What is a lawyer?

A lawyer is a professional who advises and/or represents clients in legal matters. There are many types of lawyers, covering various areas of the law, including personal injury and criminal cases.

The Different Types of Lawyers and What They Do

Types of lawyers

There are various types of lawyers, each with specific responsibilities depending on their field. Here are the most common types of lawyers and their areas of expertise.

  • Adoption lawyer
  • Bankruptcy lawyer
  • Business lawyer
  • Civil lawyer
  • Defense lawyer
  • Disability lawyer
  • Divorce lawyer
  • DUI lawyer
  • Estate planning lawyer
  • Identity theft lawyer
  • Immigration lawyer 
  • Intellectual property lawyer
  • Labor and employment lawyer
  • Personal injury lawyer
  • Prosecutor
  • Real estate lawyer
  • Tax lawyer
  • Workers’ compensation lawyer
  • Traffic ticket lawyer

Adoption lawyer

Adoption lawyers are legal professionals who specialize in adoption law. They can assist in safeguarding the rights of all parties involved and ensuring that the adopted child receives proper care. Adoption lawyers can be involved in the adoption process from its initial stages. They can help find adoption agencies, manage private adoptions, and take care of all the necessary paperwork and communication. Additionally, adoption lawyers can handle various other aspects related to adoption.

  • Providing legal counsel 
  • Negotiating terms and conditions of an adoption 
  • Mediating disputes or legal actions 
  • Appearing in court if needed

Bankruptcy lawyer

Bankruptcy lawyers offer legal guidance to individuals who are either contemplating or already in the process of filing for bankruptcy. They help their clients with all the necessary legal paperwork and documents needed for the filing and representation in court. Bankruptcy lawyers work as mentors throughout the intricate process of declaring bankruptcy. They offer advice regarding:

  • Whether or not filing for bankruptcy is appropriate 
  • Which type of bankruptcy to file for
  • What to expect after filing
  • Which legal forms may be necessary
  • What assets are acceptable to keep after filing 

Business lawyer

Business lawyers, also known as corporate lawyers, handle a wide range of legal matters that businesses encounter, including malpractice lawsuits, contract negotiation, and mergers. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that every action taken by a business or organization is lawful, conducted with integrity and transparency. They can perform various legal functions, and some of the most common ones are listed below.

  • Opening or starting a business
  • Writing and managing contracts (NDAs, non-competes, mergers, etc.)
  • Commercial property and real estate law 

Civil lawyer

Civil lawyers, also known as civil litigation attorneys or litigators, are legal professionals who deal with non-criminal cases. They handle lawsuits related to personal injury, family disputes, employment matters, and real estate. They can also help with issues such as child custody battles, personal relationship problems, and property disputes. Typically, they seek compensation or other forms of redress for their clients.

Defense lawyer

Defense lawyers are legal professionals who represent defendants in criminal trials. Their main objective is to safeguard the rights of the defendant and ensure that the trial is fair and impartial. Defense attorneys develop a defense strategy with the aim of minimizing the punishment for a particular crime. 

Many defense lawyers specialize in a specific area of criminal law and only handle cases related to that area. For instance, some may specialize in violent crimes, while others may focus on drug offenses or petty theft.

Disability lawyer

Disability lawyers, sometimes referred to as ADA lawyers, protect the rights of disabled individuals under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This act, which was signed into law in 1990, prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in all public and private areas of life. It ensures that individuals with disabilities receive equal opportunities in workplaces, government facilities, transportation, and businesses.

When people with disabilities experience discrimination or are not given reasonable accommodations, a disability lawyer can help ensure that they receive proper treatment. This may include making structural updates or securing reparations if necessary.

Divorce lawyer

Divorce lawyers are legal professionals who represent the individuals involved in a divorce or separation. It is important to note that they can only work on behalf of one party, which means that each person will need to hire their own lawyer in the event of a divorce.

All legal aspects of a divorce, which include asset distribution, child custody, and legal advice, are handled by divorce attorneys who have knowledge and expertise in this area of litigation. However, if a prenuptial agreement is signed ahead of time, it could make the divorce process smoother.


