BCG Attorney Search Comprehensive Attorney Practice Area Guide | BCGSearch.com

BCG Attorney Search Comprehensive Attorney Practice Area Guide

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Summary: Learn more about some of the biggest legal practice areas in these mini guides.
1. Alcohol Beverage Law Attorney

What Do Alcohol Beverage Law Attorneys Do?
 
  • This practice area involves the law as it relates to alcoholic beverages like wine, beer, and spirits.
  • Attorneys who work in this area assist wineries, breweries, distilleries, and other members of the alcohol beverage industry in complying with laws and regulations about the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages.
  • Alcohol beverage lawyers provide guidance on issues such as taxation, trademark and licensing, environmental compliance, and trade practices.
  • They also negotiate and draft warehouse, storage, and vendor agreements.
  • Many attorneys in this practice area have backgrounds in the government.
  • Most attorneys in this practice area….Read more

2. Antitrust and Competition Attorney


What Does an Antitrust and Competition Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area covers antitrust and unfair competition law, both in the United States and internationally.
  • Antitrust and competition law regulates businesses at home and abroad to promote competition and competitive market practices.
  • Attorneys who practice in this area address legal issues that arise under antitrust laws such as the Clayton Act and the Sherman Act.
  • They also provide advice on matters such as monopolies, conglomerations, merger controls, pricing limitations, marketplace competition, price fixing, unfair competition, unfair restraint, tying, dawn raids, Cartel investigations, and the European Union Competition Law.
  • The work in these cases tends…Read more

3. Bankruptcy Attorney

What Does a Bankruptcy Attorney Do?
 
  • The practice area focuses on what happens when individuals or companies experience financial difficulties and go bankrupt.
  • Bankruptcy law provides for the development of a plan that allows a debtor to resolve debts through the division of assets among creditors.
  • There are different bankruptcy proceedings available to debtors, including reorganization and dissolution.
  • Bankruptcy cases are litigated in the United States Bankruptcy Courts, and cases are filed under Chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13.
  • This practice can involve counseling clients that are considering going bankrupt, as well as representing clients that are in bankruptcy.
  • The work involves litigation-related tasks….Read more

4. Construction Attorney

What Does a Construction Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area involves the law as it relates to commercial and residential building construction projects.
  • It involves issues arising from contracts with engineers, architects, contractors, subcontractors, and the government, as well as code and land use laws.
  • Construction lawyers sometimes hold engineering and architecture degrees in addition to law degrees.
  • Construction law may involve litigation-related work, or it may involve more of the counseling side.
  • Most attorneys in this practice area…Read more.

5. Corporate Attorney (General)

What Does a Corporate Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area focuses on general corporate work. Corporate law includes entity formation and corporate governance.
  • Corporate work includes the creation of different kinds of entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships, as well as helping companies comply with ongoing governance and regulatory issues.
  • Corporate generalists typically deal with multiple different types of corporate-related work.
  • On the West Coast (particularly Silicon Valley), corporate attorneys tend to work more with private companies; they counsel technology companies, do venture work, securities, and IPOs.
  • On the East Coast, there tends to be more public company-related work and the practice area….Read more

6. Data Privacy Attorney

What Does a Data Privacy Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area focuses on the storage and management of information within computer networks and cyberspace.
  • Data privacy lawyers focus on complex and evolving laws and regulations that govern everything that happens in connection with data transmitted and stored on computers, including consumer protection laws, privacy laws, and e-discovery issues.
  • Attorneys who practice in this area provide legal advice on issues such as cyber security….Read more

7. Employment Attorney

What Does an Employment Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category focuses on legal issues that arise from the employer/employee relationship.
  • Employment involves a mix of litigation and counseling.
  • In most large law firms, the majority of the work is litigation-related because….Read More

8. Energy and Oil & Gas Attorney

What Does an Energy and Oil & Gas Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area deals with energy projects and oil & gas law.
  • Energy law focuses on the efficient harvesting and use of energy sources, including traditional, renewable, and alternative energy sources.
  • Oils & gas law covers the acquisition and ownership of rights in oil and gas under the soil and after capture.
  • Attorneys who practice in this area provide advice on regulatory law and policy as it pertains to energy use and prepare the legal documents involved in power purchase agreements, as well as documents in connection with titling, mining, transportation, refinement, and sale of minerals, oil, and gas.
  • Sometimes attorneys who practice in this area also provide advice in the area of commodities trading activities that relate to oil and gas contracts.
  • Energy is typically divided and thought of as old and new energy.
  • Old energy deals with gas, electricity, and oil and new energy deals….Read more

