General Practice Lawyers
The cases that general practice lawyers handle fall into a wide range of practice areas, which often overlap. General practice lawyers handle personal injury cases, draft wills, negotiate tax settlements, and more. They deal with wills and probate, handle criminal cases, bankruptcy cases, and breach of warranty claims, etc.
General practice lawyers have knowledge and experience in more than one practice area. In large firms, lawyers usually specialize in one area of law. In small firms, however, attorneys often specialize in 3 to 4 areas of related law. A personal injury lawyer, for example, may specialize in accidents, lawyer malpractice, and medical malpractice.
Typically, the general practice lawyer has its own staff. It is important for a lawyer to be experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of practice, but it is even more important that their staff is knowledgeable as well. Some law firms are set up in such a way that all lawyers have their own staff. In other law firms, staff members specialize in specific practice areas.
When choosing a general practice lawyer, it is important to find one who is adept at litigation and arbitration or mediation. Some lawyers are stronger at the courtroom while others are experienced in reaching settlements. A general practice firm may have two or more attorneys who are experienced in mediation or litigation. Thus, if the client chooses the settlement route, then the settlement attorney will take the case. However, if settlement is not reached, then the litigation attorney will take over and work on the case.
In general, these lawyers interpret regulations, rulings, and laws, advise clients, and analyze probable outcomes. General practice lawyers assist clients by developing strategies and assessing findings. They do research, gather evidence, and look at statutes, ordinances, and decisions that have bearing on the matter under review. General practice lawyers also draft opinions, legal briefs, and documents. To do all these, they should be skilled in interpretation and negotiation in order to act on behalf of their clients.
To prepare for trial, lawyers interview witnesses and clients, develops arguments and a strategy, and prepare legal briefs. The lawyer is the one to file briefs with a court clerk and represent the client before administrative agencies, quasi-judicial agencies, and in court. The lawyer may also confer with colleagues who specialize in one area of law as to verify or establish the basis for legal proceedings. General practice lawyers routinely work in a multi-disciplinary manner. This means that depending on the nature of the representation required, the lawyer may seek the assistance of a financial planner, appraiser, therapist, certified public accountant, etc. In addition, general practice lawyers act as executors, guardians, and trustees and coordinate or supervise the activities of subordinate staff.
General practice lawyers also administer legal matters, settle labor disputes, and prepare business contracts. They advise business and corporate clients on matters involving stockholders, officers, directors, and corporate relations. Some general practice lawyers even teach college courses in law.
A general practice lawyer will give clients a broad picture of the options they have and the consequences they are to deal with. Businesses and persons who need legal advice and assistance in more than one area of law may use the services of a general practice lawyer.
It should be noted that general practice lawyers typically have preferred areas of interest, for instance, tax law, entertainment law, real estate law, business dealings and mediation, personal injury, and so on. At the same time, they have a broad range of clients and handle different cases.