How I Chose My Legal Specialism
It is quite difficult to choose which sector of the law to specialise in and many students struggle to find their route. Those who don’t struggle often already have a clear plan in their heart and mind. I was someone who fell into the latter category as I have always been driven to pursue a career in criminal law. I ignored the other sectors, as if they didn’t exist and felt strongly that nobody could change my mind.
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I Always Knew Where I Wanted to Go
I started to work with a solicitor within the criminal field and spent time researching the field and sentencing procedures at an early age. Prisons, criminal backgrounds and mysterious cases were all things that pulled me in and when the riots occurred in 2011, I became even more intrigued by how the law shapes our society. This fascination convinced me to sit in the public gallery on a weekly basis and see firsthand how the justice system works. However, I subsequently realised that a career in criminal law may not be for me as my health started to take a turn for the worse. I realised that criminal barristers and solicitors must have a very strong personality and mind as I would often struggle to sleep for days after witnessing distressing cases.
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My Career Plans Changed
I have always struggled to make decisions especially, those that affect my life and career choices. Even now, it is the norm for me to gain a second, third or fourth opinion, despite oftentimes knowing what I want to do. I have realised regardless of which option you choose, life will take you through the path you are destined to follow. I have now decided that I might like to specialise in Family, Immigration or Employment law, however, my options very much remain open.
I have met many clients from the Family, Immigration and Employment field and my experience has shown me that it may be the right specialism for me. The main reasons, that allowed me to choose this field is from having actually worked within them on a day-to-day basis including pro bono that I have carried out too.
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How Did I know it was the Right Specialism?
This specialism allowed me to help many individuals and change their lives for the better and that sense of satisfaction is what allowed me to grow a deeper connection with this particular specialism. It gave me a sense of fulfilment as well as it allowing me to feel and see that I have made a difference in people’s lives for the better. This is not to say that everyone will feel the same type of fulfilment in these fields and it often depends on you as an individual.
What is the Best Advice?
The overarching advice I can give in relation to choosing your legal specialism is to try and gain work experience or attend networking events within many different fields. This will allow you to gain an insight and see the practical side of the field you are exploring. If you then feel comfortable within that sector and feel a sense of purpose there, then you’ll know that it is the correct specialism for you.
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Author: Amirah Asghar