A Review of the Different Types of Law

The legal field is complex and contains multiple legal specialties. While one attorney may represent clients contesting a will, another may work as a prosecutor on a murder trial to persuade a jury to convict the defendant. Lawyers aren’t always engaged in trials or going to court, either. Some primarily work in offices, reviewing contracts and creating legal documents.

Understanding the various legal fields is essential for clients and aspiring attorneys. Clients must ensure they hire a lawyer with expertise in their field, ensuring their attorney is familiar with case law they can use to strengthen their legal position. Individuals earning their law degree choose a legal specialty to determine which types of cases they handle. Let’s take a closer look at various legal fields so you can determine the type of lawyer you need or the type of attorney you want to become.

Labour Law


Attorneys working in labour law represent employees. These attorneys defend employees in wrongful dismissal suits or situations where their rights are violated. Labour law attorneys such as Malliha Wilson must thoroughly understand federal, provincial, and local employment laws to verify which laws have been broken. Wilson, a senior partner with Nava Wilson LLP, has had an impressive career since graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School. Her experience includes presenting cases before the Supreme Court of Canada and the Ontario Court of Appeal. Wilson’s federal and provincial legal experience enables her to handle complex litigation effectively.

Business and Corporate Law


Business law and corporate law are distinct legal specialties. Companies hire business lawyers to review contracts and handle negotiations when they’re dealing with mergers or acquisitions. Business attorneys also work with new business owners, helping them establish their companies. A business attorney will also review legal documents and advise their employer about the legal implications of business decisions.

Corporate lawyers focus on legal factors affecting commercial transactions, such as the sale of goods and tax law. Corporate lawyers also handle issues about intellectual property.

Family Law


Family law’s one of the most common legal fields. People turn to family law attorneys when seeking a divorce or addressing custody issues. These attorneys guide their clients through negotiation and, if necessary, present cases in court. Family law attorneys also handle other cases involving families, such as adoption, relative adoptions, and step-parent adoptions. They guide clients through the legal process, enabling them to finalize the adoption.

Family attorneys may also work as annulment attorneys. These attorneys work with clients who want to terminate their marriage and qualify for an annulment. The court invalidates the marriage if the client meets the annulment requirements for that state. For example, an annulment lawyer can argue a client didn’t enter a legal marriage because they were intoxicated and unable to consent.

Personal Injury Law


Personal injury attorneys represent people who’ve been injured in accidents or victims of medical malpractice. These attorneys advise clients of their rights, gather documentation, interview witnesses, and attempt to negotiate a settlement on behalf of their clients. When negotiations fail, personal injury lawyers may present evidence in court. Their objective’s to ensure their clients receive fair compensation covering medical expenses, property damage, and loss of income. They also fight for their clients to receive compensation for pain and suffering.

Criminal Law


Criminal lawyers represent clients facing legal charges. They may represent clients accused of petty theft or those with motor vehicle violations. These attorneys may also represent clients charged with serious crimes, such as murder, manslaughter, rape, or fraud. Their duties involve interviewing witnesses and reviewing evidence. They refer to case law and use the available evidence to prepare a defense for each client. They may also negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor to avoid a jury trial.

Lawyers can specialize in multiple legal fields. Their specialty determines which clients they work with and which types of legal needs they address during their careers.