10 Paths to Becoming an Attorney

Do you feel as if the law is your calling, and you want to know the best way to get started on becoming an attorney? The first step is to find out the specific field of law that you want to get into. Once you know this, you can start looking for the necessary resources that will help you progress well. Once you get the education and training, you can proceed to get practice in order to become an amazing attorney. Have a look at the guide below to find out 10 paths that an attorney to be can take to get onto their dream career path.

1. Business Lawyer

If you’re thrilled at working alongside businesses to help maintain law and order, then a business lawyer is the attorney to be. A business attorney helps businesses as well as the public understand the rules and regulations that govern the world of trade and commerce. As a business attorney, you’re also going to help people set up businesses, file the paperwork they need to file and prepare contracts. They’ll also offer consultation for acquisitions and mergers, ensuring that the process is done the right way.

To become a good business or corporate lawyer, you may need to pursue a business law certificate in addition to your law degree. Since you’ll need to write and revise legal documents and also conduct legal research, you may also need to get advanced training in this field. Afterward, you may find work at a corporate firm or work as the in-house legal counsel for a company or business. As a business lawyer, you can expect to earn anywhere from $47K all the way to $280K per year, or an average of $116,690.

2. Criminal Cases

If, on the other hand, you’d like to work in criminal law, then a criminal attorneys are the attorney to be. In this particular field of law, there are two types of criminal law attorneys: defense lawyers and prosecutors. Defense lawyers defend a person accused of committing a crime, and they represent their client’s interests through legal strategies and evidence. Prosecutors work for the state and present cases against someone who’s accused of breaking the law. An example of a criminal lawyer is DUI attorneys who works with people accused of driving while intoxicated.

In this field, you’ll spend a lot more time in court than do some other lawyers, because you need to be present for your client’s hearings and more. You may pursue an even more specific path in this field of law, becoming, for instance, a homicide lawyer, a violent crime lawyer, or even a drug crime lawyer. You must know the law in these matters well, and in some cases, you might have to pursue a specialty program to hone your skills. You can expect to earn between $42K and $130K per year as a criminal lawyer, which comes to an annual average salary of $81,490.

3. Family Attorney

Someone who’s invested in keeping domestic affairs in order should become a family attorney. There are numerous issues under the umbrella of family law, including child custody, paternity, adoption, surrogacy, marriage, and divorce. Each of these niches will have a specific kind of attorney who’s well-versed in the details of the field they deal with. For example, divorce attorneys are the ones to search for if you need to dissolve your marriage. You may also need a child custody attorney if you have children with the person you’re divorcing and you end up in a disagreement about custody.

Since this field of law can be wide, a number of states offer various training options to someone with a law degree and who wants to become a family lawyer. These trainings help candidates polish their knowledge in different fields in family law, including domestic violence and delinquency. With a certificate in the specific field you wish to pursue, you can expect to earn from $54K to $130K per year. Based on a number of sources, this is an average of about $75,100 annually.

4. Tax Lawyer

If tax matters come naturally to you, then the attorney to be is a tax attorney. This is another area of the law in which there exist various niches, including preparing clients for audits by the IRS and helping others save money on legal tax deductions. To thrive in this field, you need to be well-informed on the numerous laws around taxes and understand the tax implications that a business or individual could face.

As a tax lawyer, you must be up to date with all the regulations that the IRS shares. You may not need to pursue additional courses to work in this field, but you’ll need to stay informed every time the already complex tax system undergoes changes. For your work in this field, you can earn from $30K all the way to $500K a year in this field, an average shared by some sources as $100K.

5. Personal Injury

Since there are many types of injuries and incidents that can occur and result in injury, it follows that this field of law also has a number of specialists. As such, you may find niches under this category or under ‘ personal injury attorneys.’ Two of these are disability attorneys and claims lawyers. You could go even more niche and become a dog bite lawyer, who helps people who’ve been bitten by dogs in circumstances under which they can seek compensation. This is the attorney to be if you’d like to help people who’ve been injured in one way or another get justice.

You’ll spend a lot of time advocating for clients who suffer an illness or injury due to malice or negligence on the part of another individual or a business. You need to know how to collect evidence from clients and other players and also be aware of potential pitfalls in the course of work. As such, you may not require additional certificates, but an apprenticeship may help you learn what you need to know in this field. Your salary will stand between $57K and $120K a year if you become a personal injury lawyer.

