34 Types of lawyers: The best and the worst

This post covers types of lawyers.

According to the Statista Research department up to 2021, there are 1.3 Million lawyers in the U.S.

In fact, all those lawyers exist to cater to different legal needs.

Here I will cover 30 plus types of lawyers that can serve as a useful starting point if you are looking for a carrier in the legal field or if you are searching for a lawyer to help you solve your specific legal problem.

These types are purely based on the area of specialization.

Let’s get started

Types of lawyers

The following are the types of lawyers

Litigation lawyers

Litigation lawyers are lawyers who specialize in representing individuals in lawsuits.

The primary role of litigation lawyers is to represent their clients in court in all civil claims.

A litigation lawyer may also narrow his specialization and focus to deal with a specific area of the law- commercial litigation, accident litigation, etc.

The important skill set of the litigation lawyers is reasoning, persuasion, and problem-solving skills.

The best thing about Litigation lawyers is that they earned good money.

The worst thing about litigation lawyers is that it is stressful.

See: Types of lawyers in court (roles & behaviors)

Corporate lawyers

Corporate lawyers deal with all legal concerns concerning corporations, such as their creation, operation, management, dissolution, and compliance.

The primary role of corporate lawyers is to ensure the smooth operation of the corporation.

The important skill set of corporate lawyers is the negotiation and legal drafting.

The best thing about corporate lawyers is that their earning potential depends on who they are working with.

The worst thing about corporate lawyers is that their small mistake (s) can cost millions of money.

Criminal lawyers

Criminal lawyers fight for the rights and liberties of persons accused of criminal wrongdoing.

A criminal lawyer might work for the government or for a private firm.

The primary role of criminal lawyers is to ensure the smooth administration of criminal justice.

The important skill set of criminal lawyers is reasoning and persuasion.

The best thing about criminal lawyers is that they do everything to make sure you’re either guilty or innocent.

The worst thing about criminal lawyers is that it is dangerous.

See: Types of criminal lawyers

Family lawyers

Family lawyers deal with any domestic relations or family-related issues like divorce, separation, child custody, family maintenance, pre-nuptial agreements, domestic violence, marital assets, etc.

The primary role of family lawyers is to help individuals to handle their family issues properly.

The important skill set of family lawyers is interpersonal skills and problem-solving skills.

The best thing about family lawyers is that they are good counselors.

The worst thing about family lawyers is that they always deal with the individuals who used to love each other.

Personal Injury lawyers

Personal injury lawyers specialize in civil litigation and defend clients who have been injured either in car accidents, product liability, industrial accidents, slip and fall, etc,

The primary role of Personal injury lawyers is to help the injured party get compensated.

The important skill set of Personal injury lawyers is negotiation and persuasion.

The best thing about personal injury lawyers is that they are always ready to help you.

The worst thing about personal injury lawyers is that they are dealing with the worst scenarios.

DUI lawyers

Drive under influence (DUI) lawyers specialize in defending drivers accused of operating a vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or other drugs, including prescribed prescriptions.

Driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), operating under the influence (OUI), or a similar word may be used depending on the state.

The primary role of DUI lawyers is to help DUI motorists have their case dismissed, the charges reduced, or regain driving privileges with restrictions.

The important skill set of DUI lawyers is reasoning and persuasion.

The best thing about DUI lawyers is that they are very careful in spotting loopholes.

The worst thing about DUI lawyers is that they are dealing with intoxicated individuals.

Insurance lawyers

Insurance lawyers specialize in defending their clients’ rights over the process of an insurance claim.

In short, insurance lawyers practice insurance law.

The primary role of Insurance lawyers is to help clients handle their insurance issues successfully.

The important skill set of insurance lawyers is negotiation and persuasion.

The best thing about insurance lawyers is that they are dedicated to helping their clients.

The worst thing about insurance lawyers is that they get paid contingency fees by a percentage if they win a case.

Banking & Finance lawyers

Banking and finance lawyers specialised in money-related related issues, from personal loans to corporate business deals.

The primary role of Banking and finance lawyers is to support negotiations, structure, handle financial arrangements, and conduct due diligence in accordance with applicable banking and finance laws.

