Lord Randolph McDuff wrote:Responded to you because you mentioned novel issues without pointing out there every area of the law contains novel issues. And no, I was serious. "Universally" was your word, though.
Of course every area of the law, broadly speaking, gives rise to novel issues. The question is whether in your practice you frequently encounter those novel issues, and my point is that your practice will be more intellectually stimulating if you do. Maybe instead of "tends to involve novel issues" I should have said "frequently involves novel issues."
If your point is that all lawyers frequently encounter novel issues in their practices, thereby rendering this criterion irrelevant to OP's inquiry, I think you're wrong. Many practices are highly routinized. A lawyer that mainly handles no-asset consumer bankruptcies is not going to have a very intellectually stimulating practice. Likewise, a deal lawyer at a low-ranking big law firm that handles mostly routine transactions will encounter fewer novel issues than a deal lawyer at Wachtell.
Your original comment seems a bit naive. You stated that in litigation "the argument is 100% in the middle, where everything is novel." This statement seems to assume that all litigation involves high-stakes trial work, ignoring the mind-numbing discovery practice that sometimes characterizes the field. And try telling the average slip-and-fall lawyer that "everything is novel" in litigation. You also stated that criminal law "is necessarily engaging." But substantially less than all criminal practitioners deal with the kind of morally-ambiguous, legally-novel issues you seem to envision. Just ask a DUI attorney. I generally take a more positive view of legal practice than most posters on this site, but your post seems disconnected from reality.