9. Environmental and Land Use Attorney

What Does an Environmental and Land Use Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area deals with federal, state, and local laws and regulations that pertain to the earth and its natural resources.
  • Environmental and land use lawyers address the way people and industries such as commercial and residential building developers, industrial and manufacturing companies, and conservationists utilize the land and its resources.
  • Attorneys who practice in this area provide legal advice on matters such as air and water quality, pollution, oil spills, emissions, pesticides, asbestos, wetlands, waste, toxins, hazardous substances, environmental cleanup, landfills, zoning laws, and the protection of animals and their habitats.
  • Environmental and land use lawyers also provide advice on matters that arise under federal laws such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, National Environmental Quality Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Act, and Migratory Bird Act, as well as similar state laws.
  • They also help prepare environmental impact statements.
  • Attorneys in this practice group may represent public interest groups with environmental concerns, or they may represent large companies….Read more

10. ERISA/Executive Compensation Attorney

What Does an ERISA/Executive Compensation Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area covers everything having to do with employee benefits and executive compensation plans, including the law surrounding the Employment Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"). In addition to providing advice on ERISA matters, attorneys who practice in this area assist clients with understanding and complying with other federal and state laws relating to employee benefits and benefit plans.
  • ERISA and executive benefits attorneys provide advice on legal issues about ERISA, employee benefits, health plans and health insurance issues….Read more

11. ERISA Litigation Attorney

What Does an ERISA Litigator Do?
 
  • This practice area involves litigating cases involving ERISA issues in federal court and in administrative agencies.
  • The trials in these cases typically do not involve any factual disputes and are based on a written record.
  • There are rarely depositions and very little….Read more

12. Family Law Attorney

What Does a Family Law Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category focuses on civil matters relating to issues that occur with the family unit. It includes matters such as divorce, alimony, paternity, the emancipation of children, domestic violence, child custody cases, property division upon divorce, and constitutional issues, such as defining marriage.
  • Attorneys also assist in dealing with the financial and tax consequences resulting from their clients' divorces.
  • Most of the work is found at very small firms and boutiques.
  • A few large law firms maintain a practice to service their wealthy clients….Read more

13. Finance - Banking Attorney

What Does a Finance - Banking Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area focuses on traditional banking law and the legal aspects of bank lending activity.
  • Attorneys who practice in this area provide advice on banking laws and regulations and assist their clients with the negotiation and drafting of various contracts such as syndicated credit agreements, security agreements, collateral agreements, inter creditor agreements, and guaranties.
  • Banking lawyers also provide expertise in connection with senior debt transactions, subordinated debt transactions, acquisition financings, mezzanine financings, multi-currency financings….Read more

14. Finance - Project Finance Attorney

What Does a Finance - Project Finance Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area deals with project finance work and emphasizes the financing, construction, and operation of massive projects around the world, including energy projects that involve power plants, refineries, hydroelectric dams, solar facilities, and wind farms.
  • Project finance is not limited to energy projects.
  • It also covers the financing, construction, and operation of large infrastructure projects such as airports, toll road systems, water treatment systems, railroads, and telecommunications systems.
  • Attorneys who practice in this area provide advice on legal issues that arise in connection with the projects, interface among the many parties involved in these often international transactions….Read more

15. Finance Attorney

What Does a Finance Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area focuses on the legal aspects of finance work.
  • Finance law is a broad category that involves any lending or financing activity.
  • Finance law is largely transaction-based, and finance lawyers represent either lenders such as banks or other financial institutions, or borrowers such as companies, in the negotiation and drafting of loan agreements and related documents.
  • Finance lawyers often specialize in a particular type of finance law, such as Banking Law, Project Finance….Read more

16. Food & Drug Administration Attorney

What Does a Food & Drug Administration Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category covers legal work specific to food and drug safety and the Food & Drug Administration.
  • This practice is heavily centered in Washington, DC.
  • These attorneys counsel companies that are subject to FDA regulation such as companies in the food and beverage, drug, dietary supplement….Read more

17. Government and Government Relations Attorney

What Does a Government and Government Relations Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area covers lobbying work and the representation of federal and state governments and their agencies.
  • Attorneys who work in this area provide advice on a host of issues that pertain to government affairs, lobbying, legislative law, budgets and fiscal matters, regulatory compliance, political law….Read more

18. Government Contracts Attorney

What Does a Government Contracts Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category focuses on the intricacies of contracting with the federal government.
  • Government contracts law is comprised of all the statutes, cases, rules, regulations, and procedures with which any company must comply to do business with the government….Read more

19. Health Care Attorney

What Does a Health Care Attorney Do?
 
