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Common Situations That Require a Lawyer

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There are countless reasons why one might require the legal assistance of a lawyer, and it’s important to understand when you should seek assistance from whom. The five most common scenarios requiring help in either civil or criminal law include divorce, injury lawsuits, estate planning, bankruptcy, and wrongful employment discrimination/termination.

“Lawyer” vs “Attorney”

The terms “Lawyer” and “Attorney” are commonly interchanged in the United States, but there is technically a difference between the two. A lawyer is anyone who has studied law and can provide advice on legal matters. However, a lawyer cannot practice law in court until passing the bar exam in their particular area of study. An attorney has passed this exam and is licensed to practice law in a legal profession.

In simple terms, all attorneys are lawyers, but not all lawyers are attorneys. So when one friend tells you to hire an attorney, and another says to find a lawyer, don’t let this confuse you. In most cases, the terms are used interchangeably, but typically if you need to go to court, then it’s an attorney whose assistance you’ll need.


Not all divorce scenarios require an attorney; if the couple agrees on terms for the divorce without any issues, then there’s no need to dispute it in court. However, there are many factors to consider in the event of a divorce that will require legal representation if not agreed upon. The correct lawyer for this situation is a family lawyer who can advise you on disputes over child custody, debt, property, and other assets. 

Injury Lawsuits

There are millions of civil lawsuits filed each year in the United States, but one of the most commonly filed occurs in the event of an injury. This particular lawsuit covers any individual who has been harmed due to the negligence or wrongful actions of others. This situation falls under the jurisdiction of attorneys practiced in the field of injury, death, and damage claims. One common situation for an injury lawsuit is in the event of a car accident.

Wills and Trusts

It is advised to hire a lawyer to assist you in the construction of a will or trust. Attorneys practiced in estate planning and administration can counsel you through the process of creating a will. They can also provide litigation in the case of a dispute over the estate and estate tax.


Depending on the circumstances, an individual may file for bankruptcy on their own without the help of an attorney. However, in most cases, an attorney is required to complete the legal process and ensure the correct steps are being taken. If you require aid in filing yourself or your business for bankruptcy, then seek the aid of a bankruptcy attorney. 

Wrongful Employment Discrimination/Termination

If you have been wronged in the workplace regarding discrimination and/or wrongful termination then this falls under both federal and state laws. Hiring the assistance of an employment lawyer can help you understand your rights. A well-practiced attorney in this field will carry your lawsuit to court and provide full representation for your case.

With the many different types of lawyers and attorneys available, it can be confusing to know whose aid to seek and whether or not you need legal representation. In almost every situation regarding a court date or legal consultation, it is advised to seek the help of an attorney practiced in the correct field.

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