General practice attorneys can play a wide range of roles. Many people think of a general practice attorney as being a family attorney of sorts because once you establish a relationship with them, they tend to take care of your family’s legal needs. Through this, they often form more personal relationships with their clients compared to attorneys who work with a client on one particular issue or claim that gets resolved and thus makes their services no longer necessary.
A good general practice attorney can represent a client in court, draft and review legal documents, be an advocate in negotiations, and advise clients on legal matters. A good general practice attorney will also know their own limitations and refer you to another attorney when a legal issue you need help with is something that they do not have enough experience with to be confident that they can help you better than an attorney that specializes in this area of law.
Even though a general practice attorney is just that, a general practice attorney, many of them do specialize in a few areas of general practice law. It is common for a general practice attorney to be skilled at executing a:
- Business Contract
- Divorce Agreement
- Living Will
- Power of Attorney
- Real Estate documents
- Other legal documents
Because every individual and their family situations are different, what a general practice attorney does for each of their clients is likely to differ even though many situations may be somewhat similar.
Common reasons that people have their general practice attorney represent them in court include but are not limited to:
- Child custody
- Child support
- Criminal charges (including white collar crimes)
- Estate planning
- Personal injury
- Spousal support
- Traffic violations
There are many other general practice areas an attorney might specialize in but the above are some of the common ones. Not all general practice attorneys have experience in all these areas and it is not likely that you will find one attorney who has had it all. It is important to feel comfortable and confident with the level of experience and success your a prospective general practice attorney has in managing clients with legal needs that are similar to yours.
Cost of a General Practice Attorney
While different lawyers may take different approaches to billing, general practice lawyers typically bill by the hour and will have a flat fee for services such as drafting or reviewing documents. Depending on your needs, it may be in your best interest to negotiate a price up front so that you do not feel shocked or cheated when your general practice attorney’s bill comes in.
If you are not sure about the legitimacy of a general practice attorney’s rates and fees, you should find out what other general practice attorneys in your area charge for the costs you are questioning.
It is a good idea to make sure that all your questions about a potential general practice attorney are answered before you start paying them money. Once you are confident about what they can do for you and how much they will charge you for it, you will likely find comfort and relief from some of the anxiety you have about your legal needs.