People generalize about lawyers all the time, but never realize it. When someone is asked what a certain person is doing, they might be told that they’re a lawyer. That’s also where the conversation usually ends, but there is more to it. Although there are general practice lawyers, there are also people who specialize in specific fields of the law. That means that there are criminal lawyers, divorce lawyers, tax lawyers, and family lawyers, to name a few. So, what’s the difference between all of them?
First, the most common type of lawyer that people usually hear about is a general practice lawyer. This is a kind of jack-of-all-trades lawyer who can practice in multiple fields of the law. This is also where younger lawyers land before they’ve decided on what they’re specialty will be. Smaller towns and villages tend to have general practices because of the limited business available. Larger cities, like Toronto, however, are able to support specialized firms, so they aren’t seen very often in metropolitan areas.
What large cities tend to see more of are specialized firms in areas like criminal law. This is the next most common type of lawyer the like of which is seen in the paper and on T.V. These are the people that are called when someone is in real trouble! Criminal lawyers are hired to prosecute or protect people who have been accused of breaking the part of the law that has to do with the safety of society. Burglary, arson, theft: these are all within the field of criminal law. It might seem like the most exciting of the many fields of law, but these are also the guys that a person hopes that they will never have to call!
Accident and personal injury law has become more popular in the last few decades and has to do with people who are seeking recompense for any wrongs that have been done to them and is no fault of their own. This means accidents at work due to insufficient safety precautions or it could be a person seeking damages as a result of being in a car accident that was caused by another person.
There are actually many other fields, like tax law, that also exist but at this point, the specializations in law become myriad and are things that most people will never have the chance to experience in their lives. The only major field that people will likely have some involvement with is the area of family law.
Family law is an aptly named field of the law that has to do with family relationships and disputes. Family law deals with issues around adoption, divorce, legal custody, paternity, child emancipation, visitation rights, alimony, and even prenuptial agreements! If that sounds like a lot to cover, it is. Family lawyers are needed in just about every family dispute that can’t be resolved outside of a court, but they are instrumental in helping families to function better!