The law covers an endless array of subject matter – it only makes sense that those pursuing a career in such would have to specialize in a more condensed, specialized area of study.
For those of you simply looking for a lawyer to aid you with whatever legal issue you are faced with, this can seem daunting – there are so many different types of lawyers that specialize in any and every type of legal issue, so how can you possibly know where to start with your search?
As overwhelming as this vast amount of options may seem, it will truly only benefit you in the end. You will have someone on your side that is educated and experienced in dealing specifically with the type of situation you are in and needing help with.
To get you looking in the right direction, we’ve put together a brief overview of the two main components of law and the different types of lawyers involved in each.
First Things First: Criminal Vs. Civil Lawyers
The first and most basic breakdown when it comes to law is into two categories: criminal or civil.
Criminal law is concerned with the punishment of individuals who commit crimes. Offenders are prosecuted based on Canada’s Criminal Code and various federal laws.
Civil law is the system of law concerned with private relations between members of a community – civil cases are remedied by monetary damages rather than criminal punishments. Civil law revolves around suits and actions, where the plaintiff is the suing party and the defendant is the one being sued.
Criminal lawyers most often act as defense lawyers for individuals who have been accused of committing a crime. They study the case, witnesses’ statements, etc. and present the defense to the court in an attempt to convince the jury of their client’s innocence.
Criminal lawyers can further be broken down into public or private – public being paid by the government and provided to the accused, and private being hired and paid directly by the accused/the accused’s family.
Civil law is much more broad than criminal law in terms of subject specialization.
To give you an idea, here is a list of some of the different types of civil lawyers and civil law services available:
- Divorce Attorney
- Family Law Attorney
- Bankruptcy Attorney
- Immigration Attorney
- Personal Injury Attorney
- Real Estate Attorney
- Estate Planning Attorney
- Tax Attorney
- Employment Attorney
- Corporate Law Attorney
- Intellectual Property Attorney
- Copyright Attorney
Find Your Perfect Match Today
When you are on the hunt for a lawyer, whether simply for legal advice or for help with a more serious legal issue, it is important to remember that there are many differences between each type of lawyer and the area of law that they practice.
Choosing the right lawyer can make all the difference regarding the situation you are in – shop around, read references, ask questions, and you are sure to find the lawyer that is right for you.
We all encounter the legal system at some point in our lives, maybe for an adoption, a lawsuit, criminal proceedings, or an inheritance. In 2006, a record-setting 102 million cases were heard by state courts.
Even though we all have some level of experience with courts and legal proceedings, most of us do not have a clue how to handle them.
That’s the purpose of legal aid services. Attorneys advise, defend, and guide people through the confusion of the law.
How do you know if you can handle a case on your own or if you need legal aid services? This article will answer that question and help you find services that you can afford.
1. What Types of Legal Cases Are There?
Before we jump into legal aid service specifics, let’s look at what types of legal processes happen in courts.
There are two main types of court cases: criminal and civil. There are also two main types of courts: federal and state. We’ll break these down for you below.
Federal Court Cases
- Criminal– A person is accused of a crime, such as assault or Internet defamation.
- Civil- There is a legal disagreement between two people or organizations (lawsuits).
- Bankruptcy- A person can no longer pay their debts, so the court helps divide their remaining money and property between the people they owe. The rest of the debt is then erased, and the person has a fresh start.
- Appeals- A case that has already been decided is brought back up because something was not done correctly in the trial.
If your case is in a federal court, you definitely must have a lawyer!
State courts hear all of the same types of cases that federal courts hear but often on a smaller scale. Below is a list of all the types of civil cases state courts handle.
- Small Claims Court- People or organizations sue each other for $10,000 or less. No one can have a lawyer in these cases.
- General Civil- People sue one another usually for property damage or injury.
- Family Law- This court helps settle divide assets in divorces, decides custody battles, finalizes adoptions, and assigns child support payments.
- Landlord/Tenant- This type of case is typically a dispute between a landlord and tenant about eviction or getting a deposit back.
- Probate- These cases include wills and handles the estates of people who are unable to take care of themselves.
- Juvenile- This category includes criminal cases for people under the age of 18 (juvenile delinquency) and home placements when someone under 18 can no longer stay with their guardians (juvenile dependency).
