Different Types of Lawyers: Understanding Their Roles and Responsibilities

People without experience in the law tend to think that there is only one type of lawyer, but this isn’t true. If you are arrested you need a criminal lawyer, and if you want to buy a house then you need a property lawyer.

You may go through your entire life without ever needing a lawyer’s help. However, it is good to educate yourself about the different sorts of lawyers, so that if you ever do need legal representation, you know who to contact.

This post will tell you about the different types of lawyers, and their roles and responsibilities.

Personal Injury

Personal injury lawyers are responsible for making claims on behalf of people who have been injured because of another person’s carelessness. Hiring personal injury attorneys is a little simpler than hiring any of the other lawyers mentioned here, mainly because they give their clients the opportunity to pay for their services on a no-win-no-fee arrangement, which means that the lawyer represents the client and only takes payment if they win the case. However, because personal injury lawyers stand to lose a lot of time and money if they make such arrangements and don’t win cases, they have very strict eligibility criteria for clients.


Corporate lawyers work for companies and handle things such as negotiating agreements, verifying accounts, approving financial transactions, and looking over contracts. Also, corporate lawyers sometimes appraise businesses for buyers or partners. Corporate lawyers are some of the highest-paid, because of the technical nature of their work. It is an area of law that can be very profitable because corporate law is in high demand. All large companies have to employ teams of corporate lawyers, so that are legally compliant. Corporate lawyers also chase debts.


Bankruptcy lawyers, as you probably already know, handle people’s bankruptcy claims. Bankruptcy occurs when a person is unable to pay off their debts. It is a very serious thing, that can have devastating implications for a person’s life and credit rating. Because it is so serious, it has to be dealt with by an experienced and professional lawyer, who can ensure that it’s handled correctly, and filed properly. It is possible for people to file without a lawyer, and this is called filing pro se. However, all legal experts (and anybody with experience in bankruptcy) recommend hiring one.


Criminal defense attorneys are responsible for representing people who have been accused of a crime or even arrested for one. Along with corporate lawyers, criminal lawyers are also some of this list’s highest-paid legal experts. Part of the reason that they are paid so much is that most criminal lawyers work independently, meaning they don’t work for a firm. Because they work independently, they are able to charge as much as they want and keep all of the profits from their cases. Some criminal lawyers offer legal aid, so people who can’t afford a legal defense can still get assistance.


Family lawyers handle things like divorce and child custody. It is a very grim area of law, unfortunately. Most family lawyers have to deal with cases that involve families splitting up and separating. Naturally, this area of law requires individuals who are balanced, unemotional, and professional. If a family lawyer is too sensitive, then they will not be able to give their clients an effective legal defense. If you need to hire a family lawyer, then make sure that you conduct extensive research and find one who’s qualified and experienced. You can usually figure out how experienced a lawyer is by reading their reviews.


Employment lawyers usually represent claimants at employment tribunals (or conversely, represent companies and argue against the claimant’s lawyer). Employment law is very complex, which is why like corporate and criminal lawyers, employment lawyers earn a large amount of money. When people are dismissed unfairly or discriminated against at work, the first person they call is an employment lawyer. This is because an employment lawyer will be able to argue on their behalf and ensure that they get compensation. Sometimes, employment lawyers offer legal representation on a no-win-no-fee basis, too. They only do this in cut-and-dry cases, however.


When a person comes up with an idea that they want to protect, they file for a patent. However, if a person’s idea is then stolen despite having a patent protecting it, they can then take legal action against the person responsible. All of the aforementioned is in a patent lawyer’s remit. They file patents for clients and also take legal action against individuals responsible for breaching copyrights, trademarks, and patents. Such lawyers usually work with large companies like record labels. However, they also sometimes work independently. It is a very complex area of law, and therefore, these lawyers charge a lot of money.


At the moment, America is experiencing unprecedented immigration. Immigrants are entering through the nation’s southern borders, as well as by plane from places like Europe and Africa. However, despite getting into the country, that does not mean that immigrants are then able to stay. In order to qualify for American citizenship, immigrants have to hire an immigration lawyer. An immigration lawyer will then make a citizenship application on the behalf of the immigrant so that they can become full U.S. citizens. Immigration lawyers represent individuals in the community and people who are in deportation centers.


If you are a business owner, then your business’s taxes need to be meticulously recorded, organized, and always filed on time. However, taxes can be very confusing. A lot of business owners make tax mistakes. When tax mistakes are made, it’s common for the IRS to issue penalties and fines. Sometimes, they even take people to court. If you have gotten into trouble with the  IRS due to a mistake when filing your taxes, then you need a tax lawyer’s help. A tax lawyer can study and examine your taxes, identify what you have done wrong, and then develop a defense.

There are many different types of lawyers. Knowing what the different types of lawyers are will make it a lot easier for you to get help if you ever need one, you know who to reach out to. This post’s list is only the tip of the iceberg, there are many other types of lawyers not mentioned here. However, the ones listed here are the most common and most often contacted, and are therefore the ones you need to know about.