Where will your legal training take you? Defending someone accused of rape? Dealing with the aftermath of a breached contract? Fighting for a client whose human rights have been breached?
Whatever you see yourself doing in the future, it’s always helpful to know what other areas of law are out there. There is no guarantee that the area you see yourself working in now will be where you end up.
In this article, I will introduce you to three areas of law you might have never considered.
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Imagine being the person that helps settle a dispute. That is essentially what ADR entails. It’s an area of law offered by both small and large firms so if you fancy being apart of solving a civil dispute between two parties, this area might just be for you.
You can expect to settle disputes between families or even multi-million pound companies. As you can imagine, there’s certain skills you’ll need to be a successful mediator.
Good Listening Skills
It’s important to listen to exactly what each party hopes to get from the other and what they are willing to give in return.
You need to put yourself in the shoes of your client and understand what the situation means for them. Being sensitive to what your client is going through will make your job as a mediator so much easier.
Things might not go the way you plan during your meeting with both parties. It is all well and good planning out what you want but if you can’t get this for your client or the other party is not willing to give up something easily, you will need to think on your feet and do what is best for your client.
This goes without saying. Your client is the one that knows what they want and what they will give to the other party. However, controlling the situation and winning the other party over is your responsibility. Being able to negotiate is key to doing well in this area of law.
You’re probably aware of this area but I bet you’ve never thought of yourself as a property lawyer. Property as an area of law can be hugely profitable.
Not only this, you will almost always be busy as land requires buying, leasing, selling and developing – all things that clients will come to you for.
You will be providing your services to individuals, companies, developers, public bodies and even the government. Your day-to-day tasks could be anything from preparing documents such as contracts to negotiating property deals.
You also have the opportunity to specialise if you wish. However, many practitioners will choose to work within different areas.
Like ADR, there are key skills you will need.
Attention to Detail
When dealing with something as high valued as property, as well as the money belonging to your client, you will definitely need to be meticulous when it comes to paying attention to detail.
This skill pops up again. If your client expresses interest in a particular property, it will be up to you to make sure that the deal goes through successfully. This will mean that you should be able to negotiate cogently.
You also need good communication skills – this will go hand-in-hand with negotiation.
Thorough Knowledge of Property Law
You will acquire this as time goes on. However, it is important to stay on top of the laws governing property as these can change as time goes on and it is your responsibility to be aware of everything in this field.
3. Media Law
You might not even know that this area exists! Even the media has laws and it is the job of media lawyers to help enforce them.
You can expect to be dealing with contracts, privacy and even intellectual property. Think of copyright violation and data privacy issues in the news. You would be dealing with this first hand.
Not only does this area of law have a glamorous appeal (potentially dealing with high-profile cases), it also enables you to do what you love in a different environment.
For example, if you enjoyed studying contract law during your law degree, media law allows you to work with contracts. The same goes for intellectual property.
Media law is a broad term that covers areas such as film, television, books, magazines, art and music. Below you can find the key skills you will need for this area of law.
If you are dealing with celebrities and high-profile individuals, you will need to be empathetic. You have access to their private information and are trusted.
You may be required to attend court and defend a client of yours. Advocacy is a good skill to have in any area of law, but perhaps a great asset in this particular area.
Knowledge Across a Broad Number of Areas
As previously mentioned, you could be dealing with contracts, intellectual property or in more extreme cases, crime. As a result, you will need to demonstrate a clear understanding of how the law operates in several different areas.
No matter what you are thinking of doing with your legal training, it’s important to think about all of your options.
You can use this article as an indication of just how wide the legal profession is in terms of areas of practise. You could work privately or for a company. You could work in court or sitting in an office.
If you are lucky enough to be at an early stage of your legal training, go out and get work experience in the areas mentioned to see if they might be for you.
And also, try and take part in new experiences that allow you to develop the necessary skills for working in any of these three areas of law.
Find out more about different areas of law with our guides:
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