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by Mary Kate Sheridan | November 06, 2019


One of the most difficult aspects of being a law student or new lawyer is figuring out what area of law to practice. For starters, there are so many options that it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the numerous paths you can take. And as a newbie to the industry, you may not understand what each practice area encompasses or how to learn more about each one. 

When I was a law student, I knew that I wanted to pursue litigation—I was drawn to the research and writing aspects of the practice, and I enjoyed crafting persuasive arguments. But I didn't realize just how many types of litigation there were. In retrospect, I wish I had taken more time to research the many different roads I could have followed as a litigator and done more informational interviews and internships as a law student to better grasp the ins-and-outs of certain sub-practices. But I didn't have a resource at my fingertips to help me navigate the myriad law practice options.

Luckily you do.

Vault Law's new practice area section is chock-full of information on dozens of legal practice areas, including:

  • Detailed overviews of 28 practice areas
  • A list of potential career paths for each practice area
  • Law school course recommendations for each practice area
  • In-depth Q&As with attorneys from top-ranked firms, covering such topics as typical tasks, types of clients, challenging aspects of the practice, misconceptions about the practice, junior lawyer responsibilities, and more.
  • Practice area rankings
  • And more!

Law practice Areas


The most frequent concern we hear from law students when we meet them on campus or at events is that they don't know how or where to find information on legal practice areas. We hope our practice area resources will provide a useful starting point as you build your career.

Do you have a legal career question you'd like us to answer? Is there a resource you'd like us to create? Email us at!

Looking for an in-depth guide to legal practice areas with insights from real attorneys? Check out Practice Perspectives: Vault's Guide to Legal Practice Areas, which includes Q&As from more than 100 lawyers, who share insights on what it is really like to practice in their areas of law.