What do lawyers do, exactly?
Lawyers (also called attorneys or counsel) serve as advocates for people and organizations. They represent clients both to the court and to opposing parties. Lawyers can represent clients in criminal cases, where a law has been broken, and in civil cases, in which one party is suing another.
Lawyers are also important partners in situations that don’t involve the courtroom, advising clients about their legal rights and obligations for personal or business issues. They are trained to interpret complicated systems of laws and navigate the court system.
What can a lawyer do for me?
First, a lawyer will advise you as to whether or not you actually need legal help. It’s not always obvious whether an issue is a legal matter or something that can be resolved without involving the court system. A lawyer will help you answer these initial questions.
Once you’ve decided to hire a lawyer, then they have the power to represent you to the court and to opposing parties. Your lawyer is your most important ally in any legal matter. They provide advice on how to proceed with your legal issue, and prepare important documents for you.
If your issue involves going to court, your lawyer will accompany you, and can speak for you. If your legal matter involves mediation or arbitration, your lawyer will negotiate with the opposing party on your behalf.