6. Real Estate Lawyer

If you’re someone who’s drawn to the world of real estate and you also like law, then this is the right field for you to pursue. As a real estate lawyer, you’re going to protect people’s interests when they decide to purchase a home. Since buying a home may be the largest purchase that the average person will make in their lifetime, it makes sense that they’ll need help to ensure they’re not taken advantage of. This is the attorney to be if you’re eager to help people find and prepare documents like titles, mortgage documents, purchase agreements, and more, so they can do the process the right way. In some states, a real estate lawyer has to be present at the closing of a deal.

As a real estate or property lawyer, you should know some important words and phrases used in real estate. As such, you could benefit from taking a course in real estate and polishing your negotiation skills as well. The course should help you learn the various zoning laws in existence and the best way to buy a property. Your salary in this field will be between $135K and $172K a year, or about $83K on average.

7. Estate Planning Lawyer

If someone needs to plan for death or disease, they’re going to need the help of are estate planning attorneys. This is because there are a number of legal details in this field, and it’s important to get them right. That said, this is the attorney to be if you want to help people ensure that their assets and estate are going to be managed well once they pass on. You’ll need to know the best way for people to value their estate, disperse it, and deal with any tax implications. If someone wants to set up a trust to protect their assets from creditors and lawsuits, your skills will also come in handy.

To excel in this field, you must be well-versed in the details of estate planning. This is another field in which you may not spend a lot of time making court appearances. You should be good at ensuring that your client’s needs are translated well and that their wishes are carried out as they want once they’re deceased. With an apprenticeship, you can get started and make from $20K to $53K per year, or an average of $95K.

8. Labor Lawyer

In employment, there exist a number of matters that need to be governed by law to protect the interests of both businesses and employees under their employment. This is where labor lawyers come in, since they help employers make sure that they’re in compliance with all the relevant laws. These include environmental regulations, OSHA guidelines, and discrimination laws, among others. An employment attorney is the attorney to be in this case. You’ll also defend employees’ interests in matters such as helping employees launch lawsuits on the basis of wrongful termination, discrimination, and wage and hour claims.

You need to have a certificate in labor law if you want to thrive as a labor lawyer. You should also refresh your knowledge every once in a while because the details of the labor field may change every so often. With the right qualifications, you can earn anywhere from $33K to $756K annually, with an average salary of $159K.

9. Immigration Lawyer

Immigration lawyers help individuals planning to immigrate or who’ve already immigrated do it the right way. This involves guiding them on citizenship requirements, green cards, and visa applications, among others. If you want to do more of this and spend less time handling disputes in civil courts, this is the attorney to be. This is because in this field of law, you’ll typically act as an advisor to people in the process of immigrating. You’ll also mediate issues between clients and immigration authorities. If there’s a criminal case involving an immigrant or a hearing on deportation or other aspects of immigration, you’ll be required to make a court appearance.

Since your job in this field will be to help people with immigration issues, you should polish your knowledge in the different matters concerning immigration. This means you should be aware of the details surrounding citizenship in the country for which you want to help your client immigrate to. This may call for staying informed on any changes that take place in immigration after you have the basic knowledge. Salaries in this field range from $69K to $94K a year or a rough average of $81K.

10. Intellectual Property Lawyer

The last item on the list of paths you can follow as an attorney is an intellectual property lawyer. Intellectual property includes inventions, product names, and literary or creative works. In this case, you’ll help people protect their intellectual property by guiding them in licensing their inventions, negotiating settlements for intellectual property transfers, and defending the intellectual property of both businesses and individuals. In this field, you’ll also deal with trademarks, patents, trade secrets, unfair competition, licensing, and copyrights. This is the attorney to be if you’re drawn to this aspect of business, since you’ll play an important role in helping protect intellectual property portfolios for businesses and individuals.

To join this field of law and succeed, you could benefit from doing a course on the different types of intellectual properties and the right ways to protect them. You can expect to earn between $147K and $174K each year, an average of about $162K each year.

From this list, you should have a good idea of the attorney to be to get the most gratification out of your career. Keep in mind that there are many other types of lawyers, including Social Security attorneys, financial lawyers, and medical malpractice lawyers, among others. It’s a good idea to find out the specific field of law you’d like to join so that you can get the right training.

Do you feel as if the law is your calling, and you want to know the best way to get started on becoming an attorney? The first step is to find out the specific field of law that you want to get into. Once you know this, you can start looking for the necessary resources that will help you progress well. Once you get the education and training, you can proceed to get practice in order to become an amazing attorney. Have a look at the guide below to find out 10 paths that an attorney to be can take to get onto their dream career path.

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