30 million cases are heard in state courts every year while federal courts only hear about 1 million. Chances are then, most of your legal encounters will be in state courts.
Attorneys are only appointed in criminal cases. In all other types of cases, the client must pay for their own lawyer or defend themselves.
2. Why Can’t You Represent Yourself?
We’ve all seen television shows where a crazy client tries to represent themselves and all the lawyers are telling them not to. Why is that?
The truth is people often don’t know how to explain themselves. They know what happened, but when it comes to an intimidating courtroom and a judge, they don’t know what to say.
This is devastating when you consider the fact that explaining your case well can lead to reduced sentences or even dropped charges.
Another reason to get legal aid services is that the law is complicated. You can try to study up and understand the legal standing of your case. But wouldn’t you rather have the opinion and advice of someone who went to law school and passed a state law exam?
The Australian court system is pretty similar to America. A recent study there found that the cases of 63% of people who represent themselves are over in 5 minutes. 26% of these cases are done in less than 2 minutes.
Do you think you can adequately explain yourself to a judge in that amount of time?
3. Do You Qualify for Free Legal Aid Services?
You may be eligible for free legal aid services based on the following categories.
- Income- If you can prove to a judge that you are “indigent” or low-income, you may be able to get free or low cost legal representation. Laws vary on this from state to state.
- Health- If you are a disabled veteran, check with your local veterans administration. You may qualify for certain types of legal aid. Also, if you have HIV/Aids, you may be able to get free services or reduced rates.
- Civil vs. Criminal Cases- If you’re accused of a crime, the state is obligated to give you a public defender if you can’t afford a lawyer. The state will only appoint attorneys for criminal cases.
- Safety – If you are the victim of domestic violence, you may qualify for free legal services. The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) has more information.
- Civil Rights- If your legal issue is a civil rights case, you may be able to obtain free legal services. Law firms often like to take on this work pro bono because they can become large lawsuits.
- Immigration Status- Immigrants can often receive free legal assistance for visas, work authorizations, green cards, etc. Check with your local legal services agencies.
- Organizations- If you are a community organization that helps the underprivileged in some way, you may have law firms in your area wanting to support your work. Check with local legal aid services to see if your organization qualifies.
4. How to Find Legal Aid Services?
Legal aid societies offer free legal assistance to people who cannot pay an attorney. Many people do not qualify for their free serves though, because they make too much money. Only about 50%of people who apply for help from a legal aid society receive it.
Lawhelp.org is also a great resource. They offer legal advice and resources for low-income people.
Another place to find affordable legal advice is a law school. State law determines what law students can actually do, but they can always give advice even if they can’t represent you.
Some law schools also have law clinics with reduced rates for people with a low income.
You can also consider contacting your state bar association. They may be able to help you find a lawyer who is willing to do a pro bono case.
Make sure to ask some local lawyers for their rates too. They may not be as high as you think or they may offer discounts.
Some law firms will also only charge you if you win your case. Just make sure you know the percentage they charge if you win before you ask them to represent you! Go and find the Child Support Appeals here.
Remember when asking for attorneys, make sure to find a local lawyer who specializes in the area of the law you need. You can do some research depending on where you are. For Australians, Save U Legal | Tweed Heads Drink Driving + Traffic Lawyers can be a great place to start. You do not want a divorce lawyer representing you on a burglary charge! You don’t want a divorce lawyer representing you on a burglary charge!
Interested in researching specific legal aid services in your area? Start by checking the specialties of attorneys near you.
The average speeding ticket can cost you around $150 but in some states, they can go as high as $2,500. On top of the costs, you could get a penalty of points or strikes on your record that could cause you to lose your license. If you can’t afford to go through this, you might want to hire a speeding ticket attorney.
While this might seem like overkill, hiring a lawyer for a speeding ticket isn’t as crazy as it seems. Because traffic laws are fairly straightforward, most attorneys can juggle a number of speeding ticket cases along with their normal caseload. Hiring a lawyer could end up costing you a fraction of what your ticket would cost.
If you’re interested in finding ways to get out of your most recent speeding ticket, a speeding ticket attorney could be the answer to your prayers. Here are 5 things to look for when hiring your lawyer.
1. Check Their Experience
While you might have a friend or relative who practices law, if they don’t know the ins and outs of traffic laws, it could be a waste of time and money. A lawyer who advertises that their firm handles lots of cases related to driving and vehicles will know what to do.
