How do you know if you need a lawyer?

The answer to this question is relatively simple: any time that you, as an individual or a small business, are in a situation where you are unsure of your rights and responsibilities relative to a particular issue or law, you probably need to seek a lawyer's advice. This can be very important to do because not knowing the law is not a defense to most violations.

You need a lawyer whenever his or her judgment will be of use to you—you are paying for the lawyer's judgment and expertise. This applies to many situations. From making arrangements to pass on your assets to future generations to personal injury to business dealings, lawyers can be an invaluable resource when you are faced with a situation that is unfamiliar to you wherein you need a solution to a problem.

Some common situations people find themselves in that require the assistance of a lawyer include termination from your employment, being the victim of a breach of contract, issues involving pensions and 401(k) plans. Family, or divorce law is another area that frequently requires the advice of a lawyer. Child support guidelines are often misunderstood, and lawyers can effectively advise you of your rights whether it be in this area or any other.

Most people are aware that if they've been in an accident or wronged by another they should probably see a lawyer, but it is also important to understand that the most effective lawyering is often preventative. Whether it's the careful drafting of a contract that ensures against potential future problems or the giving of good advice to a small business on corporate decisions and policy, this type of legal counsel can prevent long, difficult, and costly litigation cases before they arise.

Either way, lawyers exist to advise and defend their clients in every possible field and for every possible reason. So, if you think a lawyer's assistance will help you, it doesn't hurt to meet with one. You can discuss your problems with someone who is an expert on the law, and they can help you decide if legal action is necessary and/or right for you.