Most attorneys specialize in a particular area of law. While you do not need to decide on a practice area right away, learning which ones may be of interest to you will help you focus your job search, choose courses to explore in law school, and generally provide some parameters to your career exploration.
Learn about the vast array of common practice areas in law firms, how their day-to-day tasks vary, and find which ones suit your interests and ambitions.
Overview of Practice Areas in BigLaw
- Listen to Thinking About Practice Areas (podcast)
- Watch Intro to Big Law (video)
- Use the LawFit self-assessment tool to help you identify legal practice areas that match your interests, motivators, and preferred work style.
Deeper Dives into Specific Practice Areas
- Start with OCS’s Practice Area Podcast Library, which has short podcasts on many common practice areas in BigLaw
- See OCS’s Legal Market Information Pages to learn about differences in practice areas based on geography
Additional descriptions of practice areas:
- FirstHand/Vault Practice Area Guides
- MLA Guide to Practice Areas (pdf)
- Chambers Legal Practice Groups
- Movers, Shakers and Rainmakers podcast (interviews law firm partners about their career
To learn more about practicing:
- Hotshot’s learning tracks include short videos that show you the work you would be doing as an associate in a particular practice area
- Conduct Informational Interviews with HLS alumni and other attorneys working in your practice areas of interest
Common Exit Options
- Start with OCS’s guide to Researching Exit Options
- Watch Tracking Attorney Moves for an introduction to Firm Prospects’ Lateral Moves Tracker.
- Firsthand/Vault Profiles include common career paths
- Browse the Beyond Big Law Podcast Series to learn about private sector settings outside of Big Law, including small and midsized firms and in-house legal departments
- Browse the OCS Program Library for recordings from related past programs.
- Find HLS faculty, clinics, and courses in HLS Area of Interest
- For Business (non-legal) careers, Management Consulting and Investment Banking
- Find relevant student orgs, student journals, student practice organizations