For those not in the law field, understanding the difference between different kinds of lawyers can be difficult. Here we’ll take a look at some of things that differentiate a DUI lawyer from other types of attorneys who specialize in fields such as corporate or trademark law.
First, consider the two basic areas of law: civil and criminal. Many legal matters fall under the category of civil law. For example, a couple going through a divorce would enlist an attorney who specializes in divorce and would proceed through the civil legal system. Other areas, which fall under the area of civil law, include family, workers rights, and personal injury, among many others. If neighbors go to court over a dispute or separated parents work to create a custody agreement, these cases fall under civil law.
Criminal law, on the other hand, encompasses issues such as robbery, assault, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A DUI lawyer falls under the category of legal professionals who work under criminal law.
All attorneys follow the same initial steps as they prepare for a career in the legal field. Aspiring law school students take the Law School Admission Tests (LSATS), sometimes more than once. This exam’s grade, along with their education transcripts and other admissions materials, influences which universities accept them in the school’s law program. After finishing years one and two, students begin to take courses more specific to the area of law in which they want to practice. It is at this point that those pursuing a criminal law path will take classes specific to criminal law and even to the topic, for example driving under the influence, that interests them. As with any industry, gaining internship experience during the final years of college is critical for an aspiring DUI lawyer. Experienced members of the field suggest pursuing opportunities with law firms or government agencies. It is during this final phase of their formal education that a criminal attorney learns skills and procedures specific to criminal law. The final requirement for all new lawyers before they can begin to practice is that they must take the bar exam and pass.
Criminal attorneys are required to have a certain set of skills unlike what most civil attorneys may need. In this area of the law it’s not uncommon for cases to end up in the courtroom and even be subjected to a lengthy trial. These legal professionals must have strong debate skills and be able to craft a well-executed plan for the proceedings. They need to think quickly on their feet and anticipate possible bumps in the road and respond appropriately. A criminal defense lawyer, for example, must be prepared for new evidence to be submitted to the court unexpectedly, while a DUI lawyer has to know how to respond to claims of mental distress being brought before the judge.
All lawyers are expected to possess a base set of skills and habits that are required in their field: dedication to each of their clients’ cases, keeping up-to-date on changes in the law, and staying well-versed in the latest legal findings, just to name a few. Like all professions, those specializing in a certain area of the law owe it to their clients to place special focus on the topics and skills that matter most in their area of expertise.