How To Find An Attorney By Specialty
The 9 Types of Lawyers in the United States
There are many different types of lawyers in the United States, each with their own specializations and areas of expertise. Before hiring one, it’s important to understand what kind of lawyer you need and the different types that are available to help you achieve your goals. Here are the nine main types of lawyers in the United States.
#1. Personal Injury Lawyer
A personal injury lawyer is an attorney who works on cases in which a person has been physically injured or killed due to another person’s negligence. A personal injury lawsuit can arise from a car accident, medical malpractice, dog bite or slip and fall.
For example, If you have suffered a serious physical injury or lost a loved one to someone else’s negligence, contact your local Bar Association. That way, you’ll find out how to get connected with local lawyers who deal with these types of cases.
#2. Criminal Defense Lawyer
Criminal defense lawyers represent individuals who have been accused of a crime. They protect their clients’ rights during interrogations and make sure that they are tried fairly.
Criminal defense lawyers have to have an understanding of court procedure, which means they need to take extra time to prepare for trial. Their job is made more difficult by strict rules governing what they can and cannot say to juries during a trial.
#3. Family Lawyer
A family lawyer is responsible for dealing with domestic disputes, including divorce and property settlements. They may also act as an advocate for domestic abuse victims.
In most cases, a family lawyer will need to have either a degree or training from an accredited law school and be licensed by their state. A family lawyer may practice privately or work at a government agency. In some areas of the country, they’re called matrimonial lawyers.
#4. Civil Litigation Lawyer
These lawyers handle lawsuits between parties. These lawyers work within legal systems to represent individuals, businesses and other entities that have a legal dispute or are involved in litigation with one another.
A civil litigator has expertise in private and public law, constitutional law, administrative law, business litigation, personal injury litigation and more. Civil litigation lawyers focus on resolving disputes outside of court. They negotiate settlements and can also try cases before judges or juries.
#5. Tax Lawyer
A tax lawyer helps with taxes and maintains compliance with applicable tax laws. Tax lawyers can specialize in tax planning, corporate taxation, international taxation, estate planning, and a number of other areas related to taxes.
They might work for a company or be self-employed. People who hire tax lawyers can range from professionals (like doctors or accountants) to stay-at-home parents working on their own business ventures. Some even hire part-time tax attorneys when filing an extremely complex return.
#6. Business Attorney
A business attorney is best for those who are starting a new business or have an existing one. A good attorney will guide you with contracts, hiring decisions, insurance needs and more. The best way to find a business attorney is to ask your network. Have people that you trust contact their attorney and ask them who they recommend. Business attorneys can also be found online through your favorite search engine or lawyer review websites such as FindLaw.
#7. Estate Planning Attorney
If you have a large estate to leave behind, you’ll need an estate planning attorney. These lawyers will help you prepare your will and coordinate with other attorneys to make sure that your assets get divided up according to your wishes once you’re gone.
Estate planning lawyers work closely with their clients and will assist them through every step of their lifecycle. This means that they’ll help their clients manage trusts, taxes, end-of-life care and more.
#8. Patent Attorney
A patent attorney protects an inventor’s right to a new, unique invention. It’s their job to apply for and obtain patents on behalf of inventors. This includes writing detailed descriptions of an invention and submitting them to federal or state governments. Patent attorneys also help with preparing copyright applications, particularly when software or business processes are involved.
#9. Immigration Attorney
Immigration law is incredibly complex, and it can be difficult to know where to turn when dealing with a situation. An immigration attorney can help you navigate these complexities, giving you a clearer idea of your options and ultimately streamlining your journey toward citizenship.
How To Find The Right Lawyer For Your Case
When you’re facing a legal issue, there are many decisions to make. One of the most important is how to find the right lawyer to represent you in court. If you aren’t sure what kind of lawyer would be best, keep reading to learn how to find one that specializes in your type of case.
Define Your Need
If you need a family law attorney, you will have to choose one based on what type of case you want them to handle. If you need an attorney for your child, then child custody and child support are probably your biggest concerns.
If you are dealing with a difficult divorce, then alimony and property division are more likely. If your issue involves a dispute over inheritance or an elderly loved one’s estate, then finding a probate lawyer is essential. Getting your lawyer's help requires knowing what legal issues concern you most.
