You need an attorney – or think you do. Before calling the first person you find, focus on your needs. Attorneys specialize in areas of law, and you want the person most qualified for your life, problem, or business. Here’s a simple guide to 26 types of attorneys and how they can help you.
Just like it sounds. Here’s your spirit guide through the process of legal separation. Divorce law is one element under the family law umbrella. Whether contentious or amicable, your split will go smoother with the support and professional knowledge of a divorce attorney when it comes to properties, assets, and keeping sane.
Family Law Attorney
Adoption, juvenile delinquency, paternity issues, child abuse, custody concerns, divorce, and all things family-related fall under the auspices of family law. If you’re thinking of adopting, you want to find a lawyer who specializes in that particular type of family law, and so forth and so on.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Get tangled up in the law? A criminal defense attorney specializes in all stages of the criminal process including support and counsel through arrest, investigation, charges, sentencing, and appeals. Look for an attorney who is known for your specific concern, they’ll have more experience and know the nuances of the law in regards to the allegation at hand.
These folks will prepare your paperwork, guide you through the process, educate you on what to expect, and advise on what type of bankruptcy to file for. They also represent you during the hearings. This can be a small investment up front that will save your soul if paperwork and organization are not your strong suits.
Navigating the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services can be challenging at best. Even with a straightforward application, the paperwork is crushing. An immigration attorney will help you properly file, keep up to date on your status, and advise you in all areas. Legal advice is especially recommended for obstacles such as previous criminal charges, any deportation proceedings, or the facing of unanticipated delays.
Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured (physically, psychologically, economically, or in reputation) by the neglect or mal-intent of another, you may seek redress with a personal injury lawyer. These attorneys specialize in tort law, the law of civil wrongs such as car accidents, company wrongdoing, unlawful imprisonment, and you know, all that Judge Judy stuff.
Over .08? The law doesn’t smile on that. Often for first-time offenders planning on pleading guilty, a lawyer can’t do much beyond manage the paperwork and be present at hearings. However, if you’re a repeat offender, there are mitigating circumstances (I wasn’t drinking! My mouthwash had high alcohol content!), or you don’t plan on pleading guilty, it might be wise to retain a DUI lawyer.
Real Estate Attorney
Buying or selling a home? Sharing assets with family? Appraising? Foreclosing? A real estate attorney will help document, negotiate, file foreclosures, and go to bat (aka court) for you if the real estate deal goes awry.
Sometimes it’s hard to get along. Exes, former bosses, shared parenting, and other emotion-fraught relationships can use a neutral party to guide everyone in clear communication. A mediator is not a lawyer and will not represent you in court, but they will help you have peace of mind throughout the process.
Civil attorneys represent you when you’re being sued or suing someone. You won’t go to jail (in contrast to a criminal case) if you lose, but you will have to pay monetary damages. Common civil cases include recouping alimony, defending your civil rights, settling debt, or addressing personal injury.
Wills and Estate Planning
No one likes talking about death, but it’s better than leaving your children or siblings to sort out your estate. A clearly planned will makes the time of mourning easier for everyone. Additionally, an estate attorney will develop a legal will, create trusts in your behalf, and ensure the proper execution of your estate after you pass away.
Taxes are rough, but not impossible. But in some instances it’s better not to go it alone. If you have a tax dispute with the IRS (they say you owe money you think you paid, for example), get back up immediately. Complicated taxes are another good example of when legal help can save you, such as a new marriage with varying assets and incomes or a pending divorce.
Traffic Law Attorney
If your license is going to be suspended from crazy tickets, unpaid fines, or some other unresolved court concern, a traffic law attorney could be your ticket to freedom. They’ll advise you, negotiate on your behalf (hey, maybe you don’t have to lose your driving privileges!), and represent you in court.
Labor and Employment Attorney
Workplace discrimination, negotiating severance, unlawful lay-offs, and anytime you’re in over your head when it comes to your employer relations are times to turn to a labor and employment attorney. They’re especially helpful for non-unionized employees who do not have an outside party advocating on their behalf.
Perfect for small business owners—attorneys who specialize in contracts will help compose, negotiate, and enact legally recognized contracts.
Corporate Law Attorney
A corporate law attorney will ensure your business is operating on the up and up, advise on contracts, and help the company navigate decisions in regards to legal rights and duties. Basically, they’ll keep your company out of hot water. Many specialize in various industries, so align yourself with someone who’s an expert in your field.
Spanish, French, Japanese, German, and Mandarin are just some of the court interpreting services available on Thumbtack. Court interpreters also provide dictation services if you need written documentation of what is transpiring. Court interpretation is a specialized field, so it’s best not to rely on a bilingual friend or family member to fill this role when it comes to legal matters.
Navigating the applications for disability support services can be exhausting. A disability attorney assists with the application, appeals, hearings, and consultations for mental, physical, or medical disability services. You don’t have to figure it out alone.
New Business Incorporation Attorney
Starting a new business is full of surprises. The United States government Small Business Administration provides a host of resources, but sometimes you need professional help. An attorney versed in the minutiae of properly launching businesses will save you money and time in the long run.
Find protection against creepy companies, predatory bank practices, underhanded advertising, and issues with consumer goods. If you’ve been harmed physically or financially by unethical business practices call on a consumer attorney for help. Even if you don’t need legal help, you can report unethical practices to the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection.
Intellectual Property Attorney
Intellectual property law protects all things you create—the logo for your software company, a poem you wrote, or that revolutionary new ceiling fan you invented. Under the umbrella of this law you’ll find patents, trademarks, and copyrights.
If you want to get a patent for your incredible invention, or file an opposition against someone stealing your design, a patent lawyer will represent you and protect your interests.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office recommends trademark applicants hire a trademark attorney. They state trademark lawyers have access to a more comprehensive database of trademarks than the average joe can find online, and they acknowledge there are complicated legal proceedings involving specific steps and strict timelines. Best go in armed with professional help.
Protect your ideas, art, and words by applying for a copyright. A lawyer can help ease the process. Also, if you believe someone is pirating your goods or misrepresenting something you created (and copyrighted) as their own, a copyright lawyer can fight against that infringement.
International Law Attorney
Human rights, international business, and cross-border tax concerns are just some of the areas that attorneys who specialize in international law will assist you. If it’s bigger than you know how to handle alone, it’s better to call in backup.
Whether starting a business, getting out of trouble, or settling family matters, Thumbtack has your back.