When you have a legal problem, the first reaction is often to take the person to court. But going to court is not the only way to solve a problem. Lawyers today use other options that might be in everyone's best interests, such as: See more here.
Negotiation means talking with the other person to try to solve the problem. But some conflicts are complicated. Also, you might find it hard to speak with the person you're having trouble with. In such a case, hire a lawyer or someone specializing in solving legal problems out of court. See here for information about The Professional Duties Lawyers Owe You.
Mediation is like negotiation, except that a neutral person is involved. This person who can be a lawyer can make it easier to talk with the other person. The mediator helps each side identify what is important to them and then suggests solutions. If both sides agree, the mediator prepares a written agreement.
Arbitration is similar to a court hearing. An "arbitrator" who in most cases but not all is a lawyer acts as a judge who applies the law to decide the issue. The law gives arbitrators some special powers, such as the power to administer oaths, which is the ability to accept a person's formal promise.