The important skillsets of Banking and finance lawyers are due diligence, interpersonal skills, negotiation, and legal drafting.

The best thing about Banking and finance lawyers is that they are reliable.

The worst thing about Banking and finance lawyers is that they always work under pressure.

Tax lawyers

Tax lawyers specialize in the complicated topic of taxation.

Tax lawyers are knowledgeable in every detail of the IRS tax code, particularly in areas like business taxes, individual taxes, and tax disputes.

The primary role of Tax lawyers is to help clients with all tax-related issues including audits, collections, and appeals.

The important skill set of Tax lawyers is negotiation and persuasion.

The best thing about Tax lawyers is that they are the happiest lawyers.

The worst thing about Tax lawyers is that tax laws change a lot, you have to stay up to date.

Estate planning lawyers

An estate planning lawyers are knowledgeable about property rights, wills, probate, and trusts.

They give legal advice and support to ensure that client assets pass correctly both inside and outside the will or trust, as well as that tax and legal issues are dealt with effectively.

The important skill set of an estate planning lawyer is legal drafting and interpersonal skills.

The best thing about estate planning lawyers is that they help people to plan their life before they are gone.

The worst thing about Tax lawyers is that you will more need them when your loved one is gone.

Copyright lawyers

Copyright lawyers are Intellectual property attorneys that specialize in copyright law.

They are dealing with a range of copyright  matters including

The important skill set of Copyright lawyers is creativity, interpersonal skills, and persuasion.

The best thing about Copyright lawyers is that they are always updated.

The worst thing about Copyright lawyers is that they are a bit complicated.

Patent lawyers

Patent lawyers work in the field of intellectual property law and specialize in patents.

They represent clients in obtaining patents and act in all aspects and procedures connected to patent law and practice, such as filing patent applications and patent disputes.

The important skill set of patent lawyers is legal drafting and persuasion.

The best thing about patent lawyers is that they have the technological expertise to represent their clients.

The worst thing about patent lawyers is that they always need to adhere to the newest scientific developments.

Trademark lawyers

Trademark lawyers work in the field of intellectual property law and specialize in Trade and service marks law.

The primary role of Trademark lawyers is to help clients protect and enforce their trademark rights by registering, using, and exploitation of new and existing trademarks.

The important skill set of Trademark lawyers is legal drafting and persuasion

The best thing about trademark attorneys is that they are technologically savvy when it comes to representing their clients.

The worst thing about trademark lawyers is that they have to keep up with the latest scientific advancements all the time.

 Oil and gas lawyers

Mining, Oil, and gas lawyers specialize in legal issues concerning valuable natural resources including mining, gas, oil, and other energies.

Oil and gas lawyers represent individuals and businesses involved in all areas of oil and gas production- drilling companies, and landowners.

Oil and gas lawyers help in negotiate and draft agreements, handle disputes also work for the state and federal governments to manage the permitting process, create regulations, and enforce environmental regulations that impact the oil and gas industry.

The important skill set of  Oil and gas lawyers is negotiation, legal drafting, interpersonal skills, and problem-solving skills.

The best thing about Oil and gas lawyers is that they have their choice between full-time work for an oil and gas company, contractual work for landowners, or government employment.

The worst thing about oil and gas lawyers is that their practice is limited to the states that have significant amounts of oil and gas production.

Human right lawyers

Human rights lawyers specialize in human rights law.

Their important role is to promote, preserve and protect human rights by providing legal counsel to victims of human rights violations and ensuring that all humans have the same basic rights and dignities.

The important skill set of Human rights lawyers includes legal drafting, legal research,  negotiation, and interpersonal skills.

The best thing about human rights lawyers is that they convert other people’s problems to be theirs.

The worst thing about human rights lawyers is that they work in a risky environment.

Environmental lawyers

Environmental lawyers specialize in environmental law.

They assist clients with environmental legal matters such as clean technology, water law, climate change law, and the administration of native title and other public lands.

They may also concentrate on Environmental rights, international environmental law, the law of the sea, international resource law, Climate change, sustainability, and renewable energy.

