September 6, 2020

Types of Lawyersmajor food groups for clients

When folks reach out to me for legal help, it sometimes turns out that I’m not the kind of lawyer they need. I like to tell these folks that if I can’t be the lawyer they need, I can at least help them find the lawyer they need.

Step one is usually handing over the jargon for the kind of lawyer, size of practice, and perhaps the name of a specialty, to narrow down the field. I often explain this to clients as “search terms”. In my own mind, I think about them calling their local bar association’s lawyer referral service. When the voice says “How can I help you?”, what’s their best answer?

Nothing emphasizes how complicated the “family tree” of lawyerdom has become like trying to explain it to intelligent people who don’t know already. So I can link to it later, and on the odd chance it might help some Internet passersby, I’ve published a new page with an outline of types of lawyers, as well as some other common ways we slice and dice the legal practice community.

The main outline is by kind of practice, with the major categories of litigator, transactional lawyer, neutral, and lobbyist. Drilling down, I branch out, until finally I end up listing a few specialties. No outline like this could ever be complete. But this one reflects what folks ask me for the most. I’ll update it over time, as inspiration strikes and folks feed back.

Good hunting.

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