  • This interdisciplinary practice area category focuses on the various entities and legal issues implicated by the world of heath care, such as hospitals, doctors, long-term care facilities, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and medical transportation companies.
  • Health care lawyers do everything from ensuring that health care providers are in compliance with health care laws and regulations, to helping medical facilities buy and sell each other, to assisting with the construction of brand new facilities.
  • The practice can be transactional (general corporate, provider counseling), litigation, and regulatory-oriented.
  • The work is often very regulatory….Read more

20. Immigration Attorney

What Does an Immigration Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category covers national regulation of immigration and migration and includes citizenship and business immigration issues as well as the processes through which people may secure travel, work or student visas.
  • Most of the work is done for individuals (even when they are sponsored by companies).
  • Most of the work involves drafting documents, going to immigration court, and counseling clients.
  • Most of the law firms that do this work tend to be small because the work is consumer facing and it is difficult for law firms….Read more

21. Insurance Coverage Attorney

What Does an Insurance Coverage Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area focuses on insurance contracts and evaluating what and how much is covered under specific insurance policies.
  • Lawyers who practice in this area provide advice on matters involving general insurance, gap coverage, surety bonds, and access insurance.
  • They often become involved in questions of insurance coverage in cases arising from medical malpractice, construction defects, premises liability, fires, floods, and earthquakes.
  • Most of the work is driven by contracts….Read more

22. Insurance Defense Attorney

What Does an Insurance Defense Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category focuses on the defense of insurance companies when there is a dispute about how much the insurance company is being asked to pay under a policy.

Why Do Insurance Defense Attorneys Enjoy Their Jobs?
 
  • People who enjoy this work like the fact that there is a lot of work to go around.
  • Attorneys who do this work develop an expertise and have the ability to move between firms.
  • There is both high-end and low-end insurance defense work and the jobs on the low end (representing insurance companies in auto accidents, for example) typically do not require attorneys….Read more

23. Intellectual Property Litigation Attorney

What Does an Intellectual Property Litigation Attorney Do?
 
  • Intellectual property litigators represent the parties to lawsuits involving patents, copyrights, and trademarks in federal court.
  • Many trademark and trade secret cases are litigated under state law.
  • In patent infringement cases, judges hold Markman (claim construction) hearings which can define the scope of litigation fairly early on.
  • Attorneys research and evaluate not only legal issues but factual issues such as competing technologies and products in the market.
  • This work can be very high stakes and influence the survival and success of companies.
  • Because the work is so important to companies, at the highest level, many top firms want their attorneys to have advanced science degrees….Read more

24. Intellectual Property Patent Attorney

What Does an Intellectual Property Patent Attorney Do?
 
  • To be a patent attorney, an attorney must pass the Patent Bar Examination.
  • A science degree of some kind is required to take the exam.
  • This practice area category focuses on patent prosecution, which is the process by which an inventor secures exclusive rights to an invention in the form of a “patent” with the USPTO office.
  • Patent prosecutors assist the investor-client with this process.
  • The patent attorney evaluates whether the client's potential patent impinges on another patent, defends against opposition to a client's patent application in administrative trials, and opposes applications….Read more

25. Intellectual Property Patent—Hard Sciences Attorney

What Does an Intellectual Property Patent—Hard Sciences Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category covers patent prosecution jobs that are focused on the hard sciences, which are electrical engineering, computer science, computer engineering, physics, and astrophysics.
  • Why Do Intellectual Property Patent—Hard Sciences Attorneys Enjoy Their Jobs?
  • Attorneys who are somewhat introverted tend to enjoy this practice because there is not a lot of interaction with people.
  • The work is also very detail oriented and requires the ability to study and understand new technologies.
  • Attorneys who become proficient in this practice area tend to have the ability to take jobs in other states and law firms and move laterally.
  • There are relatively long deadlines in this practice area, which means….Read more

