What is a Civil Lawyer?

Are you in need of a civil lawyer?

In this article, we will delve into the role of civil lawyers and how they can help you resolve your legal matters.

In addition, by the end of this article, the reader will be able to differentiate between a civil and a criminal case.

What is a civil lawyer?

What is a Civil Lawyer. Image of lead actor James Spader from Boston Legal.

A civil lawyer, or attorney, is a legal professional who has specialized in resolving disputes that are not criminal in nature.

In some jurisdictions, civil lawyers will be known as civil litigation lawyers or litigators.

Therefore, civil attorneys are of help to individuals, businesses, or organizations that want to solve a wide range of non-criminal issues.

Difference between a civil and a criminal attorney

Criminal attorneys specialize in prosecuting or defending individuals who have committed criminal acts against the public, state, or country. 

On the other hand, civil lawyers litigate cases that involve disputes between people or organizations but do not involve criminal laws being broken.

In simpler terms, civil lawyers will usually represent clients in disputes that involve wrongs committed between people.

What does a civil attorney do?

A civil attorney will represent clients in civil law cases with legal issues concerning: 

  • Personal injury claims such as insurance compensation and work-related injuries.
  • Formation of Contracts and any disputes arising thereafter.
  • Property and real estate disputes.
  • Labor and employment disputes, such as workers compensation claims.
  • Family and Divorce claims.
  • Environment disputes.
  • Civil rights disputes.
  • Immigration disputes.
  • Intellectual property rights disputes, such as copyright and trademark disputes.
Example of a person who can seek a personal injury claim
Image by Moustarah and company

If you have a cause of action that involves the above listed subject matter, then it is best to contact a civil lawyer.

Civil lawyers are important as they help their clients navigate the litigation process.

The litigation process involves civil procedure, with which civil attorneys are familiar since they learn the process at Law School.

The civil procedure is usually governed by rules that civil attorneys interact with on a daily basis.

Some of the rules include the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

These are a set of 86 rules that govern procedural law for civil proceedings. 

In general, civil lawyers help a client in the litigation process, which involves the filing of a lawsuit, court proceedings, and the obtaining and enforcement of a judgment.

What is the cost of hiring a civil attorney?

The cost of hiring a civil lawyer depends on several parameters.

Some of the considerations that a lawyer will use to factor payments include the provisions of statutes, such as minimum wage requirements.

In addition, the type of claim, dispute, or difficulty of a client’s case will determine the amount paid.

The area of practice is also a parameter for consideration.

For example, a civil lawyer engaged in a merger, acquisition, or business contract will get more pay than a personal injury claim lawyer.

Also, experience and geographical location determine the cost of hiring a lawyer.

Difference between Flat Fee and a Retainer

Retainer fee 

This is a fee that a lawyer charges a client based on how much work a lawyer expects to do within a month or the whole case.

It is billed to a client on a monthly basis or based on the total hours.

Flat fee

This is a fee charged by a lawyer to a client on an all-inclusive basis.

The flat fee is based on a contract in which the breakdown of costs is stated. 

Any additional costs that come up during the litigation process will be billed by the lawyer to the client.

Free civil suit lawyer

Some lawyers provide legal aid for free., i.e., pro bono services.

Pro-bono lawyers are usually funded by Federal State programs or pro bono programs.

These lawyers will usually represent and offer clients with legal aid for free.

For example, the Lawyer’s Committee provides law firms and lawyers with many opportunities to provide pro bono assistance on civil rights matters. 

The US Department of Justice also has a program for pro-bono services for clients who seek services of an immigration lawyer.

How can I become a civil lawyer?

To be able to pursue a career as a civil lawyer, a person needs to do the following:

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree, which is a prerequisite for gaining admission to law school.
  • Take and pass the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT).
  • Complete Law School and Receive a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) degree.
  • Take and pass the State Bar Examination, upon which one obtains a license.


Civil Lawyers have the necessary substantive knowledge of procedural law.

This knowledge, combined with legal research skills, makes civil lawyers best positioned to help a client resolve a legal dispute.

The professional ethos of the Legal Profession requires civil attorneys to always represent their client’s best interests.