What Kinds of Criminal Justice and Law Specializations Are Available?

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From working as a judge overseeing cases, to being responsible for inmates as a correctional officer, Criminal Justice and Law offer a variety of careers for people with a wide variety of talents and interests.

Curious about the main areas of specialization that you might choose to pursue in Criminal Justice and Law? Read on to learn more about some of the most common areas of focus. Or take a look at our Criminal Justice & Law homepage.

Criminal Justice

By definition, Criminal Justice include every element of law, policing, and corrections. So, as you might imagine, there are many areas of specialization that you could choose. A few concentrations that you might consider could include:

Policing & Law Enforcement

If you are interested in a career in law enforcement, this may be the right area to study. You’ll learn about subjects like law, evidence collection, ethical issues, psychology and more. This specialization prepares you for work as a police officer, or to work for the FBI, U.S. Marshals, or other federal law enforcement agencies.


If you want a career working in correctional facilities, or in probation and parole, this is the concentration for you. Corrections officers are responsible for the safety and well-being of their facility’s inmates, and they need conflict resolution skills and a cool, level head. Working in parole and probation will give you the opportunity to work with people who are in the process of rehabilitation – and your work can have a huge impact on people’s lives.



study and predict behavior, with the aim of understanding the causes and effects of criminal conduct. They might work as investigators or researchers, and many will attain advanced degrees in psychology or sociology.


From family law to tax law, anywhere there are laws and regulations, there are lawyers who help interpret and adhere to those rules. And in each type of law, there are also paralegals and legal assistants who may also specialize in these areas.

These are just a few of the most common specializations that legal workers may focus on.

Business Law

Legal workers who specialize in business law provide advice and other kinds of legal help for businesses. This can include helping startups draw up the legal documents needed to create their company, or providing ongoing legal advice to large corporations.

Some business lawyers, known as in-house counsel, are employees of a corporation, while others work for legal firms or independently in their own practice.

Criminal Law

The lawyers we see on television and in the movies are usually practitioners of criminal law. This is the branch of law that deals with illegal behavior, so stories based on this field can make for great drama!

When someone is accused of committing a crime, district attorneys and prosecutors review the evidence gathered by law enforcement, and decide whether or not to officially charge the person with criminal action.

If the person is charged with a crime, a criminal defense lawyer is the attorney who advocates for the accused in all of the legal proceedings, which might include hearings, plea bargaining sessions, trial, sentencing and appeals.

Intellectual Property Law

This branch of law deals with copyrights, trademarks and patents. In short, anything that is produced with the mind and isn’t tangible – like a musical composition, or an idea for an invention – is considered intellectual property.

Legal workers in this field deal with the legal issues around unauthorized use of protected intellectual property. They may work with technology, literature, music, or business trademarks.

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