We all like to make jokes about lawyers and say what a great place the world would be without them, but when we need them we REALLY need them. The honest truth is that we have to realize that the world in fact be much worse off without lawyers; the system may be imperfect but the fact that we have people to represent us in important legal matters makes life a lot better for many.

But naturally, not all lawyers are created equal. Here are some different types of lawyers you may need at one point or another in the course of your life. Some of these lawyers you should call; others you hope you don’t have to call, but you’re grateful to have them when you need them:

-Estate lawyers. You should be talking to one already. The moment you’ve amassed any even slightly significant net worth, you need to plan out what happens to it if you pass on suddenly. This could save your loved ones infinite problems down the line.

-Immigration lawyers. An often overlooked resource for expats. A good immigration lawyer can not only save you precious time and money by doing things properly the first time (immigration processes are not cheap), they can even in some cases make the difference between being able to stay in that dream overseas job or not.

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Personal Injury lawyers. These lawyers are indispensible when you have suffered an injury due to outside negligence or malfeasance. Once again, you hope you don’t need one, but if you do, they are worth their weight in gold. Settlements can be ten, twenty or even more times more with a good lawyer in this category.

-Criminal lawyer. This is another category of lawyer you hope you never have to call. But their negotiations can make a whole world of difference, especially if you are the victim of a wrongful accusation or being prosecuted by an overzealous prosecutor.

-Intellectual Property Lawyer. If you are working in a creative field, there is an excellent chance you will need their services at least once in your life. This is another category of lawyer where consulting them in a timely manner prevents problems from multiplying down the line.

-Family Lawyer. Also a category of under-rated lawyers. Procure the services of one to get a prenup and save big time on a potential costly divorce later. You may even be able to stop that divorce from happening. Also highly important to help resolve child custody issues.