What fields of law are there?

The US legal system embraces several different branches of law: and many of them intersect with each other, too. Sooner or later, a lawyer will realize that she or he would like to specialize in some particular aspect of law. Below, you will find some of the key areas of US law that lawyers commonly specialize in.

Criminal Law

This branch of law deals with things that are illegal (i.e. that breach the criminal code). Criminal lawyers deal with everything from petty thefts to murder investigations.

Commercial Law

Also known as business law, commercial law governs how businesses behave. Commercial lawyers specialize in taxation, company registration, bankruptcy and much more.

Civil Rights Law

If you are interested in countering discrimination or standing up for groups of people who state that they are being oppressed, then you may like to specialize as a Civil Rights lawyer.


Also known as the philosophy of law, jurisprudence is perhaps the most academic of all of these specializations. Jurisprudes (this is the name for specialists in jurisprudence) specialize in questions about the relation between law and morality. They often work in universities or think tanks rather than law firms.

Maritime Law

Maritime law is the law that governs shipping and sea transportation. Maritime lawyers deal with cargo ships, marine insurance and similar issues.

Environmental law

Environmental lawyers are vital for ensuring that both individuals and companies do not breach their duties to our planet.

Otis Howe