What are the Different Types of Attorneys?


Understanding Why Choice Of Lawyer Matters For Your Type Of Case.

In law school, or while reading the law as an extern the same classes/subjects are studied by all prospective lawyers. And each newly sworn lawyer makes the same oath to maintain ethics and professionalism.

  • First-year students must master the concepts of “Contracts, Torts, and Criminal Law,” across all American Bar Association-approved schools.
  • The same goes for most State Bar certified schools.
  • So, in general, most licensed practitioners are masters of the basics. (“Jack of all and master of none.”)

So does it matter which type of attorney is chosen for your particular legal claim? Well, first, you must understand how massive law is now insofar as its various subdivisions are concerned. Yes, there are specialists. Lawyers such as those who handle patent law are one class.

But there are also trial lawyers who focus only on a particular area of tort law, like mass torts.

Imagine the law is like a giant skyscraper. Each room of the building represents an area of legal knowledge like:

  • “Negligence Law,” which would be a small room in the basement. And then, in that tiny room, maybe a desk drawer would contain the legal know-how to navigate a bodily injury insurance claim, mediation, and trial.
  • “Wills and Trusts” with its sub-areas would be in a small room down the hall and so forth.
  • And then for argument’s sake, make the first few top floors criminal law.
  • All the lower floors would be civil law, and you can start to see how the law is stacked.

So to answer the original question, yes, as a general rule, it does make sense to hire a personal injury lawyer for a PI case. But only so long as your lawyer is reasonably competent in their particular practice.

After all, you need someone with an above-average skill for the type of case you have.

Lawyers certainly are not all the same. Therefore, it does matter which type of legal expert you selected.

  • Some lawyers are general practitioners who handle cookie-cutter types of cases. Usually, the arguments they feel are not always that complex.  This kind of specialist will be the one you call for a canned divorce or bankruptcy, or a traffic ticket infraction, for example.

The takeaway from all of this is that a particular type of lawyer still may not always have the requisite training for your specific claim or case. So as a seeker of help, you must familiarize yourself with some best practices for consumers.

Then you’ll be able to hire the right type of help sensibly.  So for now, we will drill down into a few of the many types of lawyers. So let’s try and understand the similarities and differences, as discussed below.


What is a General Practice Lawyer (“GP”)?

Numerous types of attorneys have specialized knowledge in one particular area of law. And some even practice in a few different areas that are related. As noted, general practice lawyers do not just specialize in one particular area. In fact, GP’s usually practice simultaneously in some different areas of law.

It is not uncommon for a general lawyer to practice in several or all of the areas of law listed as follows:

  • Security law
  • Administrative Law
  • International law
  • Criminal law
  • Real Estate law
  • Corporate and Commercial Law
  • Civil Litigation Law
  • Tax law
  • Family law
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Constitutional law
  • Immigration law
  • Environmental law
  • Intellectual Property Law

While there are some GP’s that limit the types of law they practice, this is rare. So some accept cases and cash from virtually any kind of client, in a multitude of legal claims.

  • But by far, the most popular and notorious lawyers in our culture are the specialized tort or personal injury lawyers.
  • Movies like “Rainmaker” with Matt Damon are a testament to the reputation of the ambulance chaser injury attorney.

What Are Personal Injury Attorneys?

A personal injury attorney specializes in cases that involve a personal injury to your mind, body, and soul.

In cases like this, compensation is sought from those legally liable, for intentional, or negligent damages including:

  • Psychological injury.
  • Lost wages.
  • Property damage such as with automobile accidents.
  • Physical trauma such as with a botched surgery.
  • Medical expenses.

In law school, these types of attorneys fall under your “Negligence Courses.”

But this area of law has many subdivisions and experts, from:

  • Mass torts.
  • Vehicle airbag defects.
  • Exploding gas tanks.
  • Commercial vehicle accidents, and so forth.

The bond between these attorneys is that they know about handling cases of “tort law.”

So What Is a Tort Anyways?

A tort attorney is a personal injury law specialist.

