General practice lawyers tend to play a wide range of roles. Every general practice lawyer will run their practice anywhere from slightly different to very different from other general practice lawyers. Common things that general practice lawyers do, include but are not limited to, drafting and reviewing legal documents, being an advocate in negotiations, advising clients in legal matters, and representing clients in court.

One unofficial but important role a good general practice lawyer often plays for a client is developing more of a relationship with the client compared to a lawyer who is hired for one particular legal matter and are no longer in (much) contact when the matter is resolved. A general practice lawyer often knows about significant life events that occur in their clients’ lives as well as about their day to day activities and general lifestyle.

Another unofficial but important role of a general practice lawyer is that they know their own limitations and will refer clients out when they know that another lawyer will be better suited to helping their client with a particular situation in an area of law that they are unfamiliar and/or inexperienced with. When you have a good relationship with a general practice lawyer you already know and trust, this can be of great help to you when unexpected legal issues come up- because you already know that they have your best interests in mind.

Common General Practice Areas
Every person’s legal needs are going to be unique to their particular situation but common areas that a general practice lawyer will help a client with include:

  • Estate planning
  • Bankruptcy
  • Family law (marriage, divorce, alimony, child custody and support,
    adoptions, etc.)
  • Criminal charges (DUI, white collar crimes, embezzlement, assault, etc.)
  • Immigration
  • Personal injury

There are many other areas of law a general practice lawyer may be able to help their client with. Not all general practice lawyers have experience in these areas so it is important to know what they can and cannot help you with, and to know that they will refer you to someone that is trustworthy and reliable in the event they cannot help you with a particular legal need.

General Practice Lawyer
A general practice lawyer is a lawyer who does not specialize in one particular area of law but because of the wide range of legal areas that people need help with, they often are qualified to help people with the following:

  • Living Wills
  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Business Contracts
  • Leases
  • Power of Attorney
  • Divorce Agreements
  • Child Custody Agreements
  • Real Estate Documents
  • Other legal documents

General Practice Lawyer Fees
In general, most general practice lawyers will bill by the hour. As well, they often have flat fees for different services such as drafting or reviewing documents. Different general practice lawyers and practices bill differently than others but some of them are willing to negotiate a flat fee for a particular matter a client needs help with. It is a good idea to find out what other general practice lawyers in your area charge before agreeing to pay one that is unnecessarily overpriced.