issues.

Deciding how to provide for various family members is a delicate process, so

Estate planning lawyers help clients review their assets and liabilities. They also offer legal advice during the decision-making process.

Entertainment Lawyer

Entertainment lawyers are attorneys who represent media-related clients or brands. These clients can be musicians, athletes, artists, and actors.

Entertainment attorneys protect the intellectual property rights of their clients. This can include an artist's painting, a singer’s lyrics, or a comedian’s comedy routine. 

These lawyers negotiate contracts and arrangements fees for their clients. They may also secure talent releases or act as a liaison between agents or venues. 

Entertainment lawyers can also manage their client's membership in unions and other organizations.

Immigration Lawyer

Immigration lawyers help those applying for citizenship in the country. These lawyers help clients navigate immigration laws, which can be complex.

They can help people who want to live, work, or study in Canada. They may even assist those seeking refuge in the country.

These lawyers also handle deportation cases.

Immigration lawyers work in various settings. They can work in firms that specialize in immigration law. They can even join government agencies or non-profit organizations.

Environmental Lawyer

Environmental law is a flourishing practice given the growing calls for environmental protection. 

Environment attorneys deal with matters involving environmental law. They handle legal problems involving environmental protection. They handle cases that affect the public’s welfare.

Tax Lawyer

Tax lawyers help clients through the complex task of tax payments. These lawyers are experts in tax laws and regulations. 

Tax attorneys can work in various settings, including:

  • Non-profit organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Corporations
  • Law firms
  • Accounting firms

Due to the changing nature of tax laws, they follow tax law developments and court opinions. Tax lawyers also help clients settle disputes with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Malpractice Lawyer

Malpractice lawyers deal with cases where people sue professionals for violating their duties. 

Often, these cases involve doctors, accountants, attorneys, or government officials. This is because these professions ascribe to a set of standards. This means that they have responsibilities that people can challenge in court.

These jobs are very stressful, and many times can lead to high employee turnover. There are however things that can be done to improve employee retention, and lead to them staying longer.

The list above includes some of the common types of lawyers today. Depending on the industry you want to practice in, you may consider other options.

The type of lawyer you want to be will depend on your interest and career goals.

Ask yourself what work you will enjoy doing every day. What are you most interested in doing?

Also, look into your strengths. Some types of lawyers flourish from having strong interpersonal skills. Meanwhile, others rely on strong analytical abilities. 

Before you make a decision, you must think of the factors most important to you. Only then will you find the right law career path.