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Choosing a Practice to Study | Understanding The Different Types of Lawyers

Not all lawyers are the same.

Pretend you were moving next week and had to rent a vehicle to take your stuff from your old place all the way across town to your new one. Would the type of vehicle you choose matter?

Of course, it would! A two-seat sports car – as fun as it is to drive – will not be the right fit for moving several rooms worth of stuff. You’re better off renting a van or a truck.

Similarly, if you have a brain tumor and are in need of a doctor to remove it, would the type of doctor you select matter? The answer is, yes! You certainly would not want your local podiatrist operating on your brain!

How are these examples relevant to practicing law? Well, in a similar way, there are many different types of lawyers. Each may be well-suited to serve clients when it comes to their area of expertise. But, like a sports car on moving day or selecting a podiatrist to perform your brain surgery, lawyers with experience in one area of the law may not be well-equipped to provide quality legal services in some other areas.

You may have already determined that earning a law degree can open the door to many possible paths. Understanding your options can help you determine which path to take – and what kind of client you’ll be best suited to serve based on your skills, interests, and passions. Below are examples of nine different types of lawyers.

Nine Different Types of Lawyers

You are unique. Your combination of background, skills, gifts, experiences, hopes, and dreams is unlike anyone else who has or will practice law. As a result, you may find that certain areas of law may align with your goals and passions.

This article provides a high-level overview of nine of the many different types of lawyers. You might find that one of them appeals to you more than the others.

1. Bankruptcy Lawyer

Bankruptcy is a complicated legal process that allows consumers and corporations to arrange payment for some of their debts (or eliminate them) through the filing of a bankruptcy petition in federal court.

Lawyers specializing in this area will often focus on the consumer or corporate sector. They will help clients determine the right type of bankruptcy for their situation and help them navigate the process.

2. Corporate Lawyer

Many companies choose to hire one (or multiple) lawyers to serve on an in-house legal team. They’re responsible for protecting the company’s interests and making sure its operations and transactions comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws.

A corporate attorney’s duties may vary from day to day (and company to company) but could include legal research, composing and reviewing legal documents, liability issues, intellectual property matters, real estate or corporate transactions, and contract review, drafting, and negotiation.

Corporate lawyers may also work in private practice at a law firm assisting businesses with their legal needs as outside counsel.

3. Constitutional Lawyer

As you might guess, a constitutional lawyer develops expertise in interpreting the U.S. Constitution and applying it to specific circumstances. They understand the history of law and the application of precedent - and they apply that understanding to advocate for their client's constitutional rights.

4. Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal defense could be the best-known type of the different types of lawyers. Lawyers working in this field act as an advocate for those who have been accused of a crime. They work to confirm that these individuals' rights are respected and represent them in the courtroom. Defense lawyers may appear in court frequently on behalf of their clients.

5. Employment Lawyer

Disagreements and disputes can arise between employees and employers. These disputes could be between an individual and an employer or a collective of individuals (such as a union) and an employer.

Employment (or labor) lawyers deal with a variety of employment matters, including termination, harassment, benefits, discrimination, and pay disputes.

6. Estate Planning Lawyer

Estate planning lawyers provide a critical service: they help their clients make a plan to disburse their assets according to their wishes before they die. They can help create a will or other important legal documents. They will take tax and legal issues into account and help their clients set up trusts if they choose.

7. Family Lawyer

When changes in a family have legal implications, a family lawyer can step in. This type of lawyer is often equipped to help families navigate delicate and emotional situations like divorce, custody, child welfare, and adoption. If needed, they may represent their clients in court.

8. Immigration Lawyer

Lawyers who practice immigration law are entering a complicated, evolving field. They may help individuals seeking to gain citizenship or legal status, including refugee and asylum seekers, navigate the complex process. They could also work for employees (or their employers) wishing to be granted legal work status.

9. Intellectual Property Lawyer

Another group of lawyers work on matters of intellectual property (IP) which primarily covers, but is not limited to working on cases involving copyright, patent, trade secret, and trademark law issues. Simply put, IP lawyers proactively – and reactively, if necessary – protect their clients' work from infringement. Examples of clients that IP lawyers may assist could include content creators, inventors, authors, musicians, artists (or, if applicable, their employers).

Free Up Your Time with Document Automation

There are many different types of lawyers, but one thing common among each of them is a desire to save time. You can take steps to free up your time and increase your efficiency, such as automating your document drafting process. If you want to find out more about document automation, contact AccessioDocs today for more information. Our document automation services are built uniquely for freelance law firms just like yours. We provide custom solutions for attorneys in every area of the law. We have a cost-effective process that will help you grow your practice and make it more efficient without increasing your payroll expenses.

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