How Legal Specialization Works

4th August 2016 Posted by Kay

In the medical world, there are both general practitioner doctors and specialists who practice in a specific field of medicine. The doctors who specialize go through extra training after medical school to learn how to treat the conditions that affect patients in their field. Examples of medical specialists include psychiatrists, cardiologists, dermatologists, podiatrists, and pediatricians.

While lawyers also usually specialize in certain areas of law, there is no extra training or schooling required for most legal fields. Attorneys all take the same set of classes in law school with a choice of a few electives. Most law students choose classes related to the field of law they would like to practice when they graduate. So they do have some specialized training, but not at the same level as doctors. And not all lawyers go on to practice in the same area of interest that they studied. Especially now, with so many new lawyers graduating every year, many young lawyers take whatever work they can find, even if it is in a field they didn’t specifically train for. However, many of the better attorneys join or start a firm that is focused on one area of the law, whether that is criminal defense, real estate law, personal injury cases, bankruptcy, or divorce. In fact, you should be skeptical of a lawyer who claims to do it all, unless you are in a small town with limited choices. While all attorneys are technically able to take almost any type of case, often ones who claim to handle everything are mediocre at best in most areas of law. So when you need a lawyer, look for someone who handles your type of case frequently, if not exclusively.

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