If you are looking for a lawyer for a particular problem, you might have been overwhelmed by the number and types of lawyers available in the market. A quick search shows several law firms, each with their areas of expertise. There are some lawyers and law offices who appear to be experts in all types of law. In reality, although there are different types of lawyers, most lawyers practice a wide range of law.
Some areas of law overlap. One lawyer, due to the trust and confidence of a client, may have handled all cases of that client in the past, and if such case is not within his area of expertise, he would collaborate with other lawyers in order to fulfill his client’s needs. If you are a new lawyer and you are considering specializing in a particular area of law, these are the types of lawyers you can look into:
A bankruptcy lawyer is a type of lawyer who handles cases of individuals and corporations whose debts are more than their assets or who need financial restructuring in order to meet their debts when they are due. This type of lawyer specializes in financial restructuring and valuation disputes. A corporate lawyer, such as an in-house counsel, may be tasked to handle its company’s bankruptcy proceedings as well.
There are different types of lawyers in corporate law. There are specialists in mergers and acquisitions, and there may be a different specialist for a company that seeks to offer its shares to the public in an IPO. Common legal work as a corporate lawyer, which even general practitioners can easily do and do not require excessive specialization, includes formation or dissolution of businesses, conducting legal research, writing and revising legal documents and demand letters, and drafting and negotiating all types of contracts (with suppliers, clients, employees, and other stakeholders). An in-house corporate counsel may also be tasked to review employment contracts and represent the company in handling employment-related concerns and cases.
A constitutional lawyer is a type of lawyer who deals with civil rights. They can represent clients whose rights under the Bill of Rights have been violated by the government. They can also represent clients who will be affected by a particular piece of legislation and would challenge the legislation based on a violation of the constitution. This type of lawyer normally raises issues of first impression, where the exact issue has never been addressed by the court, and there is no binding authority on the matter. These lawyers might even get to argue before state supreme courts or even the US Supreme Court – a very rare opportunity for most lawyers in any other field.
A criminal defense lawyer is a type of lawyer who advocates for the rights of a person who has been accused of criminal activity. This lawyer may be a public defender who works for the government and is normally appointed as counsel for an accused who cannot afford the services of a private lawyer or a private attorney. A criminal defense lawyer normally appears before courts more frequently than other types of lawyers.
An employment and labor lawyer handles employment-related concerns of a company. These lawyers deal with unions, employers, and employees, with issues ranging between union and non-union matters. Union matters relate to collective bargaining and union-management relations, while employment issues relate to individual concerns of an employee relating to the company. An in-house counsel might be tasked to handle employment and labor issues, and at the same time, corporate matters.
An entertainment lawyer is a type of lawyer who works with athletes, artists, musicians, and other related clients or brands. This lawyer normally handles issues related to intellectual property and generally drafts and reviews contracts of these performers or brands, concentrating on the protection of their intellectual property and making sure they are well-compensated for their intellectual property. This lawyer also handles corporate law, incorporating companies where bands, artists, and other performers can operate under.
An estate planning lawyer is a type of lawyer who handles probate, wills, trusts, and property rights. This type of lawyer will guide clients regarding property that passes through will, intestacy, or outside of probate, including proper Medicaid planning. The estate planning lawyer also works as a family lawyer, handling issues related to division of family assets, paternity, guardianship, and custody, and may also work on personal injury matters, such as wrongful death actions.
The family lawyer handles divorce, division of marital assets, custody, adoption, and paternity. This type of lawyer also writes prenuptial agreements and separation agreements and helps families resolve disputes.
Immigration lawyers help foreigners navigate immigration laws in order to legally live, work, or study in the US. They also help US citizens petition family members from another country to immigrate to the US.
An intellectual property lawyer is a type of lawyer that helps protect the intellectual property rights, such as copyrights, trademarks, and patents, of individuals and corporations. The lawyer’s job is three-pronged: (a) first, it registers the intellectual property (such as the trademark, copyright, or patent) to ensure that its rights are protected and can be enforced; (b) it counsels individuals and companies on how to protect their rights in agreements, once it has been registered; and (c) it enforces its intellectual property rights by filing cases against persons who infringe the IP rights.
A personal injury lawyer is the type of lawyer that files lawsuits against negligent parties who have caused injuries to another person. These injuries usually arise from car accidents, slips and falls, medical or legal malpractice, and workplace accidents. Most of the cases are settled out of court by the insurance company.
A tax lawyer specializes in issues related to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The tax lawyer will advise a client on the best way to minimize taxes in a particular transaction. It can help clients protest an assessment or compromise with the IRS for an installment payment or lower tax payment when faced with an assessment or a notice of levy on the property. Because of the complexity of tax law, tax lawyers are specialists in this area who normally pursue a Master’s in Taxation to further their knowledge and experience.
Although there are many types of lawyers, most lawyers can fall under one or more categories. This is because a client may entrust to a lawyer he has previously worked with and has confidence in to handle a wide range of issues and matters, not necessarily restricted to a particular area of law. As previously mentioned, an in-house corporate counsel could handle corporate law, employment and labor law, intellectual property law, and tax law. An estate planning attorney can handle family law, personal injury law, and corporate law.
What is important when choosing a lawyer, aside from experience, is that you have trust and confidence in the lawyer, that the lawyer will do everything in his power to advocate for your rights, and that the lawyer is honest, good, and reliable. Should you have any legal issues and need a lawyer you can have trust and confidence in, we at the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin are here for you. We have offices in New York City, Brooklyn, NY and Queens, NY. You can call us at 212-233-1233 or send us an email at [email protected].