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Types of Lawyers: How Do I Know Which Kind I Need?

Brian J Smith Sept. 16, 2013

We all know that lawyers help represent you in the court of law, but if you found yourself tangled in the legal system, would you know which type of lawyer to turn to? Here is a simplified breakdown of the different types of attorneys and the issues they handle.

Criminal Defense

Criminal defense lawyers represent those who have been accused of breaking the law. In addition to the major offenses like murder or drug crimes, this can also range from white collar crime such as tax fraud, to unpaid casino markers, and even immigration offenses in some cases. While all of these issues are included under the broad term of “criminal defense lawyer,” many defense attorneys have extensive experience in specific categories, so it’s important to ask your lawyer if they have experience handling cases similar to yours.

Personal Injury

Personal injury lawyers work with victims of injury due to motor vehicles, faulty work equipment, and the like. They hold responsible parties accountable and secure financial compensation for those who were injured through no fault of their own.

Medical Malpractice

When doctors perform surgery incorrectly, prescribe incorrect medication, or otherwise injure their patients, a medical malpractice lawyer is needed to settle the case.


Not to be confused with a tax attorney (see below), bankruptcy attorneys focus solely on helping clients file for bankruptcy. They advise which type of bankruptcy to file for, take care of paperwork, and help determine a repayment schedule if applicable.

Tax Attorney

If you own a taxable estate, are starting a business, or are being investigated by the IRS, a tax attorney can help you sort through the legal details of your case.

Contract Law

Contracts are created every day. Whether advice is needed in terms of signing a contract or a party has violated the document’s conditions, a contract law attorney is necessary.

Wills and Estates

If creating a living will or trust, contact a wills and estates attorney. This helps avoid problems with family members fighting over property and other assets. Such lawyers also help with estate planning.

Social Security Disability

Work-related disabilities means receiving help from the Social Security system. Making a claim or appealing a denial often requires a Social Security lawyer, as the process is usually challenging.

While no one plans to find themselves in a legal predicament, knowing who to turn to can make all the difference. To find a criminal defense attorney in Las Vegas, contact Brian J. Smith at (702) 380-8248.