Advice on legal matters can come from many different sources. From lawyers in general, lawyers specializing in a particular area, from well-informed family or friends, and via the internet. This article will explore the different kinds of help.
In general, lawyers advise their clients on different aspects of the law and attend court with them. They prepare a case for the defense that will provide their client with the best chance of success in either proving their innocence or mitigating their guilt. A barrister in the UK is called a pleader in an American court. Solicitors in the UK are known as lawyers or agents for the purposes of American law. All these lawyers will have passed a bar examination before being admitted to practice, so that they may either prosecute, on behalf of their country or state, or defend on behalf of a client accused of a crime.
To be successful, a lawyer will need to have an in-depth knowledge of the laws within their own country (sometimes international laws too), keep up to date as laws change, be commercially aware, have creative problem-solving abilities, possess excellent written and oral communication skills, have a great understanding of people, and be able to work under pressure. As well as this, be able to work independently and as part of a team. That is, a legal team.
To achieve the best results for their clients, lawyers will often specialize. They can then also demand higher fees. For instance, there are DUI (Drunk Under the Influence) lawyers who will know the ins and outs of offenses relating to drink driving. These lawyers will know to the milliliter or milligram the legal alcohol limits for the breathalyzer, urine samples, and blood samples, which are taken from their clients because they are suspected of drinking driving. They will know the correct procedure for arresting someone for a motoring offense, so be able to play on this when defending a client in court, if legally dictated procedures have not been followed to the letter or number.
Searching a list of those areas that seem to be most in demand currently will reveal that they include: complex litigation, corporate law, tax law, intellectual property, healthcare, environmental, and criminal law. This demonstrates that there is a great demand for corporate lawyers to help businesses with their legal matters. In addition, people strive for the safest possible healthcare systems and a healthier environment. Those offering unregulated health treatments and businesses polluting the environment are likely to end up in trouble with the law. In addition, people continue to find themselves in trouble with the law due to greed, financial survival, or misdemeanor.
Family or Friends
Advice from family or friends will be free, although not impartial, so has the potential to be comforting rather than a realistic expectation. In addition, the legal knowledge may have been obtained from a past college course rather than be knowledge kept up to date by reading. Laws might have since changed that affect the way crimes are dealt with. Specifically, in the length of the sentence that can be expected, when considering whether to plead guilty.
There are websites where you can obtain legal advice for free. For instance, ABA Free Legal Answers, where you can submit any questions about non-criminal/civil legal matters and then receive an answer. ABA stands for American Bar Association. In the UK, there is justanswer.co.uk, who will answer questions online about employment or family law, for instance. In addition, apart from there being many more examples of these types of sites from all continents, it is possible to search the answers to questions yourself by putting in a specific question or keyword. It is important to bear in mind which country you are obtaining the answer from, how up to date the information is, and that it may not be from a practising lawyer. As well, it is only advice on how to proceed and usually general in nature. Also, it will not assist in preparing the paperwork for court or in dealing with more complex and individual issues pertaining to the law.
So, 4 areas where it is possible to obtain legal advice of sorts. Lawyers who specialise, if you can afford their fees, are likely to influence the outcome of any court case the most. There is also lots of advice out there that is free, although it is worth looking for the answer in several places to check its accuracy and to ensure that it relates to the intended country or state.