DUI lawyer

If you are charged with a DUI (driving under the influence), it is advisable to seek the help of a DUI lawyer who can assist you in navigating the situation. They can provide legal advice and counsel for the next steps to take after the charge is filed. The primary responsibility of a DUI lawyer is to ensure that the outcome of the case is favorable for their client. This may include arguing for a reduced sentence, financial compensation, or even a dismissal of the charge.

Estate planning lawyer

An estate planning lawyer is a professional who assists clients in creating and managing their estates. They possess in-depth knowledge of how estates are inventoried, distributed, and taxed after the death of the owner or a loved one. By providing expert guidance and advice, estate lawyers help their clients understand the estate planning process and navigate it smoothly. They are typically able to oversee the following duties:

  • Creating a will
  • Choosing a beneficiary
  • Establishing durable power of attorney
  • Navigating estate tax laws
  • Keeping the process out of the courts
  • Setting up trusts 

Identity theft lawyer

Identity theft attorneys specialize in helping their clients defend against identity theft, including managing correspondence with financial institutions, protecting against debt collectors, and building a case against the perpetrator in court.

Immigration lawyer:

Immigration lawyers are professionals who help and advise individuals, families, and businesses in navigating the immigration process. They offer assistance with various immigration-related matters such as green card petitions, visa applications, asylum claims, and deportation defense, among others. However, the specific duties of an immigration attorney may vary depending on their area of focus or specialization.

Intellectual property lawyer

Intellectual property lawyers (IPs) protect clients’ copyrights, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, inventions, literary/artistic work, designs, and images.

Labor and employment lawyer

Labor and employment lawyers offer legal representation to both employees and employers. They usually work within industries that have labor unions, such as education or firefighting. These lawyers can assist their clients in creating new unions, negotiating between union members and employers, and engaging in collective bargaining regarding various terms of employment, such as pay, employee benefits, hours, health and safety, and more.

Personal injury lawyer

Personal injury lawyers offer legal representation to individuals who have suffered injuries in any type of accident. They operate in the field of “tort law,” which refers to acts or omissions that may cause an accident or injury. This encompasses safety hazards that have been ignored, neglect, slip and fall accidents, animal bites and attacks, and other liability issues.


A prosecutor is a lawyer who represents either the state or federal government in criminal trials. Generally, they work under the jurisdiction of a district attorney’s office. Prosecutors act as the opposing counsel to defense lawyers and work on behalf of an accuser or victim, who is known as the plaintiff.They handle a number of legal issues, which include:

  • Investigation of accused individuals
  • Drafting the official charges being filed
  • Arguing a case for a plaintiff
  • Plea bargains with defendants 

Real estate lawyer

A real estate attorney manages legal transactions with real property which includes immovable properties such as land, houses, and buildings. Typically, they provide legal advice and handle any necessary legal documents involved in buying or selling real estate. These documents can include:

  • Contracts
  • Additional agreements
  • Titles and deeds
  • Communications and negotiations with the seller and real estate agent 

Tax lawyer

Tax lawyers assist clients in navigating complex tax laws and regulations, understanding tax deductions, credits, and exemptions, and representing them in tax disputes.

Workers’ compensation lawyer

If an employee gets injured or sick while working, they might be eligible for workers’ compensation, which is a form of insurance that covers medical expenses, loss of wages, and other related expenses. A workers’ compensation attorney can assist employees in ensuring that they receive fair and impartial treatment and can hold organizations accountable for any damages incurred.

Traffic ticket lawyer

A traffic lawyer is a legal professional who specializes in handling legal disputes related to traffic. These disputes can include traffic tickets, DUI/DWI offenses, reckless driving, and other traffic-related offenses. Traffic attorneys are knowledgeable in traffic laws and are capable of providing clients with guidance and support throughout the complex legal system. They can potentially help in reducing or dismissing charges, fines, and penalties.

The different types of lawyers give you someone in your corner

There are different types of lawyers available to assist with various legal matters. It is important to identify the type of lawyer that specializes in your specific legal concern. Once you have identified the right lawyer, you can feel more confident in approaching any legal issue that you may face.