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Types of Law: Legal Specializations


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Many students apply to law school believing that their big career decisions are over, for a time. Your next big decision, however, concerns what kind of law you will practice. Here are some choices.

Intellectual Property Law: Deals with acquiring and enforcing patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Concerned with plagiarism and unauthorized use of property.

Patent Law: A patent grant an inventor exclusive rights (for a period of time) to a human-made invention or an improvement on an existing invention, if the United States Patent and Trademark Office deems it worthy. Patent lawyers work on both sides of this process, for inventors, the government, and other parties.

Constitutional Law: This legal specialization is concerned with interpreting and applying the US Constitution to protect individuals and preserve relationships between state and federal government.

First Amendment Law: This legal specialization focuses on protecting citizens' rights to free speech, religion, press, and assembly. First Amendment cases cover a wide range of topics including book burning and prayer in schools.

Criminal Law: Criminal law revolves around governmental prosecution of anyone who is purported to have committed a criminal act, as defined by public law

Admiralty Law: Also known as Maritime Law, this specialty focuses on the regulation of navigation and shipping. It includes cases on shipping, insurance, piracy, and more.

Business Law: Business law deals with any aspect of the law having to do with industry and commerce.

Environmental Law: Environmental law is concerned with laws surrounding protecting the environment and the requirement of agencies and businesses to take into account the effect of their practices on the environment.

Health Care Law: This area is concerned with medicine and health-related issues such as medical malpractice, licensure, bioethical policies, and the effects of state and federal health care policies.


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