Civil rights law protects individuals from discrimination and unfair treatment in public life. Both the federal government and the states have laws protecting individuals rights from interference by the government and businesses. For example, freedom of speech, freedom to own a firearm and freedom from job discrimination based on race are all protected by civil rights laws. Frequently, civil rights lawyers work to make broad changes to the law that will protect many people in a group. But if an individual comes forward with a valid claim, a civil rights lawyer will work to enforce that persons rights, inside or outside of court.