15 Different Types Of Lawyers In 2023, According to the most recent data, there were 1.33 million lawyers in the United States alone. Among this huge diversity of legal brains are many types of lawyers who practice in various areas of the law. The following article discusses a dozen various lawyer careers that might serve as a good beginning point for anyone looking for legal work.
A lawyer, sometimes known as an attorney, counselor, or barrister, represents and advises clients in and out of court. A lawyer’s duties include researching and producing court filings, negotiating contracts, counseling clients, and facilitating oral arguments in court.
Lawyers’ roles may differ from country to country due to the nature of the legal profession. In England, for example, there are two sorts of lawyers: barristers and solicitors. A barrister specializes in courtroom proceedings and typically works on complex matters. They rarely have direct contact with clients.
On the other hand, a solicitor offers legal advice to clients, gathers facts about cases, and briefing barristers before court appearances.
However, after 1990, attorneys in England were permitted to participate in court proceedings on behalf of their clients in certain circumstances. There is no legal distinction in the United States (where lawyers are commonly identified as attorneys).
Specialization In The Profession
Early in their careers, attorneys in many nations, including the United States, tend to concentrate their law practice on a particular sub-area. General practice lawyers aren’t nearly as effective as their more specialized counterparts when meeting their client’s requirements. In the United States, attorneys can join several legal organizations to earn board certification that attests to their expertise.
In the following paragraphs, we have listed 13 different kinds of lawyers, each with a brief explanation of their work, which may be useful at some point in the future.
Lawyer vs. Attorney – What Is the Difference?
People often use the words “lawyer” and “attorney” equally, but there is a difference between the two. Lawyers and attorneys have law degrees but don’t do the same jobs. In other words, it’s one thing to get a so-called Juris Doctor degree, which is a professional degree for law school graduates, and it’s another thing to pass the bar test and work as a lawyer. So, before we talk about the most interesting kinds of attorneys and lawyers, it’s important to explain the difference between the two words. A lawyer is a lawyer, but not every lawyer is an attorney.
A lawyer, for example, has a law degree and works in court. The word “attorney” comes from the French language. It means “one who acts on behalf of others.”
Lawyers, unlike attorneys, don’t have to work in court after they finish law school and pass the bar test. They choose different career paths and often work as legal advisors and counselors outside court.
What Types of Lawyers Are There?
There are a lot of jobs for lawyers, but it can be hard to decide what kind of law you want to practice after you finish law school. You can choose a job path based on your plans, goals, and, possibly most importantly, interests.
Some graduates, for example, see themselves as future experts on adoption and children’s rights and look for work at places where they can practice family law. Others are more interested in lawyer jobs that pay well, like tax and business lawyers who work for big companies as in-house counsel.
Even though there are a lot of different kinds of law to learn and practice, we narrowed our list down to 28 jobs that will help you decide what to do with your life. Our list is based on people’s most common law problems in the U.S.
01. Civil Rights Lawyers
Famous civil rights lawyers include Debra Katz, who is known for taking on cases of sexual assault and harassment, and Amal Clooney, who has worked on human rights cases for Filipino writer and Nobel Prize winner Maria Ressa and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Civil rights lawyers give advice and stand up for their clients’ civil and political rights. Civil rights are the rights people have as citizens that protect their freedom from other people, groups, and states. This means protecting people’s rights, like their freedom of speech, religion, and the press, and keeping them from being treated unfairly.
02. Personal Injury Lawyer
When attempting to provide a response to that fundamental issue, there are a few more important occupations that need to be discussed. For example, what are the many categories of lawyers? To begin, the primary focus of a personal injury attorney is on civil litigation and the representation of persons who have suffered an accident as a result of substandard medical care or while doing their employment duties.
You will gather evidence as a personal injury lawyer, document injuries, calculate expenses, and speak with witnesses.
03. Criminal Defense Lawyers
Johnnie Cochran is a well-known criminal defense lawyer on the team that got O.J. Simpson off on criminal charges. He defended famous people like Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dog, and Michael Jackson. Dick DeGuerin, known for successfully defending Texas cult leader David Koresh, was also one of his clients.
Criminal defense lawyers, or just “criminal lawyers,” defend people and groups accused of committing crimes. Criminal defense lawyers can be called independently, just like other lawyers. But people who don’t have much money can hire public defenders, lawyers who work for the government.
Criminal law deals with theft, fraud, DUI (driving under the influence), domestic abuse, and drug crimes.
A criminal lawyer’s job is to look into the case carefully, talk to witnesses, make case studies, and study case laws and statutes. They can work out a deal with the prosecutor to get their client a lighter sentence, or they can write and file a motion to drop the charges and defend their client in court.
04. Family Lawyers
Daniel J. Jaffe was involved in the high-profile divorce case of Rupert Murdoch; Fiona Shackleton was recognized for representing members of the British Royal Family and celebrities, like Sir Paul McCartney, in family disputes. Both of these lawyers are notable for their work in family law.
