When you’re searching for a lawyer, you want to find a good one. But that may seem easier said than done. Every lawyer seems to be advertising online, and many of them are trying to earn your business. How can you tell which lawyers are right for your case? And how do you even start looking? To help you answer these questions, here are eight tips for finding a good lawyer.
Find a lawyer who focuses on the area of law that you need.
Find a lawyer who focuses on the area of law that you need. Each area of law requires different skills and expertise. A lawyer who focuses on one particular field of law will probably have more experience and knowledge than a general practitioner regarding that specific area of the law.
Find out if your lawyer has trial experience.
You should find out if your lawyer has a trial record. If you are not going to trial, trial experience may not be important. If you are planning to go to trial, the lack of experience does not immediately disqualify the lawyer, but you will want to take this into consideration when making your final decision.
You don’t need to sign with the first lawyer you meet.
You’re not obligated to give a lawyer your business just because they were the first firm to speak with you. Try meeting with 3-4 different law firms first before making your decision, if time allows. The most important thing is that your lawyer has relevant experience in the field of law in which you need service. In addition to the lawyer’s relevant experience, you should also make sure you feel comfortable with them. They are here to help you, not make you uncomfortable.
Check your state’s bar association to see if anyone filed complaints against the attorney you want to hire.
The state bar association can tell you if the lawyer has a license in your state, has any disciplinary action taken against them, and if they have passed any ethical tests.
Get an idea of the costs involved.
How does the lawyer expect to be paid and are you able to provide the payment? Depending on the situation, lawyers can work on an hourly rate, flat fee, or contingency basis (being paid only if you win). There are many options for financial legal support if needed. You can receive pro bono (free) services from a nonprofit, legal aid society, or volunteer attorney program.