I was kind of thinking about this ... I was wondering if there is some consensus about which areas of law are the really insanely difficult (difficult being - most hours put in, most real WORK at the job, etc.), and what areas of laws were known as more laid back (less hours worked, more 'slacking' perhaps?) - or does it all depend on the particular atmosphere of the firm?
If I had to guess based on the very little I've heard, this elusive "Big Law" seems to be the most hell-ish, while the Real Estate attorneys seem to perhaps have it the easiest? (Well, maybe not - but I've heard of some that work for Sibsy Cline that make about 250,000/year and don't do much, but I also know a lady who works insanely hard as a real estate agent - but she has her own partnered firm). What about tax attorneys? They seem to be so looked down upon for some reason, but is it b/c their jobs are easy? Or is it just easy if they are good at math?
Oh, and don't think I'm *looking* for an easy area of law in which to practice, I was just thinking about it since being "an attorney" can mean SO many things and is really a diverse job. I also really don't know what area of law interests me yet ... family law seems somewhat interesting, but I won't pretend to know much about it right now I also thinking teaching at a law school might be a great experience when I'm older after getting many years of experience under my belt!
Thanks everyone - I hope this is an interesting disucssion
I think certain areas of the law are easy, but dealing with the people is difficult. Family law is a perfect example of that the law in almost every state is either community property explained here http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/community-property-state-divorce.html
or marital property explained here http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/marital-property-states.html
The essence of either is that anything accumulated during the marriage through work is split 50/50 between the couples, but anything obtained as inheritance or as a gift is separate property and not split. The law is quite easy to follow, but Family Court gets crazy the emotions run very high and people will spend endless time fighting about inconsequential things to get back at the other spouse.
When children are involved it is even more difficult the standard in almost every state is what is in the best interest of the Child. That is the legal standard what does that mean? Who the hell knows and again parents will fight endlessly over it., which can be very hard to deal with.
So you can see the law in Family Law is fairly straight forward, but the emotional toll and navigating the personalities of your client is extremely difficult.
Tax Law on the other hand is very technical and the law is more difficult and the goal is quite clear save your client as much money as possible so the human element is not very difficult.
If your a litigator handling the pressure of a trial is something certain people can do and others can't. Being able to withstand objections and present a clear case to a jury comes naturally to some and not to others. That can be a difficult route as well and again emotions run high and there is a very subjective human element to litigation.
Since this is a law school discussion board the reality is law school does not really allow you to specialize in any area of law. Technically you can take some courses, but the vast majority of your three years will be spent taking bar related subjects Torts, Contracts, Civil Procedure, Property, Evidence, Corporations, Family Law, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Con Law, Wills & Trusts, and Remedies will be classes you will take at every law school and that makes up the first two years of law school.