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Official Guide to Legal Specialties (Career Guides) 1st Edition

3.6 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0159003916
ISBN-10: 0159003911
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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

During the years I spent as an assistant dean of career services at a Chicago law school, I worked with thousands of law students and alumni. I know first hand that finding a legal job is one thing, but finding a truly satisfying job, in which there is a good fit between the student or graduate and the employer, is another.

There are many books that talk about how to look for a legal job. But until now, there has been little information about the available range of legal career options. That why the National Association for Law Placement developed this book.

We spent more than two years (including hours of fascinating face-to-face and telephone interviews) gathering the information we knew students and alumni needed most---and The Official Guide to Legal Specialties is the result.

Each chapter begins with a brief overview of the area of law, such as "What is Real Estate Law?" Then the chapters explore typical daily activities as well as advice for law students, including extensive quotes from the attorneys we interviewed.

I encourage you to explore not just the areas of law that appeal to you at first glance, but additional areas as well. When I was in law school, it never crossed my mind to explore non-litigation careers. I never learned about specialty areas that would make the most of my counseling and relationship building skills. I never even remotely considered a career in estate planning, but, after interviewing the attorneys in the estate planning chapter I learned that it would be a very good match for my skills and interests.

In reading this book, you'll learn that there are satisfied, enthusiastic lawyers in every practice specialty. And you'll be one step closer to finding a legal career that you're passionate about!

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Product Details

  • Series: Career Guides
  • Paperback: 489 pages
  • Publisher: Gilbert; 1 edition (May 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0159003911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0159003916
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,176 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book contains some useful information about various practice areas. However, it also leaves out highly pertinent information.
I am an ex-litigation attorney who left litigation because it was too confrontational. There is not a word in the litigation section of this book about the necessity of confrontation in this practice area. Instead the book talks about how litigation allows lawyers to develop "relationships" with clients.
In general this book discusses the positives of each practice area without discussing the negatives. But the negatives can be highly relevant and very helpful when deciding what area of law is not for you. By reading this book you get the idea that you could enjoy numerous practice areas when this may not in fact be the case. Use the book for the information it does contain, but do so cautiuosly, keeping in mind that you need to dig further to find out the full truth about a practice area in which you are interested.
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Format: Paperback
As a lawyer and legal recruiter I know how important it is for attorneys to find the right practice area. This book provides the most comprehensive and current information available today about what it's like to practice law and how practice areas differ. Not only does the book provide factual information about the different specialties, it also provides firsthand accounts of the daily lives of practitioners. I strongly recommend this book to current law students, anyone contemplating a career in law and any lawyer considering a practice area change.
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Format: Paperback
I work in the career services field and have found this book very helpful in counselling law students. Most law students come into law school with a vague notion of what they want to do, but no sense of what it really means to practice a particular kind of law. Ms. Abrams book gives them a real-world account of what lawyers in each specialty do all day and what they can expect out of their careers. I'd highly recommend this to anyone considering a legal career or anyone helping those who are.
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Format: Paperback
As a law school career counselor, I can attest that one of the top challenges students face is determining what they want to do with their law degree and how to get what they want. This book goes a long way in helping to solve that riddle. I recommend it to every law student with whom I work. Each one who has followed my advice has praised the recomendation. My Admissions Office will not give me my personal copy back because they find it so useful.

This book lays out many of the typical and not-so-typical practice areas lawyers may enter, explaining what to expect, how to prepare for these jobs, and what employers are looking for. Law students will still need to do some self-analysis on what they are looking for, but this book will help immensely in sorting out areas that may work for them. It is especially helpful in that it may point them to areas they may not have thought of. I have seen many students gravitate towards areas because they are easy to understand or grasp onto. This book helps them open their eyes to many other areas.
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Format: Paperback
In her new book, "The Official Guide to Legal Specialties," Lisa Abrams does a great job of breaking down more than 30 areas of law (from Tax Law to Legislative Practice to Entertainment Law). This is an invaluable tool when you enter into those 2L job interviews. This book has everything from a detailed explanation of each area to what law classes to take to bolster your background. Not only will it keep you from embarrasing yourself in an interview with claims like, "I've just always wanted to do litigation" and then not knowing a single answer to the follow-up questions, but it could save you from wasting your time in a area of law that you are ill-suited for. Well worth the price.
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For anyone who needs an edge over competition during recruiting season, here is your ticket. Abrams' books is well-organized, comprehensive and illuminating. If you read it, you will learn the most basic lingo of the various legal practice areas. You will also be able to identify the specialities that suit your personality (for instance litigation and corporate are very different). You'll enter the interview process more self-aware and be aware of what's out there; as a result you'll be able to effectively market yourself to particular firms. If you don't read the Official Guide and don't know anything about the different practices of law yet, how do you know you are not making a mistake pursuing the practice of law? Read it, then apply for those jobs.
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Format: Paperback
And I mean "practically" in the sense of practicing law. I don't know who this book is for, but it's not for anyone being trained to work in the law, or anyone currently working in the law. And I don't know who else would want to read such a book. The writers need to interview folks who will tell the truth about the bad parts, too, and not be quoted in such pollyanna-ish fashion. It's meaningless. Why not interview a private attorney who once worked in government rather than a government worker who has her/his FULL name listed, and is saying only good things (of course) about his/her current employer? Everything in this book is bland and rosy-posy. The "skills" and "classes" recommendations start to blend from one "specialty" to the next. In essence, this book does NOT highlight what is special about each specialty. It gives a few personal stories that have no punch ("I watched Perry Mason as a kid") then some bland recommendations, such as "the best government lawyers have a passion for their work." Oh. I know many attorneys that would argue that certain passion gets in the way of effective representation. And the statement by a family law attorney is counter to many opinions: "I knew that family law was an area of law where you get a sense that you're helping people." The top family law attorneys I know disagree. They're in it because they are good at it, and there's never a shortage of paying work (this is regarding the divorce/custody attorneys, not something that can actually be pleasant sometimes, like adoption). Pass on this.
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