Types of Lawyers
You would be wrong to assume that a lawyer is a lawyer, so that any lawyer can provide you with the legal services you need. Technically, this might be true because an attorney is licensed (by his/her state’s bar association) to practice law but the scope of the law is so extensive and all-encompassing that it just isn’t possible or practical for an individual lawyer to offer legal services hat cover the entire legal spectrum.
Business law is very broad and lawyers who specialize in business law will focus on specific areas. These areas of practice can be broken up into performing legal tasks such as:
- Setting up companies
- Employment issues
- Tax compliance and understanding tax laws
In this field of legal practice, there are two types of lawyers:
Transactional lawyers: this type of lawyer negotiates deals and drafts documents such as employment contracts
Business litigation lawyers: handles lawsuits in court as and when they arise. The best way to get a good lawyer is through lawyer referrals, since the legal fraternity in a town or city are likely to know who is the right kind of lawyer for you.
This type of lawyer handle issues relating to employment. They mostly deal with ensuring that companies are complying with state and federal labor laws. Similar to corporate lawyers, this area of the law also has transactional and litigation employment lawyers. Employment litigators argue in court if a business violates the terms of an employment contract or a state law. Transactional employment lawyers deal with drafting employment contracts prior to an employee getting hired.
As mentioned above, a family lawyer tends to have been connected with a family’s legal work for a long time. A family lawyer handles anything and everything to do with family concerns. This may include estate or family wealth planning; they also handle issues such divorce and child custody battles; prenuptial agreements and a whole host of other disputes involving marriage and children. Most family lawyers cover every area of family law.
Criminal defense lawyer
This type of lawyer defends people who are accused of committing a crime and is being prosecuted by the government. The defense lawyer’s goal is to either get the client acquitted or get the lightest sentence possible. The cases handled by defense lawyers can range from minor offences (such as shop lifting or petty theft) to much more serious crimes such as DUI, drug trafficking, assault and battery – and even manslaughter and murder.
This kind of legal professional will go to court on your behalf to argue against traffic citations or to advice you on whether you can get absolved of getting a speeding ticket or running a red light. Occasionally, traffic lawyers also fight criminal cases and will fight your DUI or DWI cases as well.
Personal injury lawyer
This type of lawyer deals with accidents and injuries of any kind. If you have been in a car accident, or suffered from a medical professional’s mistake or been hurt by a defective product – you need a personal injury lawyer. Cases handled by them can result in massive financial settlements and judgements, generally involving insurance firms. Personal injury lawyers work for contingency fees – what this means is that they will work for a percentage of the settlement should you win the case and it will cost you nothing if you lose. Which is why you have to be very careful about choosing the right lawyer for your case – most of them will charge the same fee, but a good one can win you a huge settlement.
If you are facing the awful prospect of bankruptcy, this type of attorney will help you file for bankruptcy or deal with your bankruptcy so you can get out of debt. There are different sub-categories of bankruptcy lawyers – some will represent the debtor, others the creditor. There are lawyers who specialize in different types of bankruptcy. Many bankruptcy lawyers handle different types of bankruptcies while others specialize in just one type of claim. You must be careful in selecting exactly the type of lawyer you need for your type of claim.
A divorce lawyer handles a gamut of legal issues, all of which are brought into play in cases of divorce and child custody. Divorce law covers all matters related to the termination of a marriage, including:
- Termination of marriage by divorce
- Dissolution or annulment of marriage
- Child custody and child support
- Spousal support
- Division of marital property or common property
- Division of assets including pension and retirement plans, saving and family business
The legal issues which also come into play involve jurisdiction and venue; procedures and the grounds for divorce such as:
- Mental cruelty
- Physical abuse
- Irreconcilable differences
- Irretrievable breakdown of marriage
Lawyers specializing in divorce law need to handle all these different issues and ensure that his client gets the best deal possible when a marriage ends.