The important skill set of Environmental lawyers is research, analysis, negotiation, persuasion, and interpersonal skills.

The best thing about environmental lawyers is that they represent various environmental interests.

The worst thing about environmental lawyers is that they need additional knowledge in science and biology.

ICT lawyers

ICT lawyers specialized in Internet and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Their primary responsibility is to provide individualized digital law advice with the goal of providing solutions that are adapted to the specific needs of each Internet and ICT industry including but not limited to

  • Internet consulting: websites, online sales, and information societies
  • Marketing online, social networks, and social media
  • Advice for promotions and competitions on the internet
  • Advice for telecommunications
  • Advice on personal data protection
  • etc.

The important skill set of ICT lawyers is legal drafting, legal research, ICT,  and analysis.

The best thing about ICT’s lawyers is that they are active and updated

The worst thing about ICT lawyers is that they are working in a complex digital environment.

Bankruptcy lawyers

Bankruptcy lawyers are specialists in the United States Bankruptcy Code and deal with insolvency concerns for people and businesses.

They are dealing with consumer and commercial bankruptcy.

Their main responsibility is to help clients with financial restructurings, plan confirmations, and valuation disputes.

The important skillsets of Bankruptcy lawyers are legal drafting, interpersonal skills, negotiation, and persuasion.

The best thing about Bankruptcy lawyers is that they can steer you in the right legal direction.

The worst thing about Bankruptcy lawyers is that they are dealing with broke clients

Constitutional lawyers

Constitutional lawyers specialize in interpreting and administering the United States Constitution while balancing the interests of government institutions and individuals.

Their primary responsibilities include

  • challenging the constitutionality of legislation
  • representing individuals in discrimination suits
  • working as a constitutional law expert at a university
  • They may be involved in civil rights disputes, and some may argue legal matters before state supreme courts or the Supreme Court of the United States

The important skillsets of constitutional lawyers are legal research, critical thinking, and communication skills

The best thing about constitutional lawyers is that they help to protect the rights of individual citizens.

The worst thing about constitutional lawyers is prestige.

Employment and labor lawyers

Employment and labor lawyers specialize in employment and labor laws.

They are dealing with the relationship between unions, employers, and employees concerning workplace discrimination, terminations, retirement, harassment, remuneration and hours regulations, benefits, pension security, etc.

While labor lawyers and employment lawyers have similar obligations, labor lawyers specialize in union-management interactions and collective bargaining, whereas employment lawyers deal with non-union workplace issues-overtime, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and workers’ compensation.

The important skillsets of employment and labor lawyers are legal drafting, negotiation, and communication skills.

The best thing about employment and labor lawyers is that they help to check and balance the employer-employee relationship

The worst thing about employment and labor lawyers is that they charge higher.

Entertainment lawyers

Entertainment lawyers specialize in legal issues surrounding entertainment.

They work with athletes, musicians, actors, and other media-related clients or brands in protecting their intellectual property, negotiate contracts and price agreements, represent their clients in disputes, and act as a legal bridge between entertainers and other stakeholders.

The important skillsets of entertainment lawyers are legal drafting, negotiation, and interpersonal skills

The best thing about entertainment lawyers is that they help to create a fair environment in the entertainment industry.

The worst thing about entertainment lawyers is that they need to be highly knowledgeable in other areas of the law like IP, contracts, ADR, etc.

Immigration lawyers

Immigration lawyers specialize in immigration law.

They are dealing with;

The important skillsets of Immigration lawyers are legal drafting and interpersonal skills.

The best thing about entertainment lawyers is that they help foreigners to handle complex immigration issues.

The worst thing about entertainment lawyers is that they are always dealing with foreigners.

Real estate lawyers

Real estate lawyers specialize in real estate issues including buying and selling the land/house, zoning, etc.

Their responsibilities include

  • Drafting land sale documentation
  •  Conducting due diligence in real estate transactions
  • Negotiate real estate deals
  • handle evictions and foreclosures issues
  • etc.

The important skillsets of Real estate lawyers are legal drafting, negotiation, and interpersonal skills.

