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Legal System In The United States and Types of Attorneys

Legal System In The United States

Legal System In The United StatesThe United States legal system is one of the most comprehensive as well as the best constituted legal systems in the world. The system requires the governmental, regulatory and judicial systems to work together so that the rule of law can be enforced properly. The U.S. Constitution recognizes the states’ privilege to draft and enforce its own set of laws, thus making the legal system not uniform throughout the land but varied from state to state. The judicial system in the country works at two levels − Federal level and State level. The system is guided by the federal as well as the individual state constitution and legal codes. The enforcement of law is ensured by different governmental bodies like the police and other agencies and any dispute is brought to the notice of the District Court whose decision can be challenged at the Court of Appeals and eventually at the United States Supreme Court.

The United States Supreme Court constitutes of nine judges who hear cases from the highest state courts. The Supreme Court is the ultimate authority in legal matters and has the last say on matters of U.S. Constitution and Federal law. The law of the United States can roughly be divided into two types− Procedural Law and Substantive Law. The Procedural Law deals with the processes and procedures that courts follow in order to judge a case. The procedures for criminal cases are a lot different from civil cases. On the other hand, the Substantive Law is regarded as the main law by a lay man. It deals with the protection of the fundamental rights of the citizens, peace and law and order in the country. The three types of Substantive laws are Criminal Law, Contract Law and Tort Law.

Each of the fifty states in the United States has its own code of laws which may differ from one another at times. As a result while travelling from one state to another U.S. citizens have to make themselves aware of the laws existing in that state. Any breach of law is brought to the notice of the judge at the district court and the case is fought with the help of lawyers. However, if any government body is a party in the case, prosecutors represent it in the court.

Types of Attorneys

The legal system in the United States encompasses a large number of aspects of life and so different types of attorneys exist in the system to help people deal with different types of court cases. Attorneys in the United States can roughly be divided into two main categories, Criminal Attorneys and Civil Attorneys. Criminal Attorneys deal in subjects that have caused the infringement of criminal laws and represent their clients in the courts. The purview of these attorneys includes infringement of traffic laws, felonies like murder and abduction, white collar crimes and juvenile issues. The Civil Attorneys on the other hand deal in civil matters such as domestic law, corporate law, tax law and personal injury. Attorneys are often known according to their area of specialization, such as an attorney dealing in tax affairs is known as a Tax Attorney while one dealing in matters of traffic rules violations is called a Traffic Attorney.

The U.S. legal system requires each and every attorney to pass the standard bar exam in order to obtain a license to start practicing. The latest data shows that there are 1,225,452 attorneys in the United States who practice regularly in legal matters. The legal system of the United States functions on the basis of the U.S. Constitution as well as the Federal and State legal codes and so it is one of the most versatile legal systems in the world.

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August 11, 2014
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