What is a ‘Specialist’ Lawyer?
How to score the best lawyer for your team
Much like its name, a specialist lawyer is an expert in a particular field of law – from tax law to space law. Think of it like cricket: there are lawyers who are good all-rounders. This means they can help you with a range of legal needs, across many areas of the law. These are generalist lawyers. However, if the legal matter requires expert knowledge, it is important to engage with a specialist.
Here is a brief overview of what a specialist lawyer is and how they may be able to help with your specific legal needs. If you are looking for the right lawyer for your legal needs, LawPath recommends using the quick quotes service.
What is a Specialist Lawyer?
A specialist lawyer will give advice on their specific area of law. Each state has their own accreditation scheme which recognises lawyers that are specialists in a certain area of the law. For example, the Law Society of New South Wales recognises highly-skilled lawyers within a particular area of the law through their Specialist Accreditation Scheme. To qualify, the solicitor must have practiced full-time law for a minimum of five years, and their specific area of law for at least three years. The Law Society’s Specialist Accreditation page allows you to see if your solicitor is an Accredited Specialist.
Specialist v. Generalist: The Batting Game
The advantage of specialist lawyers is that they have polished and refined their skills in a particular area of law. Continuing the cricketing perspective, a specialist lawyer is like a really good batsman (or batswoman). They are highly valued in the team for their unique expertise, and can be relied upon when specialist advice is needed. However, when it is time to bowl, a batsman may not be suited for the role. Similarly, it may be difficult for a specialist lawyer to give advice on areas outside of his or her field.
A generalist lawyer is a good all-rounder. While they may not have the expertise of a specialist lawyer, they are proficient in a range of legal areas, such as tax law and business law. This means they have the skills to handle a matter regardless of the direction it takes. However, a specialist lawyer is a source of legal advice for issues that concern a particular area of law. For example, an accredited specialist business lawyer advises an employer on their legal rights and responsibilities.
Which One is the Right One for Me?
Your choice of a specialist or generalist lawyer ultimately depends on your legal issue. If you are unsure about what lawyer you will need to address your legal needs, LawPath recommends using the quick quotes service. This service allows you to compare expertise and price in order for you to hire the right lawyer for your needs. That way, whether it’s time to bowl or bat, you are prepared.
Unsure where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or any other legal needs.
Sydney is a Paralegal at Lawpath working in our content team, which works to provide free legal guides to enhance public access to legal resources. With a keen interest in Tort and IP Law, her research focuses on small businesses, and how they can better navigate complex legal procedures.