  • A tort is a civil action that has been made against a particular group of people or person that justifies filing the money damages suit, according to the Cornell University Law School.
  • A crime is not considered to be a tort. (watch the video here.) A crime is a wrongdoing against the public or state in general (Learn more.)

So one who is guilty of committing a crime may be punished with jail time. But when a crime is determined, the guilty party or their insurance agency may still have to pay monetary compensation.

Compensation is money that gets paid to the party or parties that suffered the injury as reparations for the criminal OR civil act.

  • The District or City Attorney prosecutes crimes. The punishment for crimes can be a fine, imprisonment, or both.
  • A civil or private lawyer sues for money in torts. There is no jail time.

Are you getting this so far? Personal injury attorneys often elect to take only accept specific kinds of negligence law cases. Most of them avoid hourly billing. So they don’t usually take on criminal clients at all.

Some areas of law he or she may choose to specialize in include the following:

  • Medical accident.
  • Automobile accident.
  • Work-related accident.
  • Dental accidents.
  • Motorcycle accidents.
  • Assault/Battery/Rape.

What Are Some Differences Between General Lawyers And Personal Injury Attorneys?

  • A general practice lawyer doesn’t just apply their skills to one particular area of law. So this means they know a variety of different case types.
  • A tort attorney has specialized knowledge and skill in cases that involve personal injury and tort laws. So this means the knowledge they have about cases of bodily harm is more in-depth than a “GP.”

A general practitioner can be a tort specialist, and arguably can be a better lawyer. After all, he understands better how all the law interrelates.

For example, elder abuse law cases have elements of crimes and can even involve some probate issues. But in some cases, a GP lacks the specialized knowledge for a complex area of law, such as an asbestos case. So it can be a crap-shoot.

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
Attorney at Law

Michael P. Ehline Esq,

Downtown Los Angeles Corporate Offices


Downtown Los Angeles Office
633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Navigation

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
Attorney at Law

Michael P. Ehline Esq,

Other Los Angeles County Meeting Places

Long Beach Office

5001 Airport Plaza Dr Ste 210
Long Beach, CA 90815
(562) 731-0668
Directions

West Hollywood Office

8752 Holloway Drive Ste 304
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(424) 666-3944
Directions

Santa Monica Office

201 Wilshire Blvd. Fl 2
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 237-6218
Directions

Torrance Office

3961 CA-1
Torrance, CA 90505
(424) 999-7246
Directions

Marina Del Rey Office

4640 Admiralty Way Ste 500
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 331-8775
Directions

Hermosa Beach Office

633 West 5th Street #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(213) 596-9642
Directions

Beverly Hills Office

509 S Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(424) 666-3967
Directions

Glendale Office

655 N Central Avenue
Glendale, CA 91203
(818) 485-2311
Directions

Inland Empire Meeting Places


Rancho Cucamonga Office

8333 Foothill Blvd #200
Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730
(909) 963-0709
Directions

Riverside Office

11801 Pierce St, Ste 200
Riverside, CA 92505
(951) 777-2877
Directions

San Bernardino Office

198 North Arrowhead Ave. #20
San Bernardino, CA 92408
(909) 693-5417
Directions

Orange County Meeting Places


Costa Mesa Office

600 Anton Boulevard #11
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(949) 891-0357
Directions

Laguna Niguel Office

23046 Avenida de la Carlota, Ste 600
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(949) 371-8350
Directions

Irvine Office

9180 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92612
(949) 207-7193
Directions

Newport Beach Office

5160 Birch St #110
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 891-0127
Directions

Orange Office

333 City Blvd. #17
Orange, CA 92868
714-912-9724
Directions

Other California Meeting Places


Rancho Cucamonga Office

1999 S Bascom Ave, Ste 700
Campbell, CA 95008
(408) 940-3996
Directions

San Francisco Office

50 Francisco Street #460
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 684-7688
Directions

Carlsbad Office

1902 Wright Pl, Ste 200
Carlsbad, CA 95008
(760) 517-9022
Directions

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
© All rights reserved.
Ehline Law Firm