The legal field of intellectual property is so complex that you'll need a professional who specializes in the field when considering a patent. There are two types of attorneys.
One is the registered patent attorney, who has an additional degree in a field such as engineering or science and who must pass two bar exams: their home state's and a federal patent bar exam administered by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The other type of attorneys, intellectual property attorneys, doesn't require training beyond law school and passing the state bar. I recommend using an attorney registered with USPTO.
IPBiz notes that one must be a registered patent attorney or a registered patent agent to conduct business before the USPTO.