I am often asked what type of law I practice. It’s not an easy answer because there are too many areas of law to list in one breath. As a general practice attorney for over twenty years, I have worked deeply in numerous areas of law. What I can tell you, is that knowledge of many different areas of law is very helpful in analyzing a case. Often, legal "areas" overlap. For example, in a divorce, it is helpful to understand real estate law, since transfers of real estate often occur. If an employer contacts me for advice about how to handle an employee problem, it is often helpful to know about civil rights and disability law too. And that same employer can get help from me in the area of business law. She might need to collect against a creditor, form an entity (LLC or corporation), or defend a law suit.
How can a lawyer be good if she practices in several different areas? Because she knows how to learn. Lawyers spend three years in law school learning how to learn. When we graduate, we don't (and can't) know everything there is to know about U.S. law. Frankly, there's just too much to learn and memorize in three years. Instead, we know (or should know) how to understand legalese, how judges interpret language, how to find applicable law (research), and how to apply the law to "the facts."
Continually learning about new law and new situations keeps a lawyer’s brain agile and creative. Being a lawyer requires thinking outside the box. Lawyers often cannot help a client if they "can't see the forest for the trees." Knowledge of many areas of law enables an attorney to see the big picture and thoroughly assess any legal issue.