Throughout one’s life, from buying your first house, to planning for retirement, and everything in-between, you will likely interact with quite a few different types of attorneys. 10 categories of attorneys can encompass almost all of the types of legal roadblocks or issues you may encounter in the average person’s lifetime.

  1. Personal Injury Lawyer
  2. Criminal Defense Lawyer
  3. Social Security Disability Lawyer
  4. Employment Lawyer
  5. Bankruptcy Lawyer
  6. Domestic Relations Lawyer
  7. Probate Lawyer
  8. Real Estate Lawyer
  9. Debt Collections Lawyer
  10. Business Lawyer

Personal Injury Lawyer

A personal injury lawyer is a civil litigator who provides legal representation to plaintiffs who have experienced an injury as a result of the negligent or intentional acts of another person, organization, or entity. Personal injury lawyers specialize in tort law which covers civil wrongs or injuries. The main goal of tort law is to make the injured party whole again and to discourage other wrongdoers from committing the same offense to others.

Personal injury lawyers help plaintiffs receive compensation for their losses such as loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, medical expenses, emotional distress, loss of consortium, and legal costs and fees. Personal injury lawyers also function to protect clients from becoming victims of large companies and the legal system as a whole. Personal injury law can involve anything from car accidents to defective products. The personal injury attorneys handle cases from inception to appeal.

Criminal Defense Lawyer

A criminal defense lawyer fulfills a number of important roles during the course of a criminal case. The criminal defense lawyer is responsible for defending an individual charged with a crime and speaks on that individual’s account. A criminal defense attorney may be contacted directly by the defendant or maybe assigned the case by the court. Many criminal defense attorneys are actually public defenders who are paid by the public defender’s office. Many public defenders are appointed cases by the local, state, or federal court. Other criminal defense attorneys are fired by private firms or have their own legal office.

A criminal defense attorney is first assigned the case. Next, the criminal defense attorney interviews the client to learn the strengths and witnesses of the defense. The attorney will then further investigate the case, and analyze evidence. The lawyer will assist with the jury selection process and then plea bargaining before the trial ever begins. The criminal defense lawyer advocates at trial for their client to convince the jury the prosecution failed to meet their burden of proof. Finally, the criminal defense attorney can represent the defendant during the sentencing phase if this occurs, to limit their jail time or offer alternatives to incarceration. 

Social Security Disability Lawyer

After an individual is wrongly denied disability benefits, they may decide to hire a social security disability lawyer. This lawyer will help an individual appeal the Social Security Administration (SSA)’s decision. The lawyer will look at the details of the case to determine how the individual was denied. A disability attorney can be retained at any point during the claims process, even before the claim is filed. Most claims are denied during the initial review, and at that point, a lawyer is retained to file a request for reconsideration.

A disability lawyer understands how to address the deficiencies in the claim and provides additional details for SSD to review during the reconsideration phase. The lawyer will look at what evidence the claim is lacking to be able to gather the missing links to get the claim back on track. 

Employment Lawyer

Employment lawyers provide a variety of services to employers and employees, from helping them understand their rights, to helping them fight for their rights and recover from injuries received within the workplace. For an employer, a lawyer can assist them in complying with federal and state anti-discrimination laws. They may also help employers learn about their obligations in complying with OSHA guidelines and environmental regulations. This type of law may also involve worker’s compensation claims.

Employment law can also involve representing clients who have been discriminated against in the workplace. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, and religion. Therefore, employment lawyers represent the employees who may have been terminated, demoted, reassigned, not hired, or otherwise the recipient of an adverse employment action based on a protected status under the Act.

Bankruptcy Lawyer

A bankruptcy lawyer can assist with the complex procedure of bankruptcy, from before you file until the time debts are discharged. The attorney can help guide an individual through the complex decisions, paperwork, and procedures of a bankruptcy procedure. At the outset of the bankruptcy procedure, the attorney can counsel an individual if bankruptcy is the right decision. The attorney will take a critical look at debts and assets and determine if bankruptcy is the correct path to improve your circumstances.

A big part of a bankruptcy lawyer’s job assisting a client can be comparing the chapter 7 and chapter 13 options. This critical decision is to determine by assessing the size and makeup of debt. The assets the client is willing to risk in a bankruptcy, and the ability to repay debts or a portion of debts, among a number of other considerations. Once the client and attorney determine the client’s filing plan, an attorney can help the client make key planning decisions. Attorneys can help the client consider aspects of the bankruptcy, like whether to file jointly with a spouse, or whether to co-sign on any loans that file fall under the bankruptcy filing.

Domestic Relations Lawyer

Domestic relation is a field of family law that governs relations within a family or household. These lawyers can protect their clients through many family law issues. One of the most common issues domestic relations attorneys deal with is divorce. The domestic relations lawyer protects their clients along the way and introduces them to every step of the divorce process. Within the divorce process, there can be child custody issues as well. This can be a difficult task, and it is rare that parents agree on these issues. As well as divorce and child custody, the domestic relations courts hear cases involving alimony, domestic abuse, and child support.