The best thing about Real estate lawyers is that they are reliable.

The worst thing about Real estate lawyers is that they are dealing with many legal issues at once.

Public Interest  Lawyers

Public Interest Lawyers (PIL) focus on helping underrepresented people rather than to make money.

Public interest lawyers are termed to be the happiest type of lawyers because they use their legal expertise to advocate for vital issues and on behalf of disenfranchised clients who would otherwise have little chance in our legal system.

It’s no surprise that public interest lawyers experience great fulfillment in their legal professions since they do work that is interesting, engaging, personally meaningful, and focused on helping others.

There are PIL who focus on criminal matters (through public defender offices) and others who deal with civil matters (most commonly through civil legal aid offices).

PIL deals with a lot of things including but not limited to issues involving discrimination based on race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation; gender issues; the rights of disabled people, human rights abuses, etc.

In short, you must see PIL whenever you feel that your civil rights have been unreasonably violated.

They prefer to work with American Civil Liberties Union, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Resources Defense Council, and other nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to helping underrepresented people.

The important skillsets of public Interest Lawyers are legal drafting, critical thinking, negotiation, and interpersonal skills.

The best thing about Public Interest lawyers is that they focus on helping people.

The worst thing about Public Interest lawyers is that they work for free! Ooh sorry, for the public interest.

Medical Malpractice lawyers

Medical Malpractice lawyers specialized in helping people who suffered from medical practitioner errors.

These lawyers represent people who have been harmed as a result of improper treatment, negligence, botched operation, or misdiagnosis.

They file medical malpractice lawsuits and deal with insurance companies for a settlement.

They may also represent health practitioners when they health practitioners are accused of malpractice.

The important skillsets of Medical Malpractice lawyers are legal drafting, negotiation, and interpersonal skills.

The best thing about Medical Malpractice lawyers is that they are dedicated to helping their clients.

The worst thing about Medical Malpractice lawyers is that they are dealing with complex issues.

Contract lawyer

Contract lawyers specialize in contract law.

They are dealing with the formation, operation, and discharge of the contracts.

They assist clients with the drafting and enforcement of agreements.

They are also helpful for contract breach lawsuits, contract dispute counseling, advising, and contract negotiation.

The important skillsets of contract lawyers are legal drafting, negotiation, and interpersonal skills.

The best thing about contract lawyers is that they are very attentive to detail.

The worst thing about contract lawyers is that they love templates.

 Merger & Acquisition Lawyers

Mergers and acquisitions lawyers are corporate or business lawyers that specialize in serving as counsel during mergers and acquisitions transactions.

Their key role is to handle all legal concerns of Mergers and acquisitions deals.

  • They conduct due diligence
  • They draft all necessary documentation-  MoU, confidentiality agreements, etc.
  • Obtain necessary approvals
  • Negotiate
  • etc.

The important skillsets of Mergers and acquisitions lawyers are legal drafting, negotiation, and interpersonal skills.

The best thing about Mergers and acquisitions lawyers is that they are highly specialized.

The worst thing about Mergers and acquisitions lawyers is that they still need to be familiar with several legal fields and business practices.

Capital markets & securities lawyers

Capital markets & securities lawyers specialize in Capital markets & securities law.

They conduct due diligence on companies and their securities; oversee and advise on IPOs, and represent clients in litigious matters involving capital markets and securities.

Securities attorneys also counsel clients on corporate governance and how to comply with securities regulations

The important skillsets of Capital markets & securities lawyers are due diligence, legal drafting, negotiation, and interpersonal skills.

The best thing about Capital markets & securities lawyers is that they are experts in their field.

The worst thing about Capital markets & securities lawyers is that they must still be knowledgeable in a variety of legal fields and corporate practices.

Workers’ compensation lawyers

Workers’ compensation lawyers specialize in helping the employee who has suffered a work-related injury or illness at work to get compensation.

Their main duties are to develop medical evidence to prove workers’ claims, negotiate a settlement, represent workers at workers’ compensation hearings, and advise workers on Third-Party claims and other potential benefits.

