Have you ever met a lawyer with a really interesting practice area that you didn’t even know existed? The practice of law is much more than divorces and plea bargains. With so many unique practice areas, there are bound to be a few that peak your interest and fit your particular skill set. Here’s a list of some you’ve probably never heard of before:
That’s right. I said bird law. The more professional moniker is probably aviary law, but bird law just sounds so much more interesting. Who knew that our feathered friends had an entire practice area dedicated to their well being? Apparently, state and local codes are filled with laws and regulations regarding the ownership and breeding of birds. At the federal level, several bird conservation laws fall under this area of practice, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. As an attorney in this practice area, you may choose to work with a government agency to enforce these laws or provide defense representation for private citizens and corporations.
Art law is an interesting hybrid of several different legal practice areas. One day, you may provide taxation advice for an estate, while the next day you negotiate a corporate art sale. Theft, morality laws and even international treaties can also come under the wide umbrella of art law. According to the Center for Art Law, this unique area of law is somewhat controversial, with some questioning whether it is a legitimate practice area at all. But many state bar associations have art law sections, giving this legal specialty a boost of credibility.
Who didn’t want to be an astronaut as a child? Well, if your educational path led to law school instead of the launch pad, there is still an opportunity to indulge your love for the universe. The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs defines space law as “the body of law governing space-related activities.” This includes international agreements, treaties and global resolutions. Your typical practice day may include negotiating the use of space exploration technologies or settling disputes about space travel liabilities. Did you know that someone has to pay when a space instrument causes financial damages? Well, as a space attorney, you help determine who is liable and how much they will pay in damages.
Cultural Property Law
Your first question is likely, “What is cultural property?” According to the UCLA School of Law course catalog, it’s “tangible and intangible cultural property items which are of great significance to the cultural heritage and cultural survival of a people.” As a cultural property attorney, you handle issues of ownership, identification and appropriation of these cultural treasures. Anyone with an interest in the rights of indigenous people would be particularly well suited for this area of practice, where ancient customs, sacred lands and even burial grounds are common issues.
Each of these practice areas offers an opportunity to combine traditional concentrations of law practice with unique and interesting specialties. With some research and work, you’ll be that attorney with an enviable practice area.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a Virginia based writer with a passion for all things legal. As a former domestic relations attorney, she understands the challenge of determining the best fee structure for your practice. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.