Family lawyers are specialized attorneys that handle legal concerns about family law. As their name suggests, family lawyers handle legal matters. Civil unions, which are recognized by the law and are analogous to marriages, divorce, prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, paternity actions, and child protective services, are some of the concerns involved.
Family lawyers are frequently required to practice in various subspecialties within the legal profession. For instance, a family lawyer representing a client in a divorce proceeding would be required to handle real estate or estate planning matters. They may even argue the case like a criminal attorney in a case involving child abuse.
Family lawyers are frequently faced with the additional challenge of resolving jurisdictional disputes. When administering legal proceedings, there is the potential for jurisdictional conflicts to occur in situations involving marriage and divorce where the parties involved come from different walks of life and states within the United States.
05. Real Estate Attorney or Property Lawyer
A real estate attorney or property lawyer is a lawyer who specializes in real estate law. The terms are used equally. They help with real estate deals, property ownership, and property disputes by giving legal services and advice.
Most of the time, real estate attorneys or property lawyers help their clients write and review real estate contracts, negotiate lease agreements, do title searches, handle property transfers, and settle disputes or lawsuits related to real estate. They may also advise on zoning laws, rules about land use used, and other legal proband the use of the property.
These lawyers ensure that real estate transactions and other property-related issues follow the laws and rules. Whether you call them real estate lawyers or property lawyers, their main job is to help and protect their clients in real estate deals and other property-related legal matters.
06. Personal Injury Lawyers
Famous personal injury cases: Harris v. McGraw (dog bite case); and Anderson v. Pacific Gas and Electric.
Personal injury is a term for any kind of harm, physical or mental that a person gets. It’s not the same as property loss or property damage. A personal injury lawyer gives legal advice and stands up for people hurt because of someone else’s or an organization’s carelessness, foolishness, or intentional wrongdoing.
Personal injury cases fall under tort law, which is a civil wrong. In these cases, a plaintiff and his lawyer go after the person who caused the harm or injury, generally in the form of money. These compensations can come from current and future medical costs, lawyer fees, and other legal costs. The main goal of tort law is to help the person who was hurt and to stop others from performing the same crime.
Like other litigation lawyers, personal injury lawyers gather evidence to support their cases, write motions, develop legal theories, take depositions, and defend their clients during trials. Personal accident lawyers have another area of expertise. For example, a lawyer may focus on car accidents involving all-terrain vehicles.
In 2015, 25.5% of all cases made in federal district courts in the United States were about personal injuries. But only a small number of cases in state courts are about them.
07. Intellectual Property Lawyers
Famous intellectual property (I.P.) lawyers include Frederick Perry Fish, who was involved in important patent cases involving a steam engine, an airplane, a radio, and a telephone, and Gerald D. Hosier, who was said to be the highest-paid patent attorney in 2000 and 2003.
Intellectual property (I.P.) is an intangible object that comes from the creativity and intelligence of people. There are many kinds of intellectual property, but patents, copyrights, trade secrets, and logos are the most well-known.
I.P.s are becoming more valuable for people and businesses that invest in them because they take a lot of work and could be worth a lot of money. Since I.P.s can be used to name a business or make a trademark product, it is important to protect these assets. This is where lawyers who work with intellectual property come in.
Intellectual property attorneys spend most of their time creating and organizing documentation required for trademark or patent filings and working with national patent offices such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
These attorneys are also responsible for intellectual property enforcement, representing owners in cases of infringement and unfair usage. Taffer clients counseling or ad cases vice on copyright and trademark difficulties with their new products.
The median yearly income for an intellectual property attorney in the United States is $129,000, according to Payscale.com, a salary comparison website. More talented and experienced lawyers might earn up to $242,000 per year.
08. Estate Planning Lawyers
Estate planning is a straightforward term that refers to the process and activities involved in passing on assets through inheritance. It also includes overcoming any legal obstacles that may arise while proving the will of the deceased (also known as “probate”) in a court of law, as well as increasing the value of the estate by reducing the taxation it must pay.
Clients can plan, organize, and manage the assets they wish to leave after death with an attorney specializing in estate planning. The process of creating wills that are by the laws of the state and the community in which the property is located in the way that these attorneys employ most frequently for planning the distribution of a property.
Trusts are another complex tool that estate planning attorneys use. Trusts are often established for the aim of fulfilling a certain need. In layman’s words, when a property owner creates a trust, they are entrusting the management of their estate to a trustee, who in turn manages the trust for the benefit of the trust’s legal beneficiaries.
The power of attorney, the health-care proxy, and the advanced healthcare directives are topics frequently addressed by attorneys sizing in estate planning.
09. Bankruptcy Lawyers
Harvey R. Miller, a prominent bankruptcy attorney, is known for his work in 2008 filing and overseeing bankruptcy procedures for Lehman Brothers.