The important skillsets of  Workers’ compensation lawyers are legal drafting, negotiation, and interpersonal skills.

The best thing about Workers’ compensation lawyers is that they simplify the process of recovering workers’ compensation benefits.

The worst thing about Workers’ compensation lawyers is that those who work for the insurance company won’t hesitate to reject your compensation claim for dubious reasons.

Civil rights lawyer

Civil rights lawyers are experts in the field of civil rights law.

They represent people who have had their civil rights violated by the government, its agencies, or any other form of authority.

These attorneys play a critical role in ensuring that their client’s constitutional rights, such as the right to privacy, voting rights, freedom of speech, expression, religion, and the press, are protected.

The important skillsets of Civil rights lawyers are legal research, legal drafting, critical thinking, and communication skills

The best thing about Civil rights lawyers is that they protect people from unfair treatment.

The worst thing about Civil rights lawyers is that you may work for free.

Military lawyers

Military attorneys, also known as Judge Advocate Generals (JAGs), are lawyers who work only for the United States military branches of the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Navy to represent military members’ in civil and criminal cases.

JAGs are in charge of a wide range of legal activities, including advising commanders on military, civilian, and international law; acting as counsel for court-martials; preparing clients for trial; drafting and preparing contract documents, and technical writing and maintenance of military handbooks.

The best thing about Military lawyers is that they are multipurpose (Knowledgeable in many legal fields).

The worst thing about Military lawyers is that they are based in the military.

Privacy lawyers

Privacy lawyers specialize in the law of privacy.

They are dealing with all legal issues concerning formulating, applying, and protecting the privacy of individuals or corporations.

They create privacy policies, arrange a data transfer agreement, and sue anyone that violates your rights.

They can also assist you in recovering damages for any losses you have incurred as a result of a privacy breach.

The important skillsets of Privacy lawyers are legal drafting, critical thinking, and litigation.

The best thing about Privacy lawyers is that they care about people’s privacy.

The worst thing about Privacy lawyers is that should ideally be knowledgeable in various areas involving the right to privacy.

Social Security Disability Lawyers

Social Security Disability Lawyers specialize in Social Security disability law.

They assist Social Security Disability clients with determining eligibility and petitioning for benefits, as well as submitting appeals when benefits have been terminated or denied.

The important skillsets of a Social Security Disability Lawyers are legal drafting, negotiation, and interpersonal skills.

The best thing about Social Security Disability Lawyers is that they increase the chances of the petitions being approved

The worst thing about Social Security Disability Lawyers is that they operate on a contingency fee basis, which means they receive compensation as a percentage of a successfully filed disability claim.

International lawyers

International lawyers specialize in any cross-border law subject for example international human rights, international taxation, international trade law, Private international law, Public international law, Supranational Law, etc.

International lawyers may be involved in contract negotiations, international dispute resolution, and other international matters.

Being an international lawyer necessitates an awareness of various legal systems as well as the origins of international law.

An international tax lawyer, for example, must determine the tax consequences of cross-border transactions and aid clients in lowering their worldwide effective tax rates.

In actuality, becoming an International Lawyer entails knowing how a plethora of laws and regulations interact, as well as how to apply these rules and precedents to better serve their clients.

The important skillsets of international tax lawyers are critical thinking, analytical reasoning, legal research, and writing.

The best thing about International Lawyers is that they are very few.

The worst thing about International Lawyers is that it is complex.

Conclusion

While I’ve covered some of the most prevalent types of lawyers in this post, depending on the industry or specialty you’re interested in, there are many more types of lawyers to consider.

For example, Personal injury lawyers may specialize in specific areas such as slip and fall accidents, motor vehicle accidents, medical negligence, or pharmaceutical company claims.

As you can see, working in the legal field opens up many career options, allowing you to work in a variety of settings and live a variety of lives.

I’m also confident that this post is a great central point if you’re looking for a career in the legal area and if you are looking for a lawyer to assist you with a specific legal issue.

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Isack Kimaro

Editor-in-chief and founder of sherianajamii.com. Holder of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) and Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. Lawyer by profession and blogger by passion.

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