Not exactly sure why you got the check from the IRS, but here are theirs guidelines:
Court awards and damages. To determine if settlement amounts you receive by compromise or judgment must be included in your income, you must consider the item that the settlement replaces. The character of the income as ordinary income or capital gain depends on the nature of the underlying claim. Include the following as ordinary income.
1.Interest on any award.
2.Compensation for lost wages or lost profits in most cases.
3. Punitive damages, in most cases. It does not matter if they relate to a physical injury or physical sickness.
4.Amounts received in settlement of pension rights (if you did not contribute to the plan).
a.Patent or copyright infringement,
b.Breach of contract, or
c.Interference with business operations.
6.Back pay and damages for emotional distress received to satisfy a claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
7.Attorney fees and costs (including contingent fees) where the underlying recovery is included in gross income.
Do not include in your income compensatory damages for personal physical injury or physical sickness (whether received in a lump sum or installments).
Emotional distress. Emotional distress itself is not a physical injury or physical sickness, but damages you receive for emotional distress due to a physical injury or sickness are treated as received for the physical injury or sickness. Do not include them in your income
That would completely depend on your clients and the law firm you work for but I can tell you bankruptcy lawyers don't make as much as the other two but some lawyers do all three of those things. You don't specialize ina particular area until you start practicing and start taking on more cases in a particular area. Small town lawyers usually do it all because they're people's only option.
Bankruptcy Lawyer Pros - Usually little litigation
Cons- Tedious and little pay
Corporate Lawyer Pros - Lots of money involved
Cons - Lots of litigation and responsibility
Intellecual Lawyer Pros - New field high demand, $$$
Cons - Highly specialized and technology knowledge a must