Understanding the Different Attorney Types

While all lawyers go to law school, not all lawyers are qualified to take your case. For example, the attorney who handles your divorce or child’s adoption isn’t qualified to handle your lawsuit against a drunk driver. Let’s look at the different categories of law that attorneys practice.

Criminal Law

Criminal law typically involves a crime of some sort. It could range from a traffic ticket to murder charges. However, it always stems from a purported violation of laws or regulations. The success rate of criminal justice attorneys is a key factor in selecting them, because people are desperately trying to avoid going to prison or paying hefty fines.

Personal Injury Law

Personal injury law involves a personal injury of some sort. Note that this doesn’t necessarily mean you were hurt. The damages in personal injury cases can include medical bills or simply the Emergency Room bill and ambulance fee though you were told your child was fine. It also includes property damages, lost wages, and expenses you wouldn’t have incurred if the injury had not occurred. On the other hand, personal injury cases may arise due medical mistakes, neglect or oversight. For example, you can file a claim against a medical facility or medical professional for failing to do their job properly, whether or not they corrected their mistake. (Malpractice law is a form of personal injury law.)

Work with personal injury specialists like those at Baumgartner law firm if you are dealing with a personal injury case.

Family Law

Family law includes everything related to one’s family. It includes prenuptial agreements and divorces. It includes adoption, emancipation of minors and child custody disputes. It you need to lower your child support payments or alter your visitation agreement, you need a family lawyer.

Bankruptcy Law

Bankruptcy lawyers typically only handle bankruptcies. This could be liquidation bankruptcies or debt repayment plans. They may also help you negotiate settlements with your creditors outside of bankruptcy.

Estate Planning Law

Estate planning law can include drafting wills and power of attorney documents. It also includes creating and managing trusts. Estate planners may work with tax attorneys to determine the best overall plan for minimizing inheritance taxes while passing on a business or property to heirs.

Business Law

This broad category includes employment law and corporate disputes. For example, a business may sue a contractor for failing to do their job properly. And they may try to mediate disputes on what a clause of a contract really requires of each party. Intellectual property often falls under this category, whether you’re licensing the right for a company to mass produce your invention or fighting them over copying your product despite your existing patent covering it.

Tax law can be considered a type of business law. However, it is sometimes treated as a separate legal category. While the most famous cases involve the IRS, you can end up challenging audits from city, county and state tax authorities, as well.

Worker’s Compensation

Worker’s compensation is generally considered its own legal specialization, though it is sometimes a department in a personal injury law firm. Worker’s compensation covers injuries, illnesses and deaths caused by workplace events.

Immigration Law

Whether it is an illegal alien trying to gain legal residency or someone on a student visa trying to secure an H1B visa, they require the services of an immigration lawyer. Immigration law sometimes overlaps with family law, such as when you’re adopting a child from overseas or trying to bring a foreign bride into this country.


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