In the era of globalization, it is not uncommon for a person who is a citizen of a foreign state to have some connections with Polish law. They may have the nature of commitments, conduct of business, criminal liability or personal relations. It is not important – Polish law also includes people who do not have Polish citizenship in many moments. A person who has contacts with Polish law should not approach them on their own. Even Poles need someone who knows the rules – let alone a person who is subject to a completely different legal system. In Polish reality, legal assistance is provided as part of two legal professions – lawyers and legal advisors.
The difference between an attorney and a legal counsel
Often looking for a lawyer, we will come across both lawyers and legal advisors. In various foreign legal systems the problem of providing legal assistance is regulated differently. Occasionally, there is one profession of providing such assistance, sometimes two (or more). It is possible to distinguish between competences in this area. In Poland, an advocate is the oldest profession of this type. The councilor was established to serve state-owned companies. Over time, the competences of legal counselors have expanded, but they have constantly oscillated around business services. Currently, however, legal advisors have an independent position – they can serve anyone, both in terms of civil, economic, administrative and criminal law. This means that the profession of advocate and legal advisor is essentially the same in terms of the scope of legal services. There is one exception – an advocate can not be employed as part of an employment relationship. However, if the legal advisor is our employee, he will not be able to defend himself in criminal matters.
Forms of organization of law firms
Due to various market needs, law firms in Poland take on very different shapes. It must be emphasized at the outset, however, that the previously introduced division is not definitive in terms of the form of running a law firm. In practice, there is a lawyer’s and attorney’s office. There is no distinction in this field.
A lawyer in Poland operates most often within the office. Their size is very diverse. There is no shortage of single-person chancelleries in which only one lawyer works. Such offices usually serve “daily affairs”, but you can not categorize here. Very often a lawyer operating within a single-member office is a specialist in a given field. The most popular are law offices where several attorneys or legal advisors work.
Business clients, however, will most often choose large law firms employing several dozen lawyers. Most often, such offices form a network throughout Poland. Choosing such a law firm brings many benefits. The office is divided into specialized departments, so you can focus on specific elements of the case. On the other hand, it happens that the office also employs other people, such as tax advisors or economists, thanks to which the scope of services provided is even broader.