This is one case where the more experience they have, the less pricey they might be.
2. Get Real Reviews
Checking their website might be a good place to start to get information about your attorney but you won’t get sincere reviews there. You’ll only see the best of the best. While a firm like Rocky Law Firm knows the law inside and out and proves it on their website, not every site does that.
Many lawyers are posted on Google and Yelp now, so look for some relevant reviews there.
Sites like Avvo also allow for reviews of attorneys.
3. Ask About Expected Outcomes
Ask if they realistically could get your penalty reduced or if they think you have a strong case. While some attorneys will be happy to take your case if the price is right, that doesn’t mean they think they can win. They should be able to list the options that you have for settling the ticket.
If there are any other conditions that could affect your outcome, be honest with your attorney.
4. They Should Prepare You
Your attorney should be able to prepare you for your ticket hearing. If they suggest things like taking a driving certification or any kind of refresher course, listen to them. A good attorney gives you ideas on how to make sure you look as good as possible when you step into the courtroom.
5. Check Their Price
Of course, you should be able to afford your attorney. Call around to a few different firms and see what they’re offering and compare it to what their expected outcomes are. If you find a lawyer you like but they’re not giving you the price you want, quote a cheaper attorney and see what they can do.
Your Speeding Ticket Attorney Needs To Fit You
You should feel a good rapport with your attorney immediately. If they’re ignoring your calls or hard to reach, you can assume they’ll be as flaky when it comes time to go to court. Make sure you feel listened to.
If you’re ready to find an attorney that fits your style, contact us for suggestions on getting the perfect fit.
Considering going to a law school or looking for a lawyer’s assistance, there exists confusion in general about the types of lawyers out there. A common assumption is that a lawyer can provide legal services of all types. Technically, it is true as he or she is licensed, but the subject of law is vast that a single lawyer cannot provide legal services effectively in area of law. This is same as the doctors who are specialized in specific ailments or age groups. Here are few common types of lawyers and descriptions of their law practice.
Business law is a broad subject and there are several areas that are dealt with. A business lawyer is also known as a corporate lawyer. This includes intellectual property, employment, acquisitions and mergers. These lawyers focus on legal business tasks such as company forming and few work on tax compliance to employment issues, while some business lawyers concentrate only on startups and small businesses and others on large enterprises.
Employment & Labor Lawyer
The employment & labor lawyers handle employment related issues. They ensure businesses are complying with the state and federal labor laws. There are litigation and transactional employment lawyers, where the employment lawyers go to the court to argue in case a business violated an employment contract terms or state law. The transactional employment lawyers draft the employment documents on being hired.
Mergers & Acquisitions Lawyer (M&A)
These lawyers deal with selling and buying of companies. This is a long and complex process involving a team of lawyers. Generally, these types of lawyers tend to be expert in finance and securities laws, tax law, and they structure the deals, sale or purchase of their clients company.
A family lawyer handles direct family issues. The family lawyers handle divorce, prenuptial agreements, custody battles, and other issues relating to marriage and children. Some lawyers work only on divorce, but most family lawyers cover the entire family law areas.
Tax lawyers help individuals and businesses in complying with laws when filing tax returns. In fact, these lawyers defend you to a larger proportion. The individual tax lawyers defend if you if you face significant fines or jail time. The individual tax lawyers work in a large corporation in the tax department or also in estate planning or similar types.
Criminal Defense Lawyer
Criminal defense lawyer defend the accused of a crime against prosecution, thereby reducing the stay or sentencing of jail. The crimes handled here range from shoplifting to small offenses and serious crimes such as drug trafficking, DUI, murder and assault. These types of lawyers have gained experience on criminal defense at the District Attorney’s office either after or while in law school.
These lawyers have a lot of clients on daily basis and they perform few small tasks. Traffic lawyers fight traffic citations on behalf of clients or give advice to get out of a violation of running during red light or speeding ticket. Some traffic lawyers also fight DUI or DWI as criminal lawyers.
There are many types of lawyers including personal injury lawyer, intellectual property lawyer, estate planning lawyer, bankruptcy lawyer, civil litigation lawyer, entertainment lawyer, and so on. Hire lawyers specializing in particular legal service type, as each law type is different.