4 types of lawyers you should know

Except when getting married or drafting a will, most people pay little attention to the court system. It might therefore be surprising for many, when they need a lawyer, to discover that there are different kinds. While most law practice falls, broadly, into the two categories of civil and criminal law, there are specific areas of specialty within both categories. Here, We examine some of those specializations.

Civil litigators

While most people may never have to face a judge in their lifetime, they may still be involved in situations requiring legal services. A civil litigator is a lawyer who represents clients in civil cases. Property disputes, bankruptcy, and class action suits all fall into the category of civil cases. Most cases where the parties involved desire a monetary settlement or other action instead of criminal charges are the domain of civil attorneys. Also referred to as trial lawyers, these are the kind of lawyers you approach if you’ve been sued or wish to sue.

Family lawyers

Family lawyers are those who specialize in the aspect of civil law involving marriage and family. They handle cases relating to divorce, adoption, paternity, legal separation, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, and so on. As some legal cases involving family sometimes spill into other areas of law, family attorneys often collaborate with other kinds of lawyers. A case of child abuse or domestic violence may see a family lawyer working with a criminal attorney. Family lawyers also play the role of mediator in family disputes that are settled out of court.

Personal Injury lawyers

A personal injury lawyer deals with cases where an individual has suffered physical or psychological injuries. This kind of law practice sometimes intersects with other aspects of the law. For instance, a personal injury lawyer can handle a case of medical malpractice or worker’s compensation even though there are specialist lawyers for such cases. Another feature of this practice is the ‘pro ha vice’ mechanism, which acts as a temporary license for out-of-state attorneys. This mechanism makes it possible for personal injury lawyers in Detroit, Michigan, for example, to go to court in Denver, Colorado.

Criminal attorneys

Criminal attorneys are what most people picture when the word ‘court’ is mentioned. These are the lawyers who prosecute or defend those who have been charged with committing a crime. While an accused person may employ the services of a private defense lawyer, all prosecutors and many defense attorneys work for the government. If you’ve been arrested for any reason, a criminal attorney is who you need to walk you through the processes and help you avoid potential jail time.

Getting the right kind of lawyer is vital when dealing with legal issues. Due to inadequate information, however, this process might be confusing for those engaging the legal system for the first time. Knowing some of the areas of specialization in law is a first step toward identifying the type of lawyer you might need.


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