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8 Main Different Types of Lawyers and the Situations to Contact Each

It’s safe to say that most people are familiar with lawyers, but many people may not be familiar with the different areas of the law where a lawyer may practice. Not all lawyers do the same things, and if you ever find yourself in need of a lawyer, it’s important to understand which type of lawyer you’ll need to contact. Here’s a look at the eight main types of lawyers, what they do, and the situations you’d need to contact them.

#1: Bankruptcy Lawyers

You don’t have to own a corporation or other type of business to hire a bankruptcy lawyer, but you may want to hire one if you’re experiencing bankruptcy on an individual level. You can even hire a bankruptcy lawyer if you’re a creditor.

#2: Corporate Lawyers

If you are a business owner— regardless of the size of your business— it’s a good idea to hire a corporate or business lawyer. Many people think that the only time you should hire a lawyer is when you’re in trouble or if someone has done wrong to you, but lawyers can help you out before a problem arises. Some of the services you can expect from a corporate lawyer include assistance with patents and intellectual property, legal documents, mergers and acquisitions, negotiation of contracts, and the formation/dissolution of businesses.

#3: Defense Lawyers

Both prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers fall under this category, and this is one of the most common types of lawyers that people usually think of. Defense lawyers can either be private attorneys or public defenders, but the bottom line is that they defend individuals who have been accused of committing a crime.

#4: Estate Planning Lawyers

You’ll want to hire an estate planning lawyer when it comes to developing a will, trusts, property rights, and probate. This type of lawyer will make sure that everything is handled properly, as well as properly address legal and tax issues, if necessary.

#5: Family Lawyers

Divorce lawyers are the most common type of family lawyer, but family law covers many other areas. Divorce attorneys alone may also have to help sort out child custody issues (in addition to alimony and the division of assets), which is another area of family law. Other areas of family law include:

  • Adoption
  • Child welfare
  • Guardianship
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Paternity

Overall, anything that has to do with family-related issues in a legal matter will require help from a family lawyer.

#6: Immigration Lawyers

The process of becoming a U.S. citizen isn’t always an easy one, but it can be less of a headache when you have the help of an immigration lawyer. Even refugees and asylum-seekers can get help from immigration lawyers if they choose to assist these groups. If you’re wanting to become a legal citizen of the United States, an immigration lawyer can help you gain citizenship. Also, if you’re a business owner participating in a work visa program, an immigration lawyer can also be helpful.

#7: Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal injury lawyers are the second type of lawyer that most people think of. The majority of personal injury lawyers may help you seek compensation if you were involved in a motor vehicle accident (sometimes including bicycle and pedestrian accidents), but personal injury covers a larger range than just motor vehicle accidents. Some of the other areas that may be covered by a personal injury lawyer include:

  • Birth injuries
  • Clergy abuse
  • Drug and product recalls
  • Medical malpractice
  • Nursing home abuse/neglect
  • Premises liability
  • Workers’ compensation

Personal injury lawyers can also help you seek compensation if a loved one died as a result of a negligent act of another, which is referred to as a wrongful death.

#8: Tax Lawyers

Tax lawyers are experts in tax laws, and can be hired by both businesses and individuals. They can have their own tax law firm, or you can find them through accounting firms. Some of their services include interpreting tax law and tax planning. It can be hard to keep up with tax laws on your own, so hiring a tax lawyer can make keeping up with your taxes much easier.

It’s also important to note the difference between attorneys and lawyers. Both have studied law in school and are qualified to give legal advice when you contact them, but attorneys have passed the bar exam and are qualified to represent you in court. All attorneys are considered to be lawyers, and choosing a reputable law firm for your needs can lead you to an attorney if you need one.

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