Careers in the Field of Law
Any overseas student considering a career in the field of law will find there are several opportunities open to them according to their areas of interest. For example, one can specialize in environmental, family, or criminal law, to name but a few. This guide explores the different career opportunities available to international law students.
Working as an Environmental Lawyer
Over the past few years, environmental law has become a rapidly growing area. This is partly because new federal laws and regulations are continually being introduced and partly because the world is continually turning to renewable energy and increasingly trying to protect the environment. Consequently, there is no shortage of career opportunities for environmental lawyers, whether it is to act in an advisory capacity to organizations who want to become “green,” or to help implement regulatory requirements. For example, concerns about global warming have made it necessary for many organizations of all types to employ legal experts to handle compliancy issues concerning carbon monoxide and gas emissions. Additionally, governments employ environmental lawyers to work in a number of different areas, e.g., from enforcing environmental law and dealing with infringements to advising on sustainable practices. While the field of environmental law is good right now, this is fast-growing area with endless possibilities in the future.
Working as a Family Lawyer
The field of family law, which includes advising on divorce and handling any related proceedings, is an area of great opportunity and possibilities for overseas students. With divorce on the increase in many parts of the world, not least in the USA, those who choose to practice family law should not have any difficulty building a client base or finding cases to handle. The field of family law covers every situation involving family life. Although the large majority of cases are divorce-related, other issues include support and custody of children, and instances of child abuse. Consequently, even though this specialist area can be financially rewarding, it can also be stressful. Divorce negotiations are usually tough on both parties; cases are often prolonged and there can be a lot of points of disagreement to resolve. Sometimes the parties involved are not very cooperative, and dealing with child custody can be heart wrenching. Therefore, family lawyers need to have excellent people skills; they may need to comfort clients or children, and they need the skills to appeal to judges and juries.
Working as a Criminal Lawyer
In terms of legal work, criminal law is a highly popular choice and is possibly one of the better known areas of specialization. Prosecutors (usually state employees) and defenders practice this area of law. As indicated, most states (i.e. countries) employ prosecutors to try and convict those accused of criminal activity, thereby ensuring justice is served. On the other side of the coin, defenders work on behalf of those who are accused of or charged with crimes, representing them and attempting to get them acquitted. While both of these worthy professions are the cornerstone of legal work, they are both stressful jobs. While the salaries earned by prosecutors and defenders may not be the highest on offer in the legal field, many lawyers find it rewarding to help put serious criminals away and/or save innocent people from unwarranted punishment. While some defense lawyers are state employees, there are many others who work in the private sector where they can earn extremely high salaries (equivalent to their counterparts in other specialist fields) and rise to the top of their profession.
The above options are just some career possibilities in the legal field and there are many more. It would be prudent for any overseas student contemplating a career in law to spend time looking into the myriad of opportunities. It is recommended that students select an area that really appeals to them so that their legal careers are rewarding, enjoyable, and successful.