Author: Rishima Rawat
Over the course of five years in law school, you will study at least fifty subjects. Add to this the numerous law courses available online and the number will be much higher. This should be enough to reflect that there are numerous avenues in law that you can choose. With so many subjects, there is a vast pool of choices that you can pick from. But having more choices can also lead to confusion. This is especially the case when it comes to choosing a specialization. Having a specialization means that you will study that subject in greater detail. That will be your main subject and your future area of practice.
Initially, knowing everything seems to be a more attractive option. Some people like to think that knowing every subject will give them a better understanding of the law overall. They become general practitioners who advise on every legal subject. Others think that if they specialize in one subject, they will end up confining themselves only to that area. While these thought processes may seem correct initially, they may only be valid for short-term. On the other hand, for a long-term plan, it is advantageous to have specialized knowledge in a particular subject. In this article, we will tell you why having a specialization in law is helpful for your career.
Become an expert, a go-to person
When we suffer from a disease, we go to a doctor who specializes in that area of medicine. For example, a heart patient will go to a cardiologist, a person suffering from a skin ailment will go to a dermatologist and so on. This is because we know that person has the expertise to handle that particular case. Now let’s apply the same logic to law. Someone who needs advice on a merger and acquisition transaction will go to a lawyer who specializes in M&A. If a company wants to list its securities on the stock market, it will approach a capital markets lawyer. Why? For the same reason that they are experts in their respective fields. This is what a specialization offers. It makes you a go-to person for that area of law. You gain in-depth knowledge of the subject. This allows you to answer every query of your client. With practice, you gain knowledge and can even become an expert in that field of law.
You develop a certain clientele
Once you develop a specialized practice, you attract clients from that industry. Your practice grows and so does your clientele. Once established, you get in a position to choose your clients. You may reject clients if they do not meet your expectations. This way, a specialized practice allows you to develop your own clientele. It is especially true in cases where the practice area is niche. For example, aviation law or sports law. Lawyers specializing in these fields build their own niche clientele. Their clients know that these lawyers are among the few people who have the expertise required to best serve their interests.
You get recognized in the industry
With a specialized practice area, you meet people from that industry. It can either be while studying the course or working in that field. When you do good work, the word spreads. As more people get to know about you, you start getting recognized. This recognition begets more work. Thus, choosing a specialization will help you make a name and stand out. A general legal practitioner may not get such kind of recognition.
Specialization is interesting
The prospect of studying a subject in-and-out is both challenging and interesting. A general legal practitioner may be able to give advice on a matter but it will not be as nuanced as a specialist. Sometimes, he may not even have sufficient knowledge of the subject. On the other hand, a specialization will equip you to answer any question related to the field. If there is any new development in that area of law, people will turn to you for advice. For example, when cryptocurrency and digital payments became popular in India, it gave rise to a new field- fintech law. It deals with the interplay between financial transactions and technology. Lawyers who were practicing in technology and banking and finance were sought by various entities to understand the framework of these new developments. Such interesting developments can lead you to work in different innovative fields involving the subject of your specialization.
Choosing a specialization in law can help shape your career. It equips you with a skill set that you must keep polishing every day. What subject you choose to specialize in depends on you. It should be something you are interested in because you will be working on that subject for a long time. If it does not interest you, you will face a burnout in a short time. This is true for every subject regardless of the branch of law- corporate, criminal or civil. After you have chosen a subject, you should know that only quality work, constant improvement, patience and perseverance will help you excel. If you think you will learn all the subjects and not specialize in one, you may end up becoming a jack of all trades but master of none.