Asking what an attorney does is a question without a succinct answer. This is due to the fact that there are many different specialties under the broad heading of Law. Even if you asked more specifically what a prosecutor does, the answer you received would not be complete without it came in book form. Still, it's instructive to know a bit about the profession if you're planning to hire a lawyer in the near future. Peeling back the curtain a bit and learning a few things that are not always made clear by the media can help you make an informed decision when you start your search. Let's examine a few general facts related to the profession:
– Not All Lawyers Go To Court
While you would be hard pressed to find an attorney who has never seen the inside of a courtroom, it certainly is not in the everyday routine of many lawyers. Some may even go years in between appearances before a judge. Those who practice transactional law have little reason to ever go to court. Those who work in real estate usually do not find the courtroom a part of their typical routine either.
– Criminal And Civil Law
There are vast differences between criminal and civil law, though there are a select few lawyers who will jump back and forth between these types of cases. Criminal law is concerned with prosecuting those who have been arrested in an attempt to convict and get a sentence. Civil law is about a stainiff and a defensive settling things from a monetary standpoint. An attorney may work as a prosecutor, defense lawyer, or for a private firm that handles defenders or plaintiffs in civil court.
– Large Firms And Small Ones
If an attorney is the founding partner of his or her own small law firm, this person's job is going to be somewhat different from that of a lawyer who works a very large one. Larger firms are almost like the Wal-Marts of the legal field (though far more pricey). You walk into one, and you can find a lawyer for almost every sub-specialty you can think of. A small firm will usually specialize in only one focused area of the law.
– Confidentiality And The Attorney
The concept of the lawyer would not work very well if it was not for the attorney / client privilege, which makes it illegal for a lawyer to disclose details of private conversations with clients. Anything you say to your lawyer is confidential. The only exception could come if you were to make threats against someone else's safety.