Wednesday, April 17

Types of Law You Can Practice After Law School

You may wonder how to choose if you’re almost ready to graduate but have yet to decide on a specialty. Which type of law resonates most with your personal goals and values? During your time in law school, you’ve learned your strengths and weaknesses; which field seems to fit those best? To give you some ideas, here are some types of law you can practice:

Probate Lawyers – Legally Distribute Inheritances

A probate lawyer is responsible for interpreting the meaning of a person’s will. When a person passes away, the probate attorney becomes the spokesperson for the will and follows the will’s directions. If there is no will, the probate attorney distributes assets according to state laws.

As a probate attorney, you’d use the will to ensure every asset is distributed per the deceased’s wishes. After the client dies, you would begin by locating and listing all the deceased’s assets. Probate law can be complex, but it’s one of the more engrossing types of law you can practice.

You’ll find the deceased’s assets by asking their family about bank accounts, insurance companies, and other assets. Probate attorneys must be familiar with the state’s probate laws. As a probate lawyer, you can become a godsend to the heirs – interpreting the law plus providing emotional support during the probate process.

Criminal Defense Lawyer – Speak for the Innocent

A criminal defense lawyer will go to court and defend people accused of crimes. These lawyers’ jobs are to prove their client is innocent or to convince the jury there is reasonable doubt of their guilt. These lawyers can provide defense for people, companies, or organizations.

As a criminal defense lawyer, you would meet with your client, and you’d gather information about the case, including information to prove their innocence. You would then interview others to get more information to augment the person’s claim of innocence.

If the client admits guilt, your job will be to find information that could convince a jury that there is reasonable doubt. Proving this would require details that could cast uncertainty in the jury’s mind – such as an alternate suspect, or lack of evidence.

Criminal law can be one of the more challenging types of law you can practice. You may wonder how lawyers can defend people guilty of the accused crimes. Those who practice this type of law believe in preserving the spirit of the 5th Constitutional Amendment, which proclaims every American is innocent until proven guilty.

Accident Lawyer – Decrease the Impact

An auto or truck accident can be a devastating event. Not only will both drivers be shaken from the crash, but they may also be hurt. Their vehicles may be damaged, so they may be without transportation. As an accident lawyer, you’ll be tasked with helping your client get compensation from the other driver.

During your work with the client, you’ll provide information about your client’s rights. You’ll investigate the circumstances of the accident and details about the insurance policies of both drivers. You’ll find out how much compensation the client may be entitled to.

Some drivers may prefer to settle the accident on their own. However, without assistance from an experienced accident attorney, they may be shortchanged. The other driver’s insurance company is out to save money – so drivers need a lawyer to speak for them. Being an accident lawyer can be one of the most exciting types of law you can practice.

Workers Compensation Attorney – Help Injured Employees

When an employee is injured while performing their job, they are eligible for funds when they cannot work. The compensation included in workers’ compensation is for medical expenses and wages they cannot earn. These funds are guaranteed by law, and the company is responsible for paying the funds to their employee. Although these cases often proceed smoothly, sometimes the company denies the claim.

Because people need to be sure of success in a workers’ compensation claim, they can contact a workers’ compensation attorney to represent them. When a person first meets with a workers’ compensation lawyer, their paperwork must verify the facts they claim about the injury. One of the most important types of evidence they’ll need to produce is records from their doctor and hospital records.

As a workers’ compensation lawyer, you’ll review the paperwork with the client and help them prevail in their claim. Through the weeks of the case, you’ll provide information about their rights, gather data about their claim, and provide moral support. Because these cases require considerable amounts of paperwork, workers’ compensation attorneys are one of the most detail-oriented types of law you can practice.

DUI Lawyers – Offer Clients a New Beginning

When a person is charged with a DUI offense, they’re accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. This charge typically comes after a police officer has given the driver a field test, which showed they had more alcohol in their system than is legal. Because of the risk of serious legal consequences, a person accused of DUI should hire a DUI lawyer if they are found guilty. Being a DUI lawyer can be one of the more frustrating types of law you can practice – because the client isn’t always willing to change their ways.

As a DUI lawyer, you’re practicing a branch of criminal law, so your job is like that of a criminal lawyer. Your job is to show the client was not intoxicated at the time of the test; or that there is a reasonable doubt about the circumstances. You might think a DUI would motivate a person to get sober, but that’s not always the case.

Because of the field test results, gathering information that could provide reasonable doubt can be challenging. To build a defense, you would look for witnesses (who might say the other driver was at fault) or other evidence, which may lead the judge to conclude that the police didn’t conduct the test correctly. If the DUI charge is termed ‘aggravated DUI,’ you’ll have an even more significant challenge. Those charges will put the client at risk for higher fines or additional jail time.

