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Which legal specialism are you best suited to?

  • October 18, 2016

Many graduates will have their sights set on a career within a specific legal specialism before they graduate, however for both students who are uncertain, and those who have a fairly clear idea of the route they want to embark on, it is worth considering how well suited you are to various roles. Not only does the nature of the work being undertaken differ vastly from specialism to specialism, but as Legal Cheek recently outlined, the traits of graduates attracted to various areas of law varies too.

Corporate Law – ‘The all-rounder’

Lawyers who specialise in corporate law will find that their work spans across a number of different practices and so they’ll more than likely become familiar faces in the firm, which is perhaps the main reason corporate roles usually attract the sociable type. However, the generalist nature of the field means that you may have to withstand quips from colleagues in highly specialised roles. A key characteristic of the role, as with the majority of legal positions, is stamina.

Real Estate – ‘The communicator’

Although students may be put off by the notoriously hard nature of land law, they should be encouraged to hear that it is incredibly different in practice. The work undertaken by land lawyers is often highly commercial, involving prominent names in the energy field. Lawyers who choose real estate as a specialism will need to be excellent communicators, as explaining the details of land ownership to clients with minimal understanding of the relevant legal intricacies can be particularly challenging.

Litigation – ‘The fighter’

Tenacity is essential for lawyers who want to become successful litigators. As dispute resolution solicitor Henry Sackville Hamilton puts it; “You’ve got to be a particular type of person to want to engage in arguments on other people’s behalf’s day in day out.” Some litigators take a bold, confrontational stance while others opt for a calm and academic approach, however regardless of tactics all dispute solicitors need to be commercially aware. Legal excellence is also key, as litigators live and die by the arguments they establish.

Banking – ‘The adrenaline junkie’

Although most might believe otherwise the principles of banking law are fairly straightforward. Lawyers either act for those lending the money or those borrowing it, and provide them with advice on structuring and strategy. Lawyers wanting to work within the banking specialism should be prepared for negotiations, especially when parties have different bargaining positions. Financial services in general is an incredibly fast paced sector, and banking law is no exception. Having both strong communication skills and a grasp of maths is also essential for banking roles.

Private Client – ‘The people person’

Lawyers wanting to work with private clients will need not only fluency in equity and trusts, but also a preference for working with individuals rather than big name companies. Research ability is vital in this specialism, but perhaps the most important factor is excellent communication skills. Lawyers may find they work for particular clients throughout their professional career, so establishing strong relationships from the offset is key.

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