The legal system is complicated in nearly every country. Whether you live in the United States, Canada, or Australia, your country’s legal system is divided into many sections to make things less complicated. Law students specialize in different types of law in order to be better prepared to fully understand the law.

If you’re considering going to law school or are someone who’s in need of an attorney, it’s a good idea to start by understanding the different types of lawyers and their legal specialties. For a closer look at five types of attorneys, read on.

1. Administrative Attorneys


Many people have no idea that there are attorneys who specialize in law for governments and the complex litigation that comes with big organizations. These lawyers, known as administrative attorneys, work in high-level governmental roles and fight for things like human rights and social justice in places like the Supreme Court of Canada.

A great example of an administrative lawyer making a difference is Malliha Wilson. An advocate for human rights, Wilson has dedicated her career to making changes in Canada that ensure better working conditions and more. Wilson served as the Assistant Deputy Attorney General of the Government of Ontario from April 2008 to November 2016 and has juggled legal matters that have gone on to shape governmental laws.

2. Family Lawyers


Most people are familiar with family lawyers. What they might not know, is that there are many types of family lawyers who work to help families in different ways. For example, there are family law specialists who work with family law cases involving at-risk children, adoption attorneys, and lawyers who handle family law matters like spousal support or legal advice long after a divorce.

Perhaps you already know of some fantastic divorce and family law attorneys in your area but aren’t aware that they can help long after a child custody arrangement or alimony amount has been set by a court. With years of experience in everything from legal matters around domestic violence and grandparent rights, family lawyers can be great advocates no matter what the specific family situation.

3. Criminal Defense Lawyers


Hollywood has helped most people to become familiar with the job of criminal defense lawyers. Much like a family lawyer will make a case in family court, these attorneys work to defend their clients in criminal cases. Important to have on your side to protect your freedom, criminal defense lawyers can mean the difference between an innocent or guilty verdict.

4. Prosecutors


Much like criminal defense lawyers, prosecutors work in the criminal court system. Instead of representing clients charged with a crime, these attorneys represent the state, government, and victim. Tasked with trying to prove someone’s guilt, prosecutors work closely with law enforcement and expert witnesses and are known for their trial work in notable cases.

5. Civil Lawyers


While often considered less glamorous, civil lawyers who juggle paperwork and business law are some of the most common attorneys out there. From bankruptcy to matters of probate and estates, these lawyers are a big part of the legal system. Able to offer legal advice in a number of areas, civil attorneys spend the bulk of their time working to mediate cases long before they ever hit a courtroom.

In the end, fully understanding the intricacies of all types of law is an endless journey. However, if you have an interest in the law or need an attorney familiar with a specific field, it’s helpful to go into school or a courtroom with the basics of the types of law specialties out there. In better understanding types of attorneys and their specialized functions, you’ll be one step closer to having a better grasp of the overall legal process.