The difference between a Specialist and Generalist Lawyer
A Specialist lawyer focus on one distinct area of law. Their knowledge of that area of law is vast and they will have usually spent years, sometimes decades, studying it to become experts in their field.
A Generalist Lawyer will practice various types of law. They do not focus on one area of law but instead have knowledge on a range of areas within the legal industry.
Reasons to choose a Generalist Lawyer:
- Generalist Lawyers can provide their clients with multiple services and opinions because they work across the legal spectrum.
- All your legal needs are under one roof.
- Knowledge on a broad range of legal areas, may allow a generalist lawyer to offer solutions that a specialist might not be able to.
- The fees of a Generalist maybe less than a Specialist. A Generalist can sustain lower fees as they have many practice areas with more turnover and profit.
- The client has a greater choice of Generalist Lawyers.
- A generalist will have a greater depth of knowledge and breadth of experience over a wider range of legal issues.
Reasons to choose a Specialist Lawyer:
- They deal with the area of law on a day-to-day basis.
This means that they will have up to date knowledge of legal changes, processes and will probably have dealt with a case like yours and will therefore have experience of resolution of your matter first hand. By choosing a specialist lawyer, you get the assurance that you are working with the experts in their area of focus. Their years of experience and expertise in that field is an assurance that you will be represented well.
- A specialist will be familiar with the particular court or tribunal where your case will be dealt with.
A specialist is likely to have expert knowledge of legal processes and non-legal administrative things that regularly occur.
- A specialist will normally take less time to deal with your issue and this could save you money.
Whilst a specialist is likely to charge higher fees because of their expertise, they will also have access to key resources and precedent documents that a generalist will not have. Accordingly, this experience will mean that it takes less time to deal with a matter than a generalist who may be working on several areas of law at the same time.
- Best practice
In addition to understanding the law and process, you will normally find that a specialist has developed best practice in their area, and they can pass this on to you or utilise in your case.
- They will be more up to date in the area of law
Because they focus on one area of law all of their training, professional development activities, writing and reading will be in that area of law. It is therefore likely that they will be more widely read on the topic than a lawyer who is practicing many areas of law.
- You will receive a personalised service.
It is common for specialist lawyers to handle only one or two clients at a time to make sure that they are giving their full attention to their clients and their needs.
- Better reputation
Specialist lawyers often have a reputation. This reputation often precedes them even before they go to court. Often, lawyers on the other side will choose to settle and negotiate rather than go to court against a specialist lawyer. This is the ideal solution as it saves time and legal fees and can produce a fair settlement.
- They will probably be passionate about their area of law
Finally, you will find that lawyers who specialise in one area of law do so because they are passionate about that area and genuinely enjoy their work. This will reflect in how they handle your case and assist you.
For more on the debate between Specialist vs Generalist lawyers, visit this interesting article from Quora: https://www.quora.com/Is-there-really-a-difference-between-generalist-and-specialist-lawyers
For more details on specialist lawyers, in particular boutique law firms, visit our article at https://buenosabogados.es/what-is-a-boutique-law-firm/
For more information have a look at our article about the qualities every good lawyer should have: https://buenosabogados.es/cualidades-esenciales-de-los-buenos-abogados/