There is a great deal of flexibility vis-à-vis rules for specialization in the varying areas of law.
There are lawyers who specialize in a particular area of law without being qualified specialists in that area. They are able to limit themselves to a specific field without acquiring certification because state board certification is not required. Since there are no lines to differentiate between various specialties, most attorneys are able to practice various specializations, with the exception of patent laws.
You have multiple options available to you, to choose from different types of lawyers, for instance, from those who specialize in defense work or specialize in plaintiff work. You will also find lawyers who deal with both plaintiff and defense cases. You also get to choose between appellate attorneys and trial attorneys.
Lawyers today have multiple options open to them. Some like to work in the legal departments of corporate houses and are referred to as in-house counsel. Lawyers working in law firms are known as outside-counsel. These lawyers are quite expensive and do not work pro bono and they definitely do not offer free legal aid services.
Other legal specialists include transactional lawyers who specialize in office practices such as drafting documents and negotiations, in addition to advising clients – they are rarely present in court. Unlike litigators who are consulted by clients with regard to legal disputes that take place inside or outside the court room, in addition to arbitrations, settlements and lawsuits.
There are a number of states that recognize areas of legal specialization and offer formal certification. For instance, California offers bar certification in immigration, bankruptcy, family law, criminal law, appellate practice, workers compensation, taxation, and estate planning. Lawyers need to meet the bar requirements in one of these fields of law, to be considered a specialist.
The State Bar of Texas provides formal certification in 21 areas of the law. State board certification is normally not needed to practice law in any of these fields of law, so, many lawyers specialize in a field of law but are not necessarily certified as specialists, officially.
There are, of course, many lawyers who don’t specialize in any one area of law. Some of them are so passionate about fighting for justice for the underprivileged, that they undertake various types of cases to represent them, and provide free legal advice and free legal services. Lawyers of this kind usually do not aspire to fame, and nor do they achieve any. They also don’t earn much, but they make law their entire life. Some of these lawyers work in the public defender’s office.