Legal Services

Learn about the different types of lawyers

If you need legal services, it is important that you engage lawyers and professionals who specialize in the type of litigation you're involved with. Whether you're facing criminal charges or you find yourself the plaintiff or defendant in a civil case, there are specialist law firms out there with exactly the kind of expertise you need to give yourself the best chance of meeting with a favorable judgment.

Lawyers can be broadly categorized into two types: trial attorneys and advocates. Trial lawyers are attorneys who prosecute or defend clients in court and represent the plaintiffs or defendants in civil trials. Advocates (who are also called solicitors in some English-speaking countries) give their clients advice and attend to legal matters that fall outside the realm of the courtroom.

Specific Types of Lawyers

Here are some of the different types of lawyers you can hire for specific purposes:

  • Personal injury lawyers. If you've been hurt as the result of another person or company's negligence, personal injury lawyers can help you recover financial damages through civil litigation.
  • Criminal defense lawyers. Every person charged with criminal conduct is entitled to be represented in court by criminal defense lawyers.
  • Divorce and family lawyers. These professionals deal with the legal issues surrounding common-law habitation, marriages, divorces, adoption, child custody and child support.
  • Business and contract lawyers. These attorneys specialize in advising you on business acquisitions and processes, protecting intellectual property and brand rights, negotiating contracts, and all other matters you'll encounter while operating a small, medium or large business.
  • Malpractice lawyers. The role of a malpractice attorney is to bring litigation against professionals whose on-the-job negligence has caused serious injury, wrongful death or significant financial losses.

It is important to note that, within each of these categories, there is a great deal of further specialization. For example, mesothelioma lawyers are considered a type of personal injury attorney, though they deal exclusively with people who have developed mesothelioma cancer as the result of asbestos exposure at a job site.

No matter what type of legal services you need, look for professionals with recent experience in your type of case and a track record of success. Remember during your consultation that the lawyer shouldn't be asking all the questions—you need to be sure he or she is the right person to represent your needs in whatever case you're facing.

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