Types of Law



When you are in need of legal advice it is crucial that you know the types of lawyers that will be able to best help you through your situation. Getting the wrong legal advice from lawyers can be extremely detrimental to your case and personal life. You can virtually find hundreds of lawyers that will provide you with the legal advice you need. Knowing which lawyers would be best, can be done by knowing what types of services the lawyers provide in their practice. The following will include different types of lawyers and the legal advice they can offer you.

If you need legal advice regarding a bankruptcy decision then bankruptcy lawyers would be best for you. The most important myth that your bankruptcy lawyer will dispel in your first meeting is that bankruptcy is not the end of your life. Rather, it is a chance at a brand new life if you are in financial distress. If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, qualified bankruptcy lawyers will help you evaluate your situation, offer you legal advice, your options, and your best course of action before you file. In some cases, he or she can help you avoid bankruptcy altogether if you work with your lawyer and your creditors sooner rather than later. If your bankruptcy lawyers determine that bankruptcy is necessary, your lawyer will file all the necessary court petitions and papers on your behalf.

If you are in need of legal advice on a criminal matter, then criminal lawyers are who you should see. Criminal defense lawyers are one of the most recognizable types of lawyers out there. Few recognize how important the criminal defense lawyer is and how important it is that they give you the proper legal advice. A criminal defense lawyer has the difficult job of representing people who are accused of a crime, and making sure they get a fair and just trial. It is up to the criminal defense lawyer to create an argument and defend the accused against charges brought up by courts that want to punish. Through whatever legal means possible, the criminal defense lawyers must make sure justice is served to the client, no matter what the charges are, or how much evidence is presented.

In order to receive the most accurate legal advice on divorce you should see a divorce lawyer. Divorce lawyers handle all issues arising from the dissolution of a marriage, such as asset distribution, spousal support, and child custody, visitation and support issues often called Family Law. Government statistics indicate that roughly one-half of all marriages will end in divorce with annual divorces rapidly approaching the one million mark. Even if you and your spouse are on friendly terms when you consider divorce, qualified divorce lawyers can negotiate on your behalf and guide you through the myriad of options available to you. Filing for divorce is the first in a long series of decisions that you, your spouse, your respective attorneys and the judge will make. Each of these decisions will have a great impact upon your future life. Take your time to interview several qualified divorce lawyers and see who can offer you the best legal advice before making your final decision.

Types of Legal Practice

The practice of law takes several forms. The ways in which lawyers apply their expertise can be broadly categorized into the following practice types:

  • Private Practice: involves working alone or with partners in a firm to provide legal services to clients (individuals or corporations); some lawyers specialize in one or more practice areas while others engage in general practice.

  • Public Interest Law: serves low-income individuals, marginalized groups and social causes; practitioners may work for advocacy groups, legal aid clinics and other organizations with the goal of advancing an interest of the public.

  • Government Counsel: governments hire lawyers for legal advice and representation; lawyers directly employed by the government may work for ministries, government agencies and crown corporations.

  • Corporate Counsel: corporations can employ lawyers as in-house counsel; an in-house counsel works for a single company to advise on legal matters related to its business activities.

Practice Areas (Specializations)

The law impacts our lives in numerous ways, so naturally the legal profession covers many fields and allows for a variety of law careers. There are many types of lawyers – some practice in all areas of the law, while others choose to specialize. Here are some areas of specialization in law:

  • Administrative: branch of public law dealing with the relationship between individuals and the government; regulates the power of governmental administrative agencies and ensures fair implementation and administration of laws.

  • Civil Litigation: involves a lawsuit resulting from a dispute between private parties (individuals or corporations); civil litigation is concerned with matters such as breach of contract, debt collection, malpractice and personal injury. Constitutional: branch of public law dealing with powers of the federal government and the division of powers between the federal and provincial governments; constitutional lawyers handle issues such as equality rights, freedom of expression, security and democratic governance.

  • Corporate and Commercial: deals with the formation and maintenance of businesses; corporate and commercial lawyers handle contracts, liability, mergers, structured financings and other business matters.

  • Criminal: governs crimes against the public and members of the public (as opposed to civil litigation which deals with private disputes); a criminal lawyer may work for the government as a prosecutor or represent the accused person as a defense lawyer.

  • Environmental: legislation and regulations relating to the interaction of humans with the environment; environmental lawyers deal with matters such as air pollution, wilderness preservation and waste disposal.

  • Family: applies to legal relationships between family members; issues in family law include marriage contracts, divorce, child custody, adoption, wills and estate planning.

  • Immigration: federal laws control the entry of non-citizens into the country; immigration lawyers assist clients in applying for entry, residing in the country and becoming citizens.

  • Intellectual Property: intellectual property refers to the ownership rights to certain kinds of creative endeavors; intellectual property law protects ownership through copyrights, patents, trademarks and industrial design registrations.

  • International: governs the interactions and relationships between nations; international lawyers may be hired by national governments and international organizations, or work in the private sector focusing on the interpretation of treaties and related laws.

  • Labor and Employment: defines the rights and obligations of employers, workers and union members; lawyers may advise management, labor or government on issues such as employment standards, workplace health and safety, and industrial relations.

  • Real Estate: deals with the purchase, sale, financing and development of land and buildings; real estate lawyers may work for developers, tenants, investors, banks or corporations on matters relating to residential or commercial real estate.

  • Securities: regulates the purchase and sale of securities (financial instruments such as stocks and bonds); securities lawyers typically work in law firms providing services to corporations and financial institutions or for governmental commissions focusing on regulatory compliance.

  • Tax: deals with the taxes levied by different levels of government; tax lawyers may advise corporations on tax strategies and implications of business transactions, or counsel individuals on matters such as legal wills and estate planning.

Other Areas: in addition to the practice areas list above, there are many other fields of specialization in the legal profession (antitrust, entertainment, health, municipal, sports, etc.).