26. Intellectual Property Patent—Life Sciences Attorney

What Does an Intellectual Property Patent—Life Sciences Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category covers patent prosecution jobs that are focused on the life sciences, which are biology, biochemistry, chemistry, organic chemistry, genetics, neuroscience, medicine and chemical engineering.
  • Why Do Intellectual Property Patent—Life Sciences Attorneys Enjoy Their Jobs?
  • Attorneys who are somewhat introverted tend to enjoy this practice because there is not a lot of interaction with people.
  • The work is also very detail oriented and requires the ability to study and understand new technologies.
  • Attorneys who become proficient in this practice area tend to have the ability to take jobs in other states and law firms and move laterally.
  • There are relatively long deadlines in this practice area, which means….Read more

27. Intellectual Property Trademark/Copyright Attorney

What Does an Intellectual Property Trademark/Copyright Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category focuses on legal work as it relates to copyrights and trademarks.
  • Clients can secure copyrights with the US Copyright Office for original creative works such as novels, screenplays, paintings, musical compositions, and other art works. Clients can secure trademarks with the US Patent and Trademark Office for their company and product trademarks and logos.

Why Do Intellectual Property Trademark/Copyright Attorneys Enjoy Their Jobs?
 
  • Attorneys who enjoy this work like dealing with companies and helping them protect their intellectual property.
  • This work also typically involves projects that can be turned around fairly quickly.
  • This is also a good practice area for young attorneys because they can get up to speed quite quickly on the law and get busy.
  • A lot of the work involves cease and desist letters and prosecuting trademark applications, which is not overly complex.
  • There are also not a lot of trademark attorneys out there, so they can be marketable….Read more

28. International Trade Attorney

What Does an International Trade Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area covers international trade law, which focuses on the laws of trade as between nations.
  • This practice area deals with import-export laws, tax laws, trade laws, and laws that are derived from treaties (or statutes) that apply to trade between counties.
  • Attorneys who do this work tend to be involved in both counseling and litigation.
  • Clients are counseled on the best way to import or export goods.
  • Litigation tends to involve defending clients against allegations that they broke various trade laws.
  • There is also some overlap with intellectual property because American laws are designed to prevent infringing goods….Read more

29. Litigation Attorney

What Does a Litigation Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category focuses on lawsuits and the adversarial processes that take place to resolve disputes in state and federal trial courts, as well as other proceedings like arbitrations.
  • Litigation work includes motion work, discovery, taking and defending depositions, and trials.
  • Securities Litigation and White Collar Crime are each special kinds of litigation, as are Appellate Litigation, Tax Litigation….Read more

30. Litigation-Tax Attorney

What Does a Litigation-Tax Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area is focused on litigation that deals with complicated and intricate tax issues at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • Tax litigators provide advice and advocacy on matters that pertain to controversies that arise under the federal Internal Revenue Code or laws and regulations promulgated by state and local taxing authorities.
  • Matters addressed by tax litigators involve the gamut of substantive tax issues, including questions involving income tax, employment tax….Read more

31. Municipal Law Attorney

What Does a Municipal Law Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area involves the law as it related to counties, cities, towns, and their various local agencies.
  • These attorneys may also deal with utilities.
  • Municipal lawyers are also called local government lawyers.
  • Many municipal lawyers are employed directly by the governments they represent, but others work for private law firms.
  • Attorneys who work in the area of municipal law provide guidance on issues such as ordinances, bylaws, charters, police powers, public records acts, and freedom of information act requests.
  • Municipal lawyers also sometimes provide assistance with public and municipal finance projects.
  • The work is often transactional in nature and may involve contracts, bond, real estate and general corporate work….Read more

32. Patent Agent/Technical Specialist Attorney

What Does a Patent Agent/Technical Specialist Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category focuses on professionals who assist clients in obtaining patents for their inventions.
  • They are not lawyers, but both patent agents and technical specialists have specialized technical knowledge in hard sciences or life sciences.
  • Patent agents have been admitted....Read more

33. Patent Agent/Technical Specialist Hard Sciences Attorney

What Does a Patent Agent/Technical Specialist Hard Sciences Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category focuses on patent agents and technical specialists who have expertise in the hard sciences.
  • Patent agents must be admitted to the Patent Bar, and technical specialists do not need to be admitted.
  • Most patent agents and technical specialists….Read more

