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October 5, That being said, are there specific practice areas that need more attorneys to serve current and future needs?
Podcast Transcript Stephanie Francis Ward: Welcome to the show, Valerie.
Well, first of all, I think students should pay attention to what classes interest them, and perhaps in their clinical experiences, what they like. And they first need to decide whether they want to be a litigator or a transactional lawyer.
Those are sort of the two big divides when it comes to law practice. There are some areas of practice where you get to do a little bit of both; say, labor and employment where you might litigate, but you also might advise or do employment agreements or termination agreements.
And you could tell that he was a transactional lawyer, not a litigator. I was a litigator. So, anyway, the hottest areas of practice right now, I would say are real estate and corporate transactional.
Those folks were being laid off.
So you need to understand that sort of the economy makes law practice cyclical. So, areas that are hot right now may be completely cold in the future, and vice versa.
But right now and for the foreseeable future, real estate and corporate transactional are absolutely hot. And then, of course, there are always areas that are evergreen, like criminal law, family law, and wealth management. Those are sort of the mom-and-pop areas of law where everyday people need those kinds of representation all the time.
There are various kinds of different areas within labor and employment that sort of come and go. But of course, that always depends upon the economy.
With regard to real estate, you have to understand that, as legal recruiters, what we do is our clients are mostly in the large-to-mid-sized law firms, and their clients are usually businesses. So what we are looking for are commercial and maybe multi-home development, investment, and construction, rather than single-home real estate transactions.
But those transactions go on all the time, but of course, during the recession, there were less sales going on, as well. And you mentioned that intellectual property is an area that has a need, as well. Do employers—are they very interested in someone who has an advanced degree, like an LLM in intellectual property or maybe someone who went to a law school that had a section with an intellectual property focus?
Does that matter to them?
What they really want is somebody who has an undergraduate degree. Well, and the tuition became so high. Will that bring him or her a more lucrative career now?
So I would not tell an engineer to go to law school to make more money. I would say, though, that somebody who has a strong hard sciences background and goes to a decent law school and does well will have a successful legal career because there is a need for those kind of people.
Are many lawyers interested in working for these companies? And if so, what should they sort of focus on to make themselves more attractive to the firms?
We have had those kinds of companies come to us and say they want to hire lawyers. Oftentimes, they want to hire lawyers in a sales capacity because they figure that lawyers will understand the needs of other lawyers and help them place their products or help them develop their products.The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material, and we provide these as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue.
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