Law firms administer a number of different legal services to many different kinds of clients, which can include individuals, small businesses and large corporations. This divergence in clients and clients’ requirements means that there also different types of law firms. Firms can range greatly in size, from solo practices with one legal professional, to a large firm with up to a 100 or more legal professionals plus their support staff. Law offices can concentrate on one legal area or also be a general practice firm with a variety of practice areas.
A solo firm has one lawyer who works alone or with a legal colleague. Some solo lawyers have a general practice firm that takes on several types of law, including real estate, family law, wills and probate, plus business law. This kind of firm often works with a respective client and small businesses. A solo practice firm may also happen to focus mainly on one particular area, such as personal injury.
Several Legal Departments
Large firms, also known as corporate law firms, in most cases work with medium to large sized businesses and corporations. This type of firm has several legal departments, who specialise in an area of law such as employment law, real estate law, personal injury law, or litigation. Lawyers who share ownership of a law firm are called partners, and lawyers who are employees of the firm are known as associates. Big firms also have many employees who provide support services such as clerical, bookkeeping and paralegal work.
Most law offices work with local clients in their geographical area such as a law firm based in Twickenham, will usually be serving clients in that region. Some large firms may even have many offices within one area, depending on the number of people or cities therein. National firms will have offices around the country. There are also international firms with offices in the UK and in other countries. These international law firms help international business companies comply with the laws of any country in which they are undertaking business.
Lawsuits and Transactions
A law office may focus on litigation, which involves lawsuits. A civil litigation firm handles different types of court cases, including disputes over finances, property, insurance and personal injury. Lawyers in these firms are qualified to represent clients in court hearings and at trials. Criminal law firms will safeguard clients who have criminal charges against them. Criminal lawyers at private, criminal firms work with clients who can manage to hire their own legal assistance instead of being represented by a public defender.
Another type of law firm will focus on transactional law. A transactional firm provides legal services in areas that include documents and transactions, such as real estate closings or preparing business contracts, wills and trusts. Corporate firms help large corporations in a wide variety of transactions, which can include mergers and acquisitions, tax law, contracts, and real estate.
And such are the different kinds of law firms available.