Disability Benefits Attorney – Standing Up for Those Who Can’t

Some people obtain disability insurance policies from their employer, or from private insurance companies. When a person with a disability policy becomes permanently unable to work due to an injury or illness, they apply for disability benefits from their insurance company. These benefits are paid according to the disabled person’s policy. Disability lawyers are acquainted with the types of disability insurance and the requirements for meeting the criteria of the policies.

Because of this, many disabled people will contact a disability benefits lawyer. When a client meets with you, as their disability benefits attorney, you’ll gather information about their disability. After you review the facts and documents about the case, you may request further documentation or an examination by an additional doctor.

Disability law is one of the more rewarding types of law you can practice since you’d be working with people who deserve the help they are applying for. Many of the claims for these clients are conducted online, but occasionally, they require a courtroom encounter. The client often needs assistance with the paperwork.

Estate Planning Lawyers – Assisting with End-of-Life Decisions

It’s never pleasant to imagine the end of our lives. However, death is inevitable, so people with assets make plans so assets will go to the people they designate to receive them. After someone’s death, when the person’s will goes through the probate court, there is a possibility their assets won’t be distributed as they might have wished. At the first meeting with an estate planning lawyer, they will review the client’s financial assets and ask what the client’s wishes are.

One of the first tasks you will undertake, as an estate planning attorney, is to organize the client’s wishes into a will. You will ask the client to designate an executor to enforce the will. The executor becomes aware of the will’s provisions and agrees to act as the client’s spokesperson. If the client doesn’t have an Advanced Directive (a document that spells out their wishes regarding medical intervention if they should stop breathing), you would help the client to place those wishes in writing.

The financial aspect of your job will be assisting the client in placing their money in trusts that can facilitate the will’s terms. For example, if the client wants to set up a trust for their children, they might open the account before their death, so their funds can easily be transferred at the time of the client’s death. Estate planning law is one of the most collaborative types of law you can practice since they may need to bring a financial planner into the estate planning process.

Social Security Disability Lawyer – Advocate for the Disabled

The Federal government pays Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. Although this type of insurance is like private disability insurance, the guidelines for eligibility and the process for claiming the benefits are different. When the claim is approved, the amount paid to the claimant for SSDI is based on the claimant’s history of earnings from their work.

A disability insurance company bases its approval of the disability claim on proof that the client can no longer perform the most recent job they had. In contrast, Social Security will only approve the client’s claim when they can prove there is no longer any job they can do. This standard is demonstrably higher. According to Dell Disability Lawyers, there are 3 million SSDI claims annually, and only 10% – 15% are approved. (3)

To specialize as an SSDI lawyer, you don’t need to be a federal employee. Any lawyer who has an interest passes a criminal background test, and then passes a written certification test can become an SSDI lawyer. Becoming an SSDI lawyer is one of the more complicated types of law you can practice because you must stay current on disability law and Social Security guidelines. The paperwork for these claims is considerable, so you must be able to handle a large volume of paperwork.

Intellectual Property Attorney – Champion of the Creative Voice

Intellectual property is a term that refers to the rights of creators over their inventions, written materials, and created designs. The practice may deal with laws and guidelines about patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. An intellectual property attorney would represent clients who feel their intellectual property has been appropriated by another person. As an intellectual property lawyer, you would also assist your clients in drawing up the documents to apply for patents or trademarks.

If the intellectual property owner wants to transfer ownership of that property to another person, the intellectual property attorney would assist in transferring ownership. Intellectual property law is one of the newer types of law you can practice. A lawyer who wants to practice intellectual property law should learn about the economy, business law, and marketing standards.

Personal Injury Attorney – Quest for Needed Compensation

Personal injury lawyers have many clients who watch TV lawyer shows and think they can get money for their injuries. Because of this, personal injury law is one of the busiest types of law you can practice. Sometimes, personal injury clients can and do receive generous compensation for injuries – so it can be a lucrative field.

As a personal injury attorney, you’ll use information about the case to determine if the client has the basis for a claim. To prove a case merits compensation, you must document the nature and extent of the client’s injuries and prove who is at fault for the damage. When those two factors are presented to the judge and jury, they’ll decide whether the statements are true.

There are other types of law you can practice, but these ten are some of the most requested. If you need more advice about which specialty you might choose, talk with your law school advisor or an attorney you know. No matter which type of law you choose to practice, you’ll assist people who need your help to stand up for their rights.

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