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what kind of lawyer do you need

What Kind of Lawyer Do You Need?

by Martha Simmonds

The legal field is extensive and far-reaching, with lawyers specializing in many different areas of expertise. If you’re unfamiliar with the legal profession, it may be hard to figure out what kind of lawyer can help you with issues you may have. Nonetheless, if you have a legal problem, you will generally benefit from professional assistance. The following is a list of some of the more common kinds of lawyers and the problems they may be able to help you deal with.

1. Family Lawyer

Family lawyers offer services related to a number of domestic matters and issues. For example, if you are getting a divorce or arranging a prenuptial agreement, you may want to retain the services of a family lawyer. Families with children may also benefit from a family lawyer’s guidance, especially in matters of child custody, juvenile delinquency, adoption, domestic abuse, guardianship or surrogacy.

Family law practices may also intersect with other law specialties. If a family lawyer is involved in your divorce proceedings, they may recommend involving a mediation or collaboration lawyer to serve as a neutral party for negotiating terms. Family lawyers may also get involved in estate planning law, especially when it comes to assigning assets and possessions to family members as a part of planning a last will and testament.

2. Employment Lawyer

In comparison to family lawyers, who typically only represent individuals in court, an employment lawyer may represent either employees or employers. A lawyer who represents employees can help settle many issues, including workplace discrimination, safety issues and wage theft. These employment lawyers can help employees navigate internal policies, deal with the Human Resources department and even appear in court as necessary.

An employment lawyer who represents employers will often be most active when representing an employer in court. However, some employment lawyers offer other services, such as consulting on policies in an employee handbook or conducting internal investigations. In these cases, proactive advice and consultation can help avoid legal trouble and court appearances for a company down the road.

3. Criminal Defense Lawyer

A criminal defense lawyer may be one of the kinds of lawyers many people know best thanks to decades of popular law procedural television shows. Criminal defense lawyers represent individuals accused of a crime in court. As opposed to the kinds of lawyers previously discussed, criminal defense lawyers do the majority of their work in court and must have a strong knowledge of the judicial system.

The job of a criminal defense attorney is to fairly represent their client in court and ensure their client is not denied any constitutionally guaranteed rights by the judge, the lawyer for the prosecution or other members of the judicial system. Depending on the outcome of a court case, criminal defense lawyers can also help negotiate settlements or plea deals.

4. Contract Lawyer

Contract lawyers can be broadly useful to both private citizens and businesses. A contract lawyer will have a strong understanding of how to make a contract enforceable by law and can assist various parties in writing, revising or negotiating a contract. All parties involved in a contract have to agree to the terms of that contract, so it can be important for a contract lawyer to be a good negotiator who emphasizes the ability to get a good outcome from all sides.

Legal assistance is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The legal code is complex and far-reaching, so many lawyers focus on individual aspects. Knowing what kind of lawyer you need to solve your problem can help you get the best results and prevent your issue from getting worse.

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