Lawyers are like horses; there are many breeds available, each with its own strengths. But are you riding, racing, or roping at the rodeo? As with horses, each legal specialty fills a specific need. There are 814,000 lawyers in the United States – what exactly do they all do? Here are some ideas on how to select the type of lawyer you need for the most common legal issues. 

Civil Litigation

Lawyers who routinely go to court on behalf of clients are litigators, and many specialize in areas such as personal injury, corporate, tax, etc. The general term “civil litigator” refers to an attorney who represents clients in civil (not criminal) court, either as plaintiff or defendant. The most common kinds of civil litigation involve contract disputes (ie alimony, injury, debt), class action lawsuits (ie discrimination), property disputes and complaints filed against a government body. This article explains how to know if you need a civil litigation attorney. Civil litigation software helps attorneys stay organized and manage their cases and clients in one place.

Real Estate

Real estate attorneys handle purchase agreements, mortgages, title documents, and transfer documents. They represent individual buyers and sellers, developers, landlords, and tenants. Simply put, the most common scenarios to use a real estate attorney is when you buy or sell real estate. Cloud-based law firm management software assists real estate attorneys by facilitating collaborative document management and project tracking in a seamless and secure environment. 

Criminal Law

Criminal lawyers are attorneys who defend individuals and organizations against government charges in federal and state courts. Criminal lawyers understand the rules around arrest, arraignment, bail, pleas, proof, and related issues. Some of the most common crimes requiring criminal lawyers include homicide, sexual battery and assault. Criminal law software helps criminal attorneys manage their businesses. 

Personal Injury

If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of another person or company, you will want to engage a personal injury lawyer. Even though personal injury attorneys usually work on a contingent fee basis (i.e., no monthly bills to prepare and send), you will find that many are using personal injury case management software to help them better manage their cases, control costs, and increase overall returns. The most common personal injury claims are from car accidents and slip and fall accidents.

Medical Malpractice

If you’ve been hurt by a medical professional, a personal injury lawyer specializing in medical malpractice can help you seek compensation for the harm done. The most common medical malpractice cases include misdiagnosis, inaccurate treatment, and medical negligence. Unpaid medical bills can lead to a medical lien being placed on the victim, which is another very common reason to hire a medical malpractice attorney.

Employment Law

Both employees and employers seek out employment lawyers to deal with legal issues related to the workplace.  Some of the most common types of cases handled by employment lawyers are contracts, wrongful termination, workplace harassment, retaliation, and workplace discrimination

Workers’ Compensation

A mix of employment law and personal injury law, if you’ve been injured on the job, you will be working with a workers’ compensation lawyer. Workers’ compensation lawyers specialize in helping workers navigate the unique laws that apply to people who have been injured on the job. A workers’ compensation lawyer typically has a large number of cases to manage, each with its own deadlines, so look for a firm using a modern cloud-based law firm management system. The Department of Labor administers four major disability compensation programs.

Family Law

A family practice lawyer deals with legal issues related to all types of family situations. Be it a prenuptial agreement, adoption, or divorce, if you are involved in a family law matter, don’t be surprised to find your attorney using Smokeball family lawyer software to help them generate accurate pleadings and documents, and communicate effectively with clients.

Immigration

Immigration lawyers help immigrants, and employers seeking to hire them, with legal issues related to the status of immigrants and their families. Immigration lawyers help with visas, green cards, citizenship, and asylum and refugee status. Immigration laws change constantly, so it’s important to consult an experienced attorney in these situations. Case management software for immigration lawyers tracks the dates and deadlines for each of their many files and keeps all of their contacts in one place. 

Estate Planning

If you need a will, advanced medical directives, or thoughtful planning about how your assets will be handled when you pass away, you will be working with an estate planning lawyer. Estate planning includes tax aspects for wealthier individuals, but is mainly driven by state law, so be sure to look for a firm that is local. Estate planning lawyers are in demand now, so plan ahead if you are able. 

Intellectual Property 

Intellectual property attorneys (“IP attorneys”) help companies, artists, and inventors with legal issues concerning copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets and the like.  IP attorneys spend a lot of time working with clients to help them avoid infringing upon the rights of others and making sure that their intellectual property is properly protected under the law.  

Corporate Law

Corporate lawyers handle business entity formation, governance and compliance issues. Corporate lawyers also review contracts and give advice related to mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, financing, and securities laws.

Tax 

If you owe taxes or if you’re being sued by the Internal Revenue Service or a state or local tax agency, a tax lawyer will help you resolve the issues.  Future tax planning, tax fraud, tax evasion, and failure to file tax returns are all issues that an experienced tax attorney can tackle.

Bankruptcy 

If you’ve experienced financial setbacks and are unable to pay your debts, a bankruptcy lawyer can help you get debt relief in the form of a repayment plan or a discharge of your debts via bankruptcy. Some of the most common reasons a person seeks out a bankruptcy lawyer are for medical debt, mortgage foreclosure, and credit card debt.

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No matter what kind of legal issue you’re facing, there are lawyers who can handle your case, and finding the right one is essential to your peace of mind. If you’re looking to hire an attorney using the best organization, communication, and management tools available, add one simple question to your due diligence: Are you using Smokeball?