If you’ve thought about becoming a lawyer, there are many different ways to work as one. While the way of getting to be a lawyer is the same method for everyone, what type of law you would like to practice is something you can decide to specialize in down the line.
While a lot of people would like to specialize in criminal law, defending or prosecuting for extreme crimes, from theft to murder, this could be a stressful prospect for some. While practicing family law involves dealing with issues like divorce and can be a messy affair. Regulatory law is one that is seldom spoken about in the same breath as these other two. It’s time to make a case for working in this growing market.
What Is It?
Regulatory law involves specific guidelines in medical or care practices. This ca relate to people such as dentists, nurses, midwives and care workers. When someone practicing this profession makes a mistake. Or commits an offense that is deemed to be putting the safety of the people that they look after into question, after the appropriate procedures are dealt with, it is handed over to a regulatory panel who will decide on what the outcome is of the person. Depending on the severity of the allegations will depend on the outcome. The panel will then sit, and a formal hearing will be announced. This hearing is akin to a court case, but not in the sense of the strict legal boundaries. The panel will decide on what happens based on the defense of the registrant (the accused) and the overall case. Depending on what the charges are, it can be a hearing of varying lengths of time. They are usually scheduled in for a set amount of time.
What Does It Involve?
The role of the lawyer, or Attorney, could be to either present a case against the registrant or to defend the registrant. If you are presenting a case against the registrant, this is like the prosecution in court. You would usually be seconded or employed by the regulatory board, and this would be your role for all the cases under that board. If you are defending the registrant, you are generally a practicing freelance lawyer that does many different types of cases. The setup of the hearing is similar to a court hearing. There are the witnesses and the examination and cross-examination of witnesses.
People swear under oath, to tell the truth. But instead of the jury, the panel will make the decision. The panel is usually comprised of a lay person, a person who does the job of the registrant, and a chairperson. There is always a legal assessor on hand to provide advice to make sure that everything is complied with within the law.
The outcome of the hearing could result in the person being struck off, or given specific guidelines to comply with.
What Are My Career Prospects?
You could work up the ladder to become the legal assessor in these hearings. Or you could start to set up your own practice. If you are interested in defending workers in a medical profession. Or helping someone get their job or livelihood back, this might be a good strand of the law for you to take.
This post has been contributed by Ryan Gatt, it may contain affiliate links.