Most people are likely to need the services of a lawyer at some time in their lives. The best time to seek one is not necessarily when you get into some legal trouble, but before that problem arises.
Attorneys can help with a variety of issues, anything from criminal law to probate law, such as helping someone draw up a will. They can advise you in real estate transactions or help you organize a business. Continue reading to see how a lawyer can help you.
A lawyer is your road map to the legal system. The lawyer is the one who navigates for you as you head through the laws that cover whatever issue you are addressing.
“How a Lawyer Can Help You,” a pamphlet distributed by the Pennsylvania Bar Association, suggests that people should not handle their own legal affairs. It states that lawyers “are trained to safeguard the rights of the general public.”
The U.S. Department of Labor defines a lawyer as someone whose duties typically include:
A civil lawyer can help represent you in litigation when a legal issue enters the courtroom, or before the matter gets to that stage. Some attorneys may favor arguing before a judge or jury while others may try to negotiate a settlement before it reaches that point.
Lawyers do not spend their entire time in a courtroom. Lawyers also research the law, offer advice to clients and prepare cases. Their duties may include preparing legal documents, collecting evidence, selecting jurors and analyzing laws that fit a specific case.
Attorneys may have different areas of specialization in which they focus. While it differs, many attorneys are either criminal lawyers, which means they defend or prosecute people accused of a crime, or civil lawyers handling non-criminal matters, including business disputes, divorces and child custody issues.
The Pennsylvania Bar Association suggests seeing an attorney before, not after, a legal problem occurs. Talking to a lawyer can prevent big and serious problems from happening later.
The American Bar Association suggests seeing a civil lawyer before signing a real estate deal, making a will or signing written contracts. It is also wise to seek an attorney’s advice when organizing a business or dealing with tax problems.
Other times suggested include when there are domestic or marital problems, accidents that involve property damage or someone who is injured, and when you are sued or you plan to sue someone else.
It is especially important to seek a criminal lawyer if you are accused of a crime or questioned by law enforcement.
If you do not speak English well, there are many Spanish-speaking lawyers and lawyers who speak other languages who can help you.
The biggest thing a lawyer does is act as your advocate and counsel. A lawyer represents you when dealing with the law and advises you on important decisions.
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