Research Lawyers Near You
If you’re searching for a lawyer in your area, it can be tempting to just Google “the best attorneys [city]” and contact those who pop up. This can be an effective method of researching a shortlist of potentials.
But before making a decision about which one is right for you, check out online review sites to make sure that your findings are supported by others. In addition to testimonials from clients (or former clients), read client reviews that question whether they were helped at all.
If you don’t find any negative reviews, call your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) and ask if there have been any complaints lodged against that particular firm recently. Be wary of firms with no reviews or only positive ones.
After reviewing both online testimonials and BBB ratings, meet with two or three different attorneys in person. Ask tough questions and get referrals if possible. It's important to get as much information as possible before finally selecting an attorney. Even though they are held legally accountable when something goes wrong, ultimately, you're signing on as well.
With literally thousands of lawyers in every metropolitan area, finding an attorney is a difficult task. Don’t let that deter you, though. Even if you don’t know a lawyer in your area by name, you can still find one to represent you.
Start by asking around, talk to friends and family, and check with businesses like legal-document preparation firms and paralegals. Even local law schools are a good place to ask for advice; they often have alumni who specialize in different areas of law practicing nearby.
If you happen to attend law school locally, even better: It’s likely your classmates or teachers can point you in the right direction. It doesn’t hurt to start online either: Try searching Google Maps by location plus attorney. There's no reason to delay; your case will move forward whether you have representation or not, so do yourself a favor and get some help. You won't regret it.
Build From Scratch
Decide what matters most to you when looking for a lawyer. Do you want someone who specializes in your area of law? Does it matter if they work on your side of town, or do they have to be an expert in everything they touch?
By being specific about what kind of attorney you’re looking for, you open yourself up to a more targeted search. If you’re trying to find a family law attorney, write down that specificity right now and start searching immediately.
Make sure that anyone you consult with is licensed to practice law in your state. You can also ask friends and family members for recommendations; oftentimes, their experience working with a legal professional is far different than yours will be. This can give you valuable insight into which firms will best suit your needs.
Getting multiple opinions from people with various levels of expertise on how to choose a great firm can help increase your chances of getting high-quality representation. Especially if you know how hard it can be to choose where to go when facing a life-changing legal issue.
Know What Type Of Attorney Is Best For You
You can narrow down your choices based on what type of legal advice you need. If you have a specific kind of business or industry-related legal question, consider contacting a lawyer who specializes in that area. They'll likely have more expertise than an attorney who practices across a variety of areas and might be able to provide useful insights into your problem.
On top of that, they'll probably understand your industry and jargon better than other lawyers. Specialization is more common today than it has been in years past. And with specialization comes expertise: Lawyers are increasingly becoming experts in particular areas of law because they focus so intently on them.
An easy way to find out if a lawyer fits your needs is to contact them directly. More often than not, experienced attorneys will readily tell you about their background and specialty areas right on their website or social media page.
Beyond that, look for information about their experience in different fields by reading client testimonials or watching videos of them addressing potential clients. This will allow you to make up your mind quickly before moving on to another prospect.
There's no need to waste time meeting with every attorney whose website piques your interest. There's certainly nothing wrong with keeping one person on speed dial while you interview others.
One of the best ways to find a lawyer is by asking around. If you have friends or family that have had run-ins with lawyers, ask them if they can recommend anyone for your situation. Don’t be afraid to shop around until you find someone whose skills and personality match up with your own.
Ultimately, finding a lawyer should be about making sure that you can communicate well and understand each other. More so, it’s about finding someone who can win your case for you. Try interviewing at least three or four different candidates before deciding on one.
Don’t settle for good enough just because it seems difficult to try to find someone better suited for you. After all, you want someone to represent you in court.
Know When You Need A Litigator, Arbitrator, Mediator or Other Type of Specialist
Before you start searching for a lawyer, there are a few questions to consider. Do you need a plaintiff’s attorney or a defense attorney? Or do you need someone with experience in arbitration or mediation?
You might also think about what kind of resolution your case requires; do you want an out-of-court settlement, or do you need an actual trial? Narrowing down exactly what kind of legal representation you’re looking for makes it easier to find an appropriate specialist. If nothing else, you can at least put yourself in good hands by looking for a firm that handles various areas of law.