How to Choose a Law Degree Concentration or Specialization
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Consider Different Areas of Law Based on Your Interest
Research Background Requirements of the Concentration
Consider Industry Growth Projections
Research on Career Paths and Work Settings
Reach Out to Your Network for Advice
Compare the Strength of Law School with Your Preferred Concentration
A law degree concentration or specialization is a particular area of focus within law. Students can choose to work within their chosen concentration, sometimes referred to as “legal specialty,” or put their newfound knowledge to use in a role that requires it. Whether you are enrolled in a master’s in legal studies degree program or other law program, you’ll study certain areas of law along the way and can choose one concentration that matches your career goal.
It may vary depending on different law schools. Some allow students to choose a concentration track at the end of the second term. This may provide you with enough time to identify your interests and strengths, and eventually determine the concentration that fits your standards and career goals. The earlier you start your research, the better you may be prepared for to declare a concentration.
Choosing your legal concentration will provide you with the tools you need to become an expert in the chosen field. You will be fully equipped with the specific law knowledge, skills and information you need to know how to be a master in your chosen area or industry. You will also have a clear idea of what to expect before entering the industry.
It is important to weigh the pros and cons of sticking with your desired school choices and exploring other options. You should also take your individual needs into consideration. So, for example, ask yourself the following:
• Am I in a position to explore other school options?
• Would I be comfortable relocating for school or committing to an online program?
• What are some of my strengths and weaknesses, as both a student and professional?
• Can I apply my strengths to the concentrations that are available at my school?
Yes, it is possible to work in an area of law besides your specialty. Some legal career options, like a compliance officer, require a mix of strong communication, problem-solving skills and legal knowledge to be in the occupation. The skills and knowledge you gain through your degree program may apply to multiple areas of law, which can give you a few different legal specialties to choose from.
Not necessarily. Regardless of what path or law degree concentration you choose, you will be equipped with a lot of knowledge that can apply to many levels within the industry. You may be able to determine which law degree concentration meets your needs best while enrolled in a general track program. Remember, your career goals likely differ from that of your peers. So, make a decision about your legal education based on those goals and what drives you.
These degrees may offer similar law specializations, but they are different in terms of what is required at each level. For example, an MLS degree may allow you to explore concentrations that require general legal knowledge, including becoming a paralegal, arbitrator and more; J.D. programs cover broad theories and concepts within the U.S. legal system; and LL.M. degrees are designed for lawyers to demonstrate enhanced expertise in certain fields of law. Learn more about the differences between MLS vs LL.M. vs J.D.
Sponsored Online MLS and Law Programs