Legal Advisers (Lawyers) advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes.
Lawyers, also called attorneys, act as both advocates and advisors.
As advocates, they represent one of the parties in criminal or civil trials by presenting evidence and arguing in support of their client.
As advisors, lawyers counsel their clients about their legal rights and obligations and suggest courses of action in business and personal matters. All attorneys research the intent of laws and judicial decisions and apply the laws to the specific circumstances that their clients face.
Lawyers often oversee the work of support staff, such as paralegals and legal assistants.
Lawyers may have different titles and different duties, depending on where they work.
Legal aid lawyers work for private, nonprofit organizations for disadvantaged people. They generally handle civil cases, such as those about leases, job discrimination, and wage disputes, rather than criminal cases.
Lawyers often specialize in a particular area. The following are some examples of types of lawyers:
Environmental lawyers deal with issues and regulations that are related to the environment. They may represent advocacy groups, waste disposal companies, and government agencies to make sure they comply with the relevant laws.
Government counsels commonly work in government agencies. They write and interpret laws and regulations and set up procedures to enforce them. Government counsels also write legal reviews on agencies' decisions. They argue civil and criminal cases on behalf of the government.
Corporate counsels, also called in-house counsels, are lawyers who work for corporations. They advise a corporation's executives about legal issues related to the corporation's business activities. These issues may involve patents, government regulations, contracts with other companies, property interests, taxes, or collective-bargaining agreements with unions.
Criminal law attorneys are also known as prosecutors and defense attorneys.
Prosecutors typically work for the government to file a lawsuit, or charge, against an individual or corporation accused of violating the law.
Defense attorneys work for either individuals or the government (as public defenders) to represent and defend the accused.
Tax lawyers handle a variety of tax-related issues for individuals and corporations. Tax lawyers may help clients navigate complex tax regulations, so that they pay the appropriate tax on items such as income, profits, or property. For example, they may advise a corporation on how much tax it needs to pay from profits made in different states to comply with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules.
Intellectual property lawyers deal with the laws related to inventions, patents, trademarks, and creative works, such as music, books, and movies. An intellectual property lawyer may advise a client about whether it is okay to use published material in the client’s forthcoming book.
Securities lawyers work on legal issues arising from the buying and selling of stocks, ensuring that all disclosure requirements are met. They may advise corporations that are interested in listing in the stock exchange through an initial public offering (IPO) or buying shares in another corporation.
Litigation lawyers handle all lawsuits and disputes between parties. These could be contract disputes, personal injury disputes, and real estate and property disputes. Litigation lawyers may specialize in a certain area, such as personal injury law, or may be a general lawyer for all types of disputes and lawsuits.
Family lawyers handle a variety of legal issues that pertain to the family. They may advise clients regarding divorce, child custody, and adoption proceedings.