The 10 Types of Lawyers

Lawyers are funny creatures aren’t they? With their briefcases and oversized file folders. They make us cry, they make us laugh, okay mostly they make us cry.

When it comes down to it, there are really only 10 types of lawyers. If you’re in the market for a lawyer or even if you’re not, you should know what’s out there and what you’re getting into. Of course, some lawyers fall into multiple categories. Honestly, it’s hard to write this article without links. I was going to write this article about Traverse City or Northern Michigan, but there’s really only 10 types of lawyers everywhere. Here are the 10 types of lawyers:


1. The Fake Bulldog

They’re going to defend you. The charges against you are ridiculous. But they aren’t really. This lawyer says he’s going to defend you and that you have a strong case, until he won’t and you don’t. The fake bulldog talks a good game, but in the end, they’re not up for a fight. Their favorite words are settle and plea.


2. The Expert

They know it all, just ask them. If they need to consult with an expert, they talk to themselves. Some lawyers put their identity in knowing more than the next guy. They can site one more statute, write one more blog article, reference one more court rule or fill you in on one more change in the law.

And you don’t have to ask about all of their publications and how many other attorneys consult with them on a regular basis. They’ll tell you before you can even ask. They’re the expert in their own mind, where it counts.


3. The Chaplain

When you work with the chaplain, you’re going to plead guilty, and you’re going to feel good about it. The chaplain says that they’re there to defend you, but what they really do is spend their time convincing you that you don’t have a defendable case and you want to plead guilty. Then, you plead guilty willingly, and they move on to their next case with everyone feeling good about the “right” decision.


4. The Family Man

Check out this attorney’s website, and you can read all about how great and perfect their family is. As if somehow the fact that their family life is awesome (according to them) has anything to do with how they’re going to represent you in court. You can expect their representation to come with a good ol’ pile of condescending judgment.


5. The Wrinkly Suit Guy

Ain’t nobody got time to iron a suit. They’re so busy prepping their cases or whatever it is they’re doing on their own time that tending to their personal appearance didn’t make the cut. Their suit might be wrinkled, but they’re going to get your case all ironed out.

The original wrinkly suit guy:

6. Moves Like Jagger

This attorney is a legend in his own mind. He wears pinstripes at least half the time, and he wants you to know that his suit costs more than your car. Their swagger is a defense strategy. This attorney is one of the cool kids, and you can’t sit at his lunch table.


7. The Overbiller

The overbiller can make a $1,000 legal matter cost $10,000. You NEED all that discovery after all. When you hire this lawyer, they might tell you that they will refund the unused portion of your retainer, but hey, unicorns aren’t real, either. You might win your case, but not without a price.


8. Willing to Say Anything

Every legal community has a lawyer or two who will walk into court and say anything. Whatever they have to say might not have any basis in the law and it sure isn’t going to work, but they’re going to say it loudly and repeatedly. Other lawyers listen to what they have to say in court, but only because it’s so bad it’s good.


9. Let Me Introduce You To My Associate

This lawyer might be experienced. They may have tried dozens of cases just like yours. But none of it’s going to help you, because they won’t be the one handling your case. This type of lawyer will pawn you off on their junior associate the second you sign on the dotted line. Get used to hearing that they’re unavailable to take your call.


10. The Morally Questionable Advocate

If it’s illegal, it shouldn’t be:


Some of these are on a continuum. Wrinkly suit guy on one end of the spectrum, pinstripes guy at the other. Morally questionable guy at one end, Jesus loves me more than you guy at the other. Others are a matter of degree.

What types of lawyers am I forgetting? You be the judge.

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1 thought on “The 10 Types of Lawyers”

  1. I really liked it when you talked about the wrinkly suit guy and how he is more focused on the case of their clients to pay attention to their physical appearance. I am sure I would not mind if my attorney looks like a mess as long as he caters to my needs like a true lawyer should. It might be a good idea to look for this kind of person for my sister’s disability case. It’s pretty sensitive, so it needs extra attention.

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