Legal practice encompasses many diverse practice settings, including large, medium, and small law firms; government agencies at the federal, state and local levels; civil legal services organizations; public interest law firms; public defender offices; prosecutors offices; and law reform/policy organizations. You can learn more about these settings under Private Sector Settings and Public Sector Settings.

Within each practice setting, there are typically different individual organizations that focus on one or several practice areas. For example, direct service providers may work on a panoply of poverty issues, from community economic development to children’s rights to housing law and more. Lawyers in corporate law firms may work on mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy, real estate and more. Notably, government lawyers work on every conceivable issue; to illustrate, the U.S. Department of Agriculture addresses many cutting-edge environmental issues, such as factory farming.

The links below will help you to begin exploring selected practice areas. Each page provides a brief description of the practice area and the type of work lawyers in that area do, as well as suggested resources and example employers. While these are some of the more popular practice areas, there are many many more. HG.org features over 70 core areas of practice, with 190 sub-specialties, and is a great resource to explore. Additionally, check out Major, Lindsey & Africa's Practice Area Summary, a guide to over 50 practice areas.