How Do You Know What Type of Lawyer You Need

Mar 24, 2020 9:20 PM ET

All of us come, at least once in a lifetime, to the point when we have to deal with the national legal system. And what to say – things look pretty terrifying at first glance. Legal systems are intricate systems designed to be thorough and punctual, not easy to understand. With the things as they are, asking help from legal practice does seem like a prudent move.

But, in the good spirit of the law, even this term is too broad and covers a lot of different types of lawyers, not all of which may be best suited for your current legal problem. Let us try to make this situation a bit clearer by sorting through some of the most common lawyer types and violations they are dealing with.

Table of Contents

Civil Lawyers
Family Lawyers
Criminal Lawyers
Estate Planning, Probates and Real Estate Lawyers
Business Lawyers
Bankruptcy Lawyers
Niche Legal Practices

Civil Lawyers

Civil law, in itself, is a pretty broad area so it shouldn’t come off as a surprise that this is the legal branch you are going to encounter the most. But to keep things simple, we can say that civil law mostly deals with private matters that include non-criminal lawsuits as well as transactions and facilitation of business deals. Some of the most common cases you can find in this legal corner are workplace discrimination, personal injury, debt settlement, alimony, evictions, breach of contract, etc. Unlike criminal cases, the involved parties may only recover injunctive or monetary.

Family Lawyers

As the name suggests, family lawyers mostly deal with domestic cases like legal separation, adoption, child custody, paternity, divorce, pre, and postnuptial agreements, etc. Unfortunately, as grim as these topics are, family law rarely stays an isolated island, so some of the cases we mentioned may require assistance from other legal branches. For instance, if the case involves the investigation of domestic violence and child abuse, the aggrieved parties should ask the services of a criminal attorney as well.

Criminal Lawyers

Criminal law around the world mostly deals with the issues related to local court criminal appeals, drug offenses, criminal offenses, and driving offenses, so it’s natural that these legal areas are the main focus of international criminal legal practice. However, a disturbingly high number of domestic abuse cases (for instance, the recent research says that one in three women in Australia experiences physical abuse during the relationship) puts these issues on the radar as well. As a result, many of these aggrieved women choose the consult reputable Sydney criminal lawyers in regard to the actions they can take against the abusive partner.

Estate Planning, Probates and Real Estate Lawyers

Although these are three entirely different fields of legal practice, they often end up confused, so we decided to use this opportunity to round them up and explain the differences.

Estate planning – This is the example in which attorneys guide their clients through the process of the development of trust funds, division of assets, choosing legal guardians. Estate planning lawyers also help in the development of trust and beneficiary documents.

Probate – Probate lawyers mostly deal with the distribution of the property of a deceased person under court supervision, guardianship, and conservatorship. In some countries, this issue is covered by general civil law and legal practice.

Real estate – Finally, real estate lawyers provide legal guidance for companies and individuals engaging in the real estate market (buying and selling). Their primary job is to draft a legally binding document that will be signed by the parties involved in the transaction.

Business Lawyers

Although this term may sound pretty all-inclusive the job of business lawyers is actually pretty restricted – their two basic fields of work are litigation and transactional law. In the first case, the attorneys are asked to represent clients suing some business or being sued by a business. The second mention describes the situation when lawyers advise their clients how to start, develop or acquire a company of course, all from a legal standpoint. In some cases, business lawyers are also asked to handle negotiations with individuals and corporate entities.

Bankruptcy Lawyers

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but it should be mentioned that filing for bankruptcy is only the worst-case scenario in which bankruptcy lawyers kick in to help their clients. Most of the cases handled by the legal practitioners of this type involve providing legal advice to the clients experiencing financial problems, arranging good repayment plans, negotiating deals with creditors, etc. In other words, their main area of work is the prevention of bankruptcy rather than very bankruptcy.

Niche Legal Practices

Well, calling these legal branches niches wouldn’t be entirely fair, taking into consideration millions of cases handled by the involved attorneys on a daily basis. But, all these branches are very specific, and they may solve your specific problems, so let us take a quick look at some of them:

Intellectual property lawyers
Immigration lawyers
Constitutional lawyers
Environmental lawyers
Labor lawyers

We hope this short breakdown gave you some general idea of who’s who in the world of legal practice. Legislation and national laws are something ordinary people can’t truly comprehend but have to deal with on a daily basis. When the time comes that we need to present our case before the court, the best thing we can do to help our cause is to have adequate professionals presenting our case.

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