Serve Specific Clients or Causes
Many students come to law school wanting to serve a specific client group, or develop that goal as they move through their education. Different types of clients are associated with specific subject matter specialties and practice settings, and bring distinct rewards and demands for lawyers working with them.
Lawyers focused on serving public corporations:
- Specialize in business law subspecialties, corporate law, tax, securities regulation, intellectual property, or commercial litigation
- Practice primarily in large law firms or “in-house” corporate counsel departments
- Demands often include long hours, working in support roles, and extensive travel. Newer lawyers may have little direct client contact. Advancement and growth often requires substantial client development or maintenance
- Rewards include opportunities to work on substantial projects in a team environment, develop targeted expertise, and the prestige and income often associated with larger firms
- Credentials required typically include top law school grades or personal connections and coursework in relevant specialties
Closely Held Businesses
Lawyers focused on serving closely held businesses:
- Specialize in serving business owners and entrepreneurs. This requires a broad-based knowledge of business fundamentals and strategy, as well as business and tax special. Those involved in litigation also need commercial litigation expertise.
- Practice in firms of varying sizes, including many small specialty firms.
- Demands often include need for a broad-based planning expertise, ability to communicate effectively with non-lawyers, work on multiple matters at a given time, generate new business, and deliver quality cost-efficient services,
- Rewards include opportunities to work directly with many smart, creative clients, directly add value to many businesses, manage and define one’s own practice, and generate a substantial income based on the quality of one’s work.
- Credentials required for these jobs include technical legal training in core business and tax courses and demonstrated problem-solving, analytical, communication, and people skills.