What Kind Of Lawyer Do I Need

Are you wondering what kind of lawyer do I need? This complete guide will walk you through everything.

what kind of lawyer do I need?
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What Kind Of Lawyer Do I Need: A Complete Guide

Are you wondering what kind of lawyer do I need? This complete guide will walk you through everything.

Hiring the Right Lawyer for Your Case

Hiring an attorney seems easy enough on TV. You pick up the phone and instantly connect with your ace lawyer to get you out of any jam. The problem is unless you are wealthy enough to have a string of lawyers on retainer, you probably don’t have access to this level of representation. 

Almost all attorneys specialize in one type of practice or another. This means if you are going through financial hard times and are being hounded by creditors, you will probably need a bankruptcy attorney. If you find yourself charged with a DWI in New Orleans, you will definitely need a criminal lawyer. 

Even in a single field of study, some specialize even further. Criminal attorneys may be experienced in the mentioned DWI case but do not take on financial crimes cases. There are larger firms with diverse staff to take on all types of projects, but knowing what kind of attorney you need when calling a firm is essential

Let’s continue to break down the various studies of law and what kind of lawyer you need in our complete guide. 

PRO TIP: Read these 9 tips for choosing the best lawyer in 2021! We know it will help!

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Civil VS Criminal Representation

Before we get into the specific types of lawyers you need, let’s discuss the difference between an attorney who represents those in a civil case and those who specialize in criminal cases. Under each of these categories are several different types of specializations. Many lawyers defend both civil and criminal cases in areas like New Orleans, Shreveport, and in courts across Louisiana.  

Civil Representation

The law allows people to take action against one another, corporations, and others when evidence states they have suffered at the hands of others. You’ve probably heard the term suing or bringing litigation against someone else as the standard terms used. 

Bringing a lawsuit in most cases means you will hire an attorney to represent your case or defend against someone suing you. Below are examples of circumstances one will need to hire an attorney to represent them in a civil case. 

  • Adoption Law: As the name implies, an attorney who specializes in adoptions understands the nuances of family court and the laws that surround it. Adoption normally takes years of processing through the court system as the law is set to make sure the child being adopted is protected and rightfully so. This can also lead to bureaucracy to wade through, which an adoption lawyer can help with. 
  • Construction Law: Many people would guess that construction law is essential as part of litigation but is actually a critical practice. With more and more rules and regulations to dig through from neighborhoods, cities, states, and environmental agencies, this type of lawyer is essential when before and during a construction project. 
  • Divorce Law: Sometimes called a family practice attorney, a divorce lawyer specializes in the breakups of married couples and represents one of the persons going through a divorce. With so many aspects of divorce, like custody, financial, and property considerations, these attorneys are trained in many facets of what is needed during a divorce representation. 
  • Immigration Law: Immigration law may be the best example of an area lawyers practice in that is unlike others. Immigration attorneys represent those who have either filed to live in the country or have been detained for being here illegally. In this sense, immigration lawyers represent someone, as they would in a criminal case, except the outcome could lead to deportation and not a criminal charge. Still, this field requires the attorney to fully understand immigration law and work within a system similar to criminal courts. 
  • Personal Injury Law: This is the most well-known type of law practice in the civil field outside of divorce law to most people. Personal injury lawyers are hired when someone suffers at the hands or actions of others. This could be from an employment accident, a car accident where someone else is at fault, and the client is injured, or in a large class action case where a drugmaker is sued for selling a product that caused harm.
  • Bankruptcy Law: Many people each year suffer from financial difficulties. When debts become too much to handle, many people turn to an attorney who specializes in bankruptcy law. These lawyers will help them get their financial woes by using the law to help protect their assets and get them through debt collection by minimizing any losses. 
what kind of lawyer do I need
what kind of lawyer do I need

Criminal Representation

Hiring an attorney in a criminal case is always about hiring a defense lawyer. There are criminal lawyers who prosecute, but you’ll find them working for a city, parish, or state. When you find yourself charged with a crime or under investigation that could lead to charges filed, you’ll want to hire an attorney who specializes in the types of cases you which could lead to criminal charges, For instance, we have broken down several examples below of the various types of criminal cases which required different types of attorneys. 