While most family law practices deal with issues of divorce such as division of marital property, child custody, support, and alimony, family lawyers also draft prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and litigate all related matters. Domestic relations lawyers have a wide range of legal skills they must perform, from drafting and negotiating contracts, pleadings, and other legal documents, litigating contested matters, counseling clients on their legal rights and options, and attempting to resolve disputes. Moreso, domestic relations lawyers must have great interpersonal communication skills as well as be great at diffusing potentially emotional situations with clients and their spouses.

Probate Lawyer

Probate lawyers are also called estate or trust lawyers. These lawyers help the executors of the estate to manage the probate process. These attorneys may also help with estate planning. Estate planning can involve drafting wills or living trusts, giving advice on powers of attorney, or even serve as an executor or administrator of an estate. The work of a probate lawyer often depends on whether the client has drafted a will before their death. When there is a will the lawyer will assist the clients to advise the parties on legal matters that accompany the beneficiaries of the estate. When there is no will, the lawyer may be hired to assist the administration of the estate in determining how assets will be distributed according to state intestacy law.

A probate attorney may perform certain tasks. These include collecting and managing life insurance proceeds, getting the decedent’s property appraised, as well as finding and securing all of the decedent’s assets. The lawyer may also advise on how to pay the decedent’s bills and settle debt, prepare or file documents as required by a probate court, managing the estate’s checkbook, and determining whether any estate taxes are owed.

Real Estate Lawyer

Real estate lawyers guide you through the legal process of buying a home. These lawyers specialize in matters relevant to property. This can involve anything from transactions like buying and selling a home to dealing with property disputes between parties. A real estate attorney will represent your interests at closing for a home and can review all paperwork in advance to advise you on any problems or omissions with the documents. A real estate attorney prepares or reviews documents that are signed at the closing of a real estate purchase. Real estate law encompasses the purchase and sale of real property as well as legal issues related to anything attached to the property. Real estate law covers deeds, property taxes, estate planning, zoning, and titles. Real estate attorneys are also equipped to prepare and review documents relating to purchase agreements, mortgage documents, title documents, and transfer documents.

The lawyers who specialize in real estate ensure proper procedures are followed during the acquisition or sale of the property. A real estate closing is when money is paid for the real estate property and the title is transferred from the old owner to the new owner. The real estate attorney ensures that the transfer is legal, binding, and in the best interests of the client. To prepare for the closing, the real estate attorney may prepare documents, complete title searches, and handle the transfer of funds for the purchase. Problems with the chain of titles such as liens on the property, lot line problems, or contract issues will all be handled by the real estate attorney. 

Debt Collections Lawyer

When an individual is in debt, and certain events occur such as creditors calling your home and work, and threats of lawsuits from these creditors, an individual may be in need of a debt collection attorney. Other factors that could lead to your need for a debt collection attorney are being treated unfairly by creditors or an inability to pay back loans at the present time. To determine your best course of action to get your money back when a debtor is not paying up, a debt collection attorney may be the right solution.

A debt collection lawyer can mean different things to a creditor and a debtor. For a creditor, an attorney can help to put a plan in place to gain back the money you loaned out to a debtor. For a debtor, while they face the same outcomes, the attorney can help negotiate the debt down. In the end, the debt collection lawyer can be the best solution to avoid being taken advantage of on either side of the transaction.

Business Lawyer

Business lawyers help keep companies running and growing by overseeing their legal business. Business law covers a wide range of legal areas and applies to many different types of business activity. The legal issues a business lawyer may face usually involve corporate law, partnership law, banking law, sales law, securities law, or some combination of all of the above. The business lawyer comes in where the business and legal universes intersect.

Business lawyers anticipate problems that could arise for clients and guide them to help avoid them. The business lawyer is required to not only understand the law, but also the fundamentals of their client’s business goals and work. Sometimes business lawyers work in-house for the legal department of a company. This kind of work can involve the interpretation of laws and regulations as well as communicating advice to clients. Most of the business lawyer’s time will be spent on negotiation, legal analysis, contract drafting, advising, and writing. 

The Cochran Firm

Our founder, the legendary Johnnie Cochran, believed that all Americans should have access to justice. Today, we continue his legacy by offering quality legal representation across the country. We have injury attorneys for those who have suffered major accidents. But we also offer criminal defense services, because we understand that when you’re faced with a life-altering accusation, you need the best help you can get. Whether you need an injury lawyer or an attorney experienced in one of these areas, we can help. We have more than 20 offices across the country.

Whatever your reason for needing a lawyer, we’re happy to talk with you about your claim. We offer free, no-obligation initial consultations so we can discuss your case, evaluate whether you have a claim, and explain the legal process. If you need an experienced injury lawyer or an attorney with particular expertise in a unique area, we’re here for you. Please contact The Cochran Firm today for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.

Resources:

Investopedia

FindLaw

New England Law

HG

Legal Information Institute

Balance Careers

Disability Benefits Center