As some chambers will only take on pupils that have completed a mini-pupillage with them, it is important to select wisely when you start applications. This is also a chance to explore your interest within law and get some sense about what you want to specialise in later on.
The broad specialisms include: commercial law, public law, criminal law and family law. There are several sub-specialities within those areas, but it is a good idea to start looking at those four and then choose a chamber based on your findings.
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If you find subjects like contract law and the law of tort interesting you should check out commercial law. Business disputes stands in the centre of this type of law. Moreover, negotiating and commercial awareness are essential skills, so if you enjoy these things you might be suited to a career as a commercial lawyer.
Commercial law is a wide area, so you will have to focus on a subspecialty:
Public law is concerned with a very important aspect of the law: regulating the government. If you find the exercise of power by public bodies or judicial review of interest in your lectures then public law might be the area you want to focus on. It may be a good idea also to investigate subjects like constitutional law and tax law and you’ll get an idea of what it is about.
The various subspecialties include:
This type of law is probably the best known.
Criminal lawyers will have more opportunities to work in court than any other types. You need to be highly adaptable with the capability to function well under stress in this type of work. If you find mooting and procedures of the justice system intriguing, you should consider working in criminal law.
The subspecialties of criminal law include:
If you want the chance to be in the court sometimes, but are not interested in criminal law then family law might be your area. You will deal with sensitive matters such as divorce and cases involving children. The difficulties that arise in such cases suit those who are emphatic and like dealing with people.
As this is a special type of law you should do a related mini-pupillage before applying for pupillage within it. Whilst there are subspecialties within family law, you will probably cover a wide-range of issues.
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