Types of lawyers: the main different types of lawyers and what they can do


There are different types of lawyers that specialize in particular areas of the law. This guide outlines the main kinds you may need to know about.

Getting the help of the right types of lawyers can help you keep everything on track more quickly from the start should you face a legal problem. The law is a sprawling and complex document- a qualified pair of eyes can make all the difference when trying to get your disputes settled quickly and easily. 

There are a number of different legal professionals. Depending on your specific needs, different types of lawyers will be best suited to handling your unique grievances. Broadly speaking, most lawyers fall under the category of criminal, corporate, or family law.

Quick guide to types of lawyers

Below, you can find an outline of the jurisdiction of each area and determine which category is best suited to your needs. 

Corporate law

This is the main one of the types of lawyers most commonly used by business, however you should also read about criminal lawyers below as well, as there is some crossover. Corporate law is the branch of the law that you’re most likely to encounter when dealing with business matters. Whether you find yourself on the accusing or defending side, it may surprise you how the law differs between personal and business spheres of operation.

Before setting out on any new business venture, you can minimise any possible risk by ensuring you (and anyone you may be in business with) are well educated on all aspects of corporate law. Much of the time, corporate lawsuits are opened as a result of negligence or ignorance; both issues that are preventable. Issues on the business level can involve many different parties and large sums of money, so it’s important to take care when approaching these matters. 

Corporate lawsuits often consider matters such as copyright disputes, employment issues, or victimising faults in the services provided by a party. These such workplace problems can cause a lot of stress for all individuals involved. Depending on which grievance in particular is being raised, the service of a specialised attorney may be required. As corporate matters often carry the stakes of career and livelihood, they should be handled with the utmost care and fairness. 

It is possible to mitigate any risk of corporate lawsuits occurring, however. While no one can remove one hundred percent of risk in any situation, there are a number of precautions that can be taken with corporate types of lawyers. These can minimise the potential shortcomings of any operation. One such step is to employ a corporate lawyer to work internally. In other words, corporate lawyers can be affiliated with your business even when there is no explicit need for them to represent you in a court of law. In this case, corporate legal professionals can monitor regular business function and help guide decision making on an administrative and operational level. 

Criminal law 

Criminal law is the field of law concerned with cases in which the law has been breached, and this can include business criminal law. Criminal lawyers can be contacted if you are being accused of a crime or if you believe you’ve been the victim of one, or if you have to bring a case against somebody who has perpetrated a criminal business offense. Many different cases fall under this umbrella, however, so it’s important to be more specific if you’re looking for representation in a case of criminal law. It is the job of the criminal types of lawyers representing you in a court of law to convey the sentiments of your needs and ensure your case is handled fairly every step of the way. 

There are a number of crimes that are represented in court in this manner. Some are more serious, such as the white collar crimes of embezzling, fraud, or corporate theft. And then there are the non-business crimes such as assaut manslaughter or murder;  however driving offences are more common and also tend to fall under this category. Driving-related incidents include crimes such as drunk driving, speeding, and reckless behaviour. Due to the severity of some of the cases covered under criminal law, it’s imperative that all incidents covered in court are treated with the sensitivity and professionalism that they deserve. High-quality legal representation can help ensure a fair outcome is reached for all parties involved.  

Depending on the case at hand, you’re going to require an attorney with a tailored specialisation. A criminal lawyer specialising in mistake of fact defences will not be able to handle a driving-related case with the same efficacy as a high-quality DUI attorney. Detailed knowledge of certain aspects of the law can help build a steadfast defence for your case.

Family law

Broadly speaking, the title of ‘family law’ encapsulates a large number of specificities, and these can also cross over into the business world when it affects, for example, divorce between married business partners.

The cases covered by family types of lawyers can range broadly. From custody disputes to will writing and distribution services, family law handles generally domestic disputes regarding the family unit. Family problems can be difficult to deal with at the best of times, meaning that, occasionally, it might be necessary to escalate such grievances to the court of law where a professional can intervene.  Family lawyers also deal with divorce proceedings. These cases can range from routine procedures to complicated cases, so it’s definitely worth having a firm idea of what you want to gain from these processes before beginning. 

Family issues are most likely to lead to further complications due to the potential ambiguity of the problems presented in these cases. It can be difficult to determine what the truth of a matter is in precise terms. Therefore, it is crucial to be upfront with any and all information in these cases. Communication with your family lawyer will ensure that they have all the tools possible at their disposal to reach a satisfactory conclusion for all parties. 


Lawyers are a handy resource to have in your back pocket should the need for them ever arise. Generally, by the time you’re in need of a lawyer, it’s easy to become so buried underneath the stress of other factors that it can be difficult to take the time to find the appropriate representation from the right types of lawyers. It is recommended that you carry out some research even when you don’t necessarily need one. As with all things, it is better to be safe than sorry. Criminal, corporate, and family lawyers will be able to cover just about any problem you’ll face in your professional and private lives. 

Making sure that the legal help you source is trusted is of the utmost importance. Having bad representation can be worse than having no representation at all. By staying smart and checking the experience of any professional you speak to, you can ensure that you’re well-equipped with the right types of lawyers should the worst come to pass. 

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