  • DWI Attorney: A lawyer who specializes in DWI cases. These attorneys will have experience defending clients whose prosecutors have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. DWIs fall within misdemeanor and felony categories, so having a lawyer who practices in this area of criminal law is essential. 
  • Drug Charge Attorney: The public opinion of drug usage differs from a few years ago. Society has realized addictions need treatment. Although the world is more towards this concept, some courts are not as liberal with the law and drug charges. Having an attorney who can argue for you and your health in courts is important when facing a long drug possession or distribution charge.
  • Gun Charge Attorney: Everyone either has the same gun rights or not. Communities sometimes make judgments on who should be allowed to carry guns. An attorney who specializes in state and federal gun laws will give you the same representation as anyone else and defend your rights regarding firearms. 
  • Financial and Fraud Charges: Most criminal attorneys can represent someone for several different criminal charges. One type of charge that is quite different from others is when someone finds themselves charged with a financial or fraud charge like embezzlement, etc. The type of lawyer you need for this kind of case and who specializes in the defense of financial crimes will be trained in both criminal and financial law. Under civil law, some of these attorneys may practice bankruptcy law due to their background in understanding finances. 
  • Violent Crimes: Crimes such as assaultaggravated assaultrobbery, and murder carry some of the harshest criminal law penalties. If you find yourself charged with a violent crime, you could be facing decades in jail. This is why it is crucial to hire an attorney who has years of experience and good results representing others charged with a violent crime. 
  • Expungements: Louisiana and most other states give the ability for those convicted of past crimes to have their records expunged. Having your record expunged is not as easy as one may think, and it takes an attorney with experience dealing with a district attorney’s office and the court to make it happen. A lawyer who has successfully had records expunged will have much more success than if you set out to take on the process yourself. 
  • Family Violence: Having been charged with family violence, most people did not realize just how much trouble they were in. Over the years, family violence has taken center stage in legislatures to curb violence in the home. With this comes more stringent restrictions and penalties on those convicted. An attorney who practices in criminal law must fully understand and have experience in dealing with family violence cases before someone should consider hiring them. 
  • Crimes Against Property: These types of crimes involve being charged with crimes like theft of property, burglary, and criminal mischief. Many people find themselves in prison after being charged with these types of crimes. Having an attorney who is an expert in defending these types of cases can mean the difference between spending months and years in prison or an acquittal. 

As we see, hiring the right attorney for the job requires knowing the different types of lawyers and what they practice. Finding a good lawyer in any of these areas takes time to find the best one for you and your case. While some firms will take on some of these types of cases, not all attorneys will represent you in all of them. 

do you need an attorney?

If you find yourself needing an attorney, first ask which one of the above types you will need to represent you. Once you have decided on a few, set up an appointment to interview with each one to find who has the experience and knowledge to perform a defense in your type of case. 

An experienced attorney with a successful record will be happy to share with you their success rates in cases just like yours. Having the correct attorney represent you and your case will be a great benefit to you.


We offer a Paid Consultation for those who may have questions regarding criminal charges. This can be very helpful to those who just want to have a good discussion about a situation, but don’t necessarily need to hire a lawyer, or aren’t sure if they need an attorney.  There are many topics and issues we can help with. Importantly, everything we discuss is confidential. If this is what you need, just click here to schedule a paid consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.


Louisiana DWI & Criminal Lawyers

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Louisiana criminal lawyers and DWI attorneys at the Barkemeyer Law Firm providing legal defense services for clients in Baton Rouge, Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa, Port Allen, Alexandria, New Orleans, Lafayette, Metairie, Kenner, Gretna, Hahnville, Chalmette, Slidell, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. John, St. Bernard, Mandeville, Covington, Shreveport, Bossier, Jefferson, Monroe, Lake Charles and all of Louisiana.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not formal legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.

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