Suppose a person or business has to file for bankruptcy. In that case, it indicates that they can no longer repay their outstanding payments to creditors and are looking for a remission or cancellation of the debt, either partially or completely. The laws regarding bankruptcy, which vary from nation to nation, have developed over time.
In today’s society, the standard viewpoint about insolvent businesses is not to wipe off all of their obligations but rather to rehabilitate them by determining the underlying issues that led to their financial trouble and taking steps to ensure that they do not experience it again. Because of the complexity that this adds to the laws governing bankruptcy, it is highly recommended that you seek the services of a bankruptcy lawyer if you choose to file for bankruptcy.
A bankruptcy attorney with a comprehensive understanding of the rules and legislation pertaining to bankruptcy can devise intricabouttics, negotiate with opposing parties outside of court, and argue your case in front of a judge. Their primary goal is discovering the most effective answer to the customer’s monetary predicament. Both debtors and creditors can retain the services of bankruptcy attorneys during the bankruptcy process.
10. Tax Lawyers
John Samuels is a well-known tax attorney who developed the global tax policy for General Electric during his thirty years of service. In addition, he served as the Tax Legislative Counsel for the U.S. Treasury Department under Ronald Reagan.)
Tax law is a rapidly evolving and increasingly complex field. Consequently, tax attorneys are frequently retained by individuals and corporations to improve local, state, and federal tax laws and analyze how they may affect their finances. Tax attorneys look out for their client’s best interests by advising them on tax filings and helping them save money with allowable tax deductions and other incentives.
If you are a business owner, a tax attorney can assist you in selecting the business ownership structure that best meets your requirements, as it significantly impacts your business’s taxation. Instead of CPAs, they also assist clients during advanced and complex tax audits.
The estate tax, business tax, employment/payroll tax, property and inheritance tax, customs (import/export) tax, and international taxation are additional areas in which tax attorneys can specialize.
11. Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Various occupations put workers in harm’s way, and some of these occupations have a significantly higher incidence of serious accidents that can even result in death. Workers’ compensation lawyers are responsible for various tasks, including dealing with the aftermath of accidents that occur on the job. Their major responsibility is to assist individuals injured on the job or family members whose loved ones have been killed in work-related accidents in obtaining appropriate closure and financial compensation for their losses.
12. Defense Lawyer
When someone is accused of committing a crime, it is the responsibility of their defense lawyer, commonly referred to as a criminal defense attorney, to represent them in court. This is an extremely important part of the legal system. Their major goal is to safeguard the legal interests of their clients and guarantee that they receive fair treatment. Defense attorneys put a lot of effort into developing solid defense strategies and providing efficient counsel for their clients throughout the legal process.
To navigate the legal system’s complexitieDefense attorneys must thoroughly understand criminal law, and defense attorneys must thoroughly undersides are studied to build a solid foundation of knowledge. This enables them to interpret and apply the law to their client’s cases.
13. Medical Malpractice Lawyer
People who retain medical malpractice attorneys have typically sustained a personal injury due to a medical professional’s error. Any injury caused by improper treatment, negligence, botched surgery, or misdiagnosis falls within these attorneys’ practice scope. A malpractice attorney can also represent health professionals facing charges and is typically appointed directly by the medical facility where the professional works.
14. Social Security Disability Lawyer
Even at its most straightforward, the social security disability system is notoriously difficult to negotiate. Disability law is one of the more charitable areas of practice for attorneys, which is fortunate because these attorneys help their clients navigate the compensation and assistance system by ensuring that their clients are eligible for aid, appealing if benefits are denied, or handling cases involving the termination or reduction of benefits.
15. Mergers and Acquisitions Lawyer
A Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) lawyer specializes in providing legal advice and guidance to clients involved in corporate mergers, acquisitions, and other related transactions. Their role is crucial in ensuring these complex deals are structured, negotiated, and executed in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
M&A attorneys must comprehensively comprehend corporate law, contract law, securities regulations, and other pertinent legal fields. They must have superior negotiation, drafting, and communication skills and the capacity to analyze complex legal and financial data.
It is important to note that specific laws and regulations may vary by jurisdiction. Depending on where the M&A transaction occurs. Therefore, M&A attorneys frequently collaborate with local counsel to navigate the complexities of various legal systems.
Overall, an M&A attorney plays a crucial role in counseling clients through the intricate mergers and acquisitions process. Ensuring legal compliance and safeguarding their interests throughout the transaction.
Occupational Outlook & Wage
This article introduced and described several of the most prevalent legal careers. Obviously, the comprehensive list of legal specializations is much longer. Even the legal professions that we described have varying specializations. For instance, those who begin their careers as personal injury attorneys can later specialize as medical lawyers. Other legal professions include environmental attorneys, military attorneys, and contract attorneys.
As you can see, a law degree opens up numerous career opportunities. Allowing you to work in various environments and pursue various vocations. In addition to your personal characteristics, your financial situation can significantly impact the legal career you choose. Generally, a vocation in law ensures financial security.