Law School Discussion

Specialization...

Specialization...
« on: December 05, 2006, 12:27:19 AM »
I'm actually a potential law student. About how far into the law education do you have to specialize in a field of law? One years? Two?

How important is specialization (say, criminal law) when choosing schools? Or is it best to just go by flat ranking?

jacy85

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Re: Specialization...
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2006, 05:27:16 AM »
The most you ever have to specialize is choosing between litigation and transactional work.  Some attorneys NEVER really specialize beyond that (especially those hanging their own shingle in small(ish) towns and cities)

And if you have a specialty in mind, and you are 100% sure that's what you want to do, then I think its ok to go for that school over other similarly ranked schools.  But if you got into a school ranked 30 that specialized in your area, and then got into Yale, then you better be going to Yale.

UChi2L

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Re: Specialization...
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2006, 06:49:24 AM »
I'm actually a potential law student. About how far into the law education do you have to specialize in a field of law? One years? Two?

How important is specialization (say, criminal law) when choosing schools? Or is it best to just go by flat ranking?

Some people go in to law school knowing exactly what they want to do.  Others think they do.  Take me, for example.  I went to law school to be a prosecutor.  Now I'm looking at private practice appellate litigation.  Not radically different, but the experience of law school really educates you as to what subject matters and types of work you will enjoy and excel in doing.

My advice is, unless you're one of those people with a heap of experience doing something (i.e. former nurse wants to be a health law lawyer, former engineer wants to be an IP lawyer), go to the better-ranked school.  In fact, I'd pick the better-ranked school over a school that gave me a scholarship (unless finances were a huge concern) because, love it or hate it, pedigree still really matters in this profession.