There are many different kinds of lawyers, many different kinds of law firms, and many different kinds and branches of law. Many different kinds of lawyers, law firms, and kinds of law, have overlapping interests and elements. 

Lawyer VS Attorney

A lawyer is someone who has graduated from law school. In the United States the terms lawyer and attorney are typically used interchangeably but technically, an attorney is someone who has a law degree and who is licensed to practice law in one or more jurisdiction. Many attorneys in the US refer to and advertise themselves as lawyers because few people here make the distinction between the two terms. An attorney is always a lawyer with a law degree but a lawyer may not always be an attorney who has a law degree and is licensed. A lawyer can typically give legal advice but they are not allowed to represent people in court without a license in the court’s jurisdiction. The chances of a lawyer in the US advertising themselves as a lawyer when they are in fact a licensed attorney are high, but it is a good idea to check a lawyer’s credentials before you engage in business with them.

Specialty Areas

There are many, many different types of lawyers in the large and complex field of law. Many lawyers specialize in one or more areas of law. Within these specialty areas, many lawyers have an even more niche specialty area that is very specific to one area of the specialty. One of many examples of this is, a family law lawyer may specialize in divorces or adoptions. The following are just some of the broader specialty areas for the many different practice areas of lawyers in the United States:

Personal Injury

Some of the most common kinds of lawyers in the US are personal injury lawyers. When someone is injured or becomes ill because of another party’s negligence, malice or reckless behavior, they, or in the event of death, their surviving family members, may be entitled to compensation. Personal injury claims typically involve an injured victim who is seeking monetary compensation from the party (or parties) that caused their injury.

Estate Planning

Lawyers who specialize in wills and trusts are referred to as estate planning lawyers. They help people to come up with plans and instructions on what to do with their money and assets after they have passed.


When people are having financial difficulties to the point where they think they need to declare bankruptcy, it is a good idea to consult with a bankruptcy lawyer before doing this.

Immigration and Visas

People who are seeking legal entry, residency, the right to work, or citizenship, etc., may benefit from a lawyer who specializes in immigration or visas.

Intellectual Property (IP)

An intellectual property lawyer helps people to deal with matters of intellectual property such as copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial designs and trade secrets.


A family lawyer can usually help with matters that pertain to or are related to family such as, prenuptial agreements, divorce, child custody, child support, alimony and adoptions, etc.

Employment and Workers Compensation

Employers and employees may both have reasons to need a lawyer to help them with employment issues. There are several different kinds of lawyers that deal with employer and employee rights that have more specific specialty areas.


A tax attorney specializes in the different kinds of taxes (federal, state and local.) People with complicated taxes and/or people who have gotten into a predicament over their taxes with the government or other involved party. These are just a few of the many, many different specialty areas that lawyers in the US often specialize in.