So, you’ve decided you want to be a lawyer, and you’re wondering “What type of lawyer should you be?” Maybe you’re just starting out, or maybe you’re looking for a career change. Either way, the legal field is full of different career paths.
We’ve put together a quiz to help you explore just that. It’s not an official personality assessment, but it does point you in a direction based on the kinds of problems you want to solve, the day-to-day activities that excite you most, your risk tolerance, and more.
Explore more career options as a lawyer
Would you really be a legal professional if you didn’t research all of your options before making a decision? Not likely. Read below to explore different options for what kind of lawyer you can be.
You’re a structured individual that thrives when working with logic, math, and fine details. You prefer to keep your clients out of court by helping ensure they’re compliant with tax laws and regulations—but also fight against tax assessments gone awry.As a tax attorney, you’ll need superior research skills to keep up with ever-changing laws and problem-solving skills to find creative solutions to complex issues.
Learn more about how to become a tax attorney.
You love working with clients that are bringing savvy ideas to life—and helping those clients protect their brain babies from intellectual property theft.From art to medicine and everything in between, these lawyers are on the forefront of innovation, protecting their clients’ intellectual property.Interested in becoming a patent lawyer? You’ll need to take a few steps including graduating law school and passing the patent licensing exam to register with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
You’re all about high-stakes cases and lean into your dramatic flare for storytelling to help you win them.You defend clients being charged with criminal activity that can result in imprisonment. You’re crafty, good in conflict, and can support people through what is often the most challenging time in their life.
Learn more about becoming a criminal lawyer.
You’re an incredible storyteller, and are likely known for your ability to play devil’s advocate in any argument.As a defense lawyer, you’ll spend a lot of time in the courtroom protecting your clients from claims against them. The severity of your cases can vary greatly, from financial penalties to imprisonment—unless you convince the judge to rule in favor of your client.
Learn more about becoming a defense lawyer.
You can manage complex and emotionally-charged situations in a delicate manner, and work with the nuances of interpersonal conflict.From advocating for clients in cases of domestic violence or custody battles, to helping them navigate milestones with prenuptial agreements and adoption paperwork, you’re with your clients in the moments that matter.
Learn more about becoming a family lawyer.
You’ll help corporations with issues related to owning, operating, and managing a business—in exchange for some of the highest earning potential in law.This practice area largely takes place behind the scenes, and requires strong negotiation skills, in addition to impeccable research, writing, and verbal communication skills. You’ll spend lots of time negotiating contracts and advising clients on their rights, responsibilities and duties under the law.
Learn more about becoming a corporate lawyer.
You’re passionate about the health and future of our planet—and have the storytelling skills to compel judges and jurors alike to protect it.In this high-stakes but rewarding area of law, you are responsible for regulations to help control pollution and protect our natural resources. There are many exciting directions to take this career in, from working with corporations to abide by environmental protection regulations to working with the government to draft legislation to protect the earth.
Learn more about becoming an environmental lawyer.
You’re looking for a meaningful career—and immigration law is all about helping others establish a new life across the border. Whether your clients are escaping conflict, chasing big job opportunities or reuniting with family, you’re here to help them with their new life.Starting in a new country is tough. Immigration lawyers support their clients with issues like visas, permits, and citizenship to help set your clients up for their new country.
Learn more about becoming an immigration lawyer.
You’re on top of the latest technology trends and excited to see how AI will transform the world—and the legal industry.From regulating what corporations and government can do with our data to dealing with cybercrime or the implications of AI, the exciting world of tech is changing faster than law itself. You’re a continuous learner, and thrive in situations that may not have clearly defined rules.Being in tech law, you’re probably itching to make legal work more efficient through the use of technology.
Here are some great AI tools that you can use in your law practice.
Technology and the future of law
Regardless of what kind of lawyer you become, the future of law is (at least partially) digital. The most successful law firms today use legal software to work more efficiently and securely. And you may already be learning how to harness AI in the legal world—while observing the very real consequences of relying on ChatGPT to build your legal case.
AI aside, there are lots of other ways to incorporate technology into your budding legal career so you can work more efficiently. The rapid innovation in the legal software space, combined with the adoption of technology, has resulted in a myriad of legal tools that lawyers can use in nearly every aspect of their work. With legal practice management software, you can now conduct legal research for free online, collect e-signatures, process digital payments, streamline non-billable work, and so much more.
Learn more about managing your legal practice in the cloud with Clio.
We published this blog post in July 2023. Last updated: .
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