6 Types of Lawyers and Their Roles in the Legal System

Surya Yadav



The legal field encompasses many types of lawyers with various specialties. As a regular person navigating life, you’ll probably encounter some of these in your lifetime. Did you know that in just one state in the United States, such as Colorado, there are approximately 22,802 active attorneys (Source: American Bar Association? This demonstrates how in-demand lawyers are. 

Whether buying a house, writing a will, or dealing with a lawsuit, knowing the distinctions between legal professionals can help you find the right one for your needs. This guide breaks down the six most common types of lawyers and what they do to help clarify things. Read on to better understand the legal landscape and find the lawyer that fits your situation.

Personal Injury Lawyers

If you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, a personal injury lawyer can help you pursue compensation from the responsible party. 

A personal injury lawyer will investigate your claim to determine who is liable for your damages. They will gather evidence like witness statements, medical records, and reports from the accident scene. If a settlement can’t be reached, the attorney may file a lawsuit on your behalf to take the case to court. 

The compensation these lawyers seek includes payment for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other accident-related expenses. They work on contingency, meaning you typically don’t pay any upfront legal fees. 

The specific personal injury attorney you need depends on the type of accident. Car accident lawyers handle vehicle collisions, premises liability lawyers deal with injuries on another’s property, and medical malpractice lawyers address negligence by health care providers. If you live in Colorado and are in such a situation, consider hiring Scott O’Sullivan. Scott is a personal injury attorney who’s actually local to Colorado and has helped victims since 1996. He specializes in car and motorcycle accidents, Vibrio vulnificus injuries, and drunk driving cases. Trust Scott O’Sullivan to guide you through the legal process and fight for your rights.

Conclusively, whatever the situation, personal injury attorneys aim to relieve the burden on victims by fighting for the compensation they deserve.

Criminal Lawyers

Criminal lawyers represent and defend those accused of crimes or prosecute on behalf of the state.

Defending the Accused: They advocate for clients facing criminal charges like theft, assault, or DUI. Investigate the facts of the case, interview witnesses, research laws and past rulings, and determine the best legal strategy. During a trial, they cross-examine witnesses, present contrary evidence, and argue to convince a judge or jury of your client’s innocence or for lesser charges.

Prosecuting for the State: As a prosecutor, they aim to convict those accused of criminal acts. They evaluate police reports, witness statements, and other evidence to determine if there’s enough to charge someone with a crime. If a case goes to trial, they examine witnesses and present arguments to show the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Corporate Lawyers: Advising Businesses

Corporate lawyers are integral in helping businesses achieve their goals and optimize success. Their function is to safeguard the validity of commercial transactions by counseling corporations on their legal duties and rights, including the responsibilities and duties of corporate executives. To do so, they must be familiar with components of contract law, securities law, accounting, tax law, intellectual property rights, bankruptcy, licensing, zoning rules, and the regulations unique to the businesses of the corporations for which they operate.

Their primary functions for businesses include, 

  • Draft and review contracts like licensing contracts, non-disclosure agreements, or merger and acquisition deals 
  • Make sure that company complies with regulations
  •  providing counsel or guidance on a range of legal issues that come up in the day-to-day operations like intellectual property matters, real estate deals, liability issues, or corporate policies
  • Defending the company in court if a legal problem arises 

Real Estate Lawyers

Real estate lawyers handle the legal aspects of property and real estate transactions. Their primary function is to facilitate the transfer of property titles.

Real estate lawyers analyze and finalize the sales contract and other paperwork to guarantee that the legal rights of persons who buy or sell their property or house are protected. Before the sale is finalized, they also search for any existing liens, easements, or other issues with the property title.

Some real estate lawyers also assist clients in inheritance and estate planning matters by drafting wills, trusts, and other papers to enable property transfer after death. They also work to ensure that the client’s final wishes about their assets and property are carried out following the law and their will. 

Family Lawyers

Family lawyers specialize in legal matters involving family relationships, such as divorce, child custody and support, adoption, and domestic violence. 


Family lawyers help couples legally end their marriage through divorce or annulment. They can advise you on alimony, child custody, visitation rights, division of assets and debts, and more. The divorce process will vary depending on where you live, so a local family lawyer is your best resource to walk you through the steps.

Child Custody and Support

Determining child custody and support arrangements is often one of the most challenging parts of a divorce. Family lawyers represent parents in negotiating custody, visitation schedules, and child support payments in the children’s best interests. They can advise you on the factors courts consider when making these determinations and help you build a persuasive case.


Family lawyers also handle legal matters relating to adoption, such as private, domestic, and international adoptions, as well as foster care adoptions. They help adoptive parents navigate the adoption process from start to finish, ensuring all legal procedures are followed adequately so the adoption is finalized.

Employment Lawyers

An employment lawyer helps both employers and employees navigate issues related to the workplace. Their role is to ensure companies are following proper hiring and firing procedures, as well as make sure employees are being treated fairly according to the law.

 An employee may want to consult an employment lawyer in scenarios like:

  • An employee was wrongly terminated or unfairly fired from a job.
  • The employee thinks he or she is experiencing harassment, discrimination including pregnancy discrimination, or retaliation at work.
  • Employees have questions about their rights related to family or medical leave, pay, or workplace safety.

An employee may want to consult an employment lawyer to

  • Draft proper hiring contracts, non-disclosure agreements, and termination letters.
  • Update employee handbooks and workplace policies to comply with legal requirements.
  • Handle sensitive issues like employee discipline, harassment claims, or requests for accommodation.
  • Defend the company in lawsuits related to wrongful termination, discrimination, or other workplace disputes.


In this article, we introduced and explained some of the most common legal professions and how they can help you fight legal battles, so whether you want to buy a new property, start your startup, or get divorced, there’s a specific lawyer for all such legal matters. The legal world can seem vast and complicated, but understanding the duties of various lawyers makes the system a bit more accessible for you. 

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