Legal Commentary

Legal Issues – Legal Information 

While some people may never have to think about legal issues other than the mundane such as, following the rules of the road, parking where they are supposed to, and abiding by everyday laws, many people find themselves in at least one situation in life where they need legal information and/or advice. When people need legal information or advice it can be advantageous to be informed about basic information on law, how it may affect you, and how to deal with various legal issues.

There are many different reasons that an individual may need a lawyer at one point or another. Some people will need the help of a lawyer just one or a few times in their life for specific issues, other people consistently need the ongoing help of a lawyer for example, for running a business or for complicated taxes.

If you are in a situation where you may need or know that you need a kind of legal help or advice, it can be difficult to know what kind of lawyer you need to talk to and how you can find them. The majority of lawyers specialize in one or a few particular areas of law whereas a few still consider themselves to be general practice lawyers that can help people with a wide variety of legal needs. Many people recommend finding a lawyer that specializes in the particular area or areas of law that your legal needs fall under because there are many nuances and specifics for each area of law. A lawyer who does not specialize in a particular area may not be able to stay fully informed and up to date on the issues that will impact your unique situation.

Knowing about different areas of law and the lawyers that specialize in them may help you to make more informed decisions about your own legal needs.

Lawyers vs Attorneys

Typically, the United States does not make clear distinctions between lawyers and attorneys but other countries do. Technically, a lawyer is simply someone who has successfully completed law school and earned a law degree. A lawyer is not necessarily an attorney unless they have passed a licensing or bar exam in the jurisdiction where they wish to practice law. An attorney is someone who has successfully earned a law degree as well as having passed a licensing exam.

To be an attorney in the United States, a person’s law degree needs to be from an accredited law school in the US and they have to pass the bar exam for the jurisdiction in which they wish to practice.

With this in mind though, in the United States the terms lawyer and attorney are used interchangeably. Many attorneys advertise themselves as lawyers even though they are technically attorneys who are licensed to practice law in the US. While you should not be alarmed if you can only find attorneys who are advertising themselves as lawyers in the area of law you need help with, it is a good idea to ensure that they have the proper credentials for your needs before you agree to hire them as your lawyer.

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