34. Patent Agent/Technical Specialist Life Sciences Attorney

What Does a Patent Agent/Technical Specialist Life Sciences Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category focuses on patent agents and technical specialists who have expertise in the life sciences (including biology, chemistry, chemical engineering, biotech, and biotechnology).
  • Patent agents must be admitted to the Patent Bar, and technical specialists do not need to be admitted.
  • Most patent agents and technical specialists….Read more

35. Real Estate Attorney

What Does a Real Estate Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category covers everything having to do with real property, real estate, real estate development and leasing.
  • It includes housing law, commercial development projects, residential development projects, real estate financing, real estate sales, and real estate rentals, as well as the various rights among owners, buyers, and tenants.
  • This practice also involves government because real estate attorneys also help their clients manage the local and state approval processes.
  • Real estate law involves finance issues (representing borrowers and lenders) and transactional issues (negotiation and documentation of transactions).
  • Transactional attorneys deal with helping their clients lease property, purchase and sell property….Read more

36. Tax Attorney

What Does a Tax Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category focuses on the law as it relates to matters of taxation, including corporate tax matters, income tax, and taxes on capital gains.
  • This work is divided up into federal and state/local tax.
  • State tax attorneys deal with litigation-related issues (people looking for refunds or appealing an assessment).
  • Federal attorneys deal with tax controversy (audit and litigation support) and transactional issues (cross-border transactions, M&A support, work for mutual funds, and so forth).
  • Tax work in major law firms requires that an attorney gets an LL.M. to get….Read more

37. Technology Transactions Attorney

What Does a Technology Transactions Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area is focused on the law as it relates to software licensing, software transfer, and outsourcing issues.
  • Technology transactions lawyers assist companies in accessing the different kinds of technologies that are being continually created so the companies can become more efficient and profitable.
  • The technology transactions area of law combines aspects of both commercial law and intellectual property law and involves reviewing, revising, and drafting agreements in connection with licensing, outsourcing, and strategic partnerships and joint ventures.
  • The majority of this work tends to be centered in areas where there is a lot of technical work such as Silicon Valley….Read more

38. Telecommunications Attorney

What Does a Telecommunications Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category focuses on laws and regulations that relate to electronic communications and broadcasting media.
  • Telecommunications attorneys must be familiar with federal laws regarding telecommunications, as well as rules and regulations promulgated by the Federal Communications Commission.
  • Telecommunications law is an evolving area of law, and telecommunications attorneys are called upon to provide advice on a host of issues such as wireless communications, video conferencing, and satellite….Read more

39. Trusts and Estates Attorney

What Does a Trusts and Estates Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area category focuses on the laws of trust and estate as they affect individuals and heirs.
  • It may include aspects of family law, taxation, business law and probate law, as well as questions of community property and joint ownership.
  • Most of the daily work involves drafting estate plans, counseling clients, and administering estates….Read more

40. White Collar Crime Attorney

What Does a White Collar Crime Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area focuses on the defense of people accused of "white collar" crimes, which are typically financially motivated nonviolent crimes involving commercial and financial activities, including fraud, corruption, bribery, antitrust violations, securities violations, tax evasion, insider trading, counterfeiting, money laundering, embezzlement, economic espionage and trade secret theft.

Why Do White Collar Crime Attorneys Enjoy Their Jobs?
 
  • This is a practice group that is similar to litigation and involves a lot of motions, court appearances and tends to involve more trials than most general commercial litigation matters.
  • There tends to be very close client contact.
  • There are not a lot of white collar litigators, and the bar tends to be quite small.
  • Attorneys in this practice group enjoy drama….Read more

41. Workers’ Compensation Attorney

What Does a Workers' Compensation Attorney Do?
 
  • This practice area focuses on the law as it relates to workers who get injured on the job.
  • Workers' compensation attorneys help employees injured on the job get paid medical benefits and wage replacement under insurance or defend insurance companies against such claims.

Why Do Workers' Compensation Attorneys Enjoy Their Jobs?
 
  • Much of this work is done via settlements.
  • Attorneys that do this sort of work should enjoy settling cases and also working in a high-volume practice.
  • This practice area is similar to general litigation but involves a higher degree of contact with individuals that many attorneys enjoy.
  • This work tends to be relatively recession proof, providing some stability….Read more



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