You may have heard the terms “constitutional law” and “administrative law.” While you may believe that they are one and the same, they are actually different. By finding out what the difference between administrative law and constitutional law is, you can determine what kind of lawyer you need to help you with your case.

What Is Administrative Law?

Administrative law is the law that government entities on the state and Federal level need to follow. It includes the legal principles that agencies have to act on behalf of Congress. They follow the laws that Congress and state legislatures pass, and they are designed to protect the public rather than the rights of individuals. 

Here’s an example: the federal government created the Social Security Administration to implement Congress’ laws regarding disabilities and social security. If you’ve applied for social security benefits and got denied, you may have gone to an administrative law judge. You would need an administrative law attorney to help you.

Here are some other examples of agencies governed by administrative law. The Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversees workplaces and ensures they are in compliance with the law, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a responsibility to ensure that the environment is protected. 

What Is Constitutional Law?

Constitutional law deals with the rights that are in the federal and state constitutions. Much of it comes from rulings from state and federal supreme courts. A majority of constitutional law issues involve the initial 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, which is the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights is where you can find the right to free speech and the right to a fair trial. Constitutional law is also comprised of the powers as well as the rights of the different branches of government. Constitutional lawyers will be brought on to resolve disputes between the branches. 

The Difference Between Administrative and Constitutional Law

While constitutional law governs the executive and legislative branches, administrative law is in charge of governing their operations. Constitutional law is the ultimate law of the nation, and administrative law is ancillary to it. In addition, constitutional law involves the organs of the state as well as its structure, and administrative law involves the functioning of the organs of the state. 

Since we have a written constitution, the Constitutional laws are codified there. Administrative law is not codified and there could be hundreds of thousands of these types of laws. Constitutional law will establish an administrative body, but administrative law defines the legal limitations and roles of constitutional law. 

In terms of similarities, both constitutional law and administrative law are public law, and they have the same source for the law. 

Do You Need a Constitutional or Administrative Law Lawyer?

Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you may need either an constitutional or administrative law lawyer. For instance, if you need to reinstate your professional license but there’s an issue preventing this, an administrative law lawyer could help you. If you believe your constitutional rights have been violated, then you can call a constitutional lawyer and see if you have a valid case.

When searching for a lawyer, look for one who has experience with cases like yours and excellent case results to back it up. They should provide you with a consultation and be upfront about any fees they’re going to charge. Your lawyer needs to be able to answer all your questions and respond to you in a timely fashion. Then, you will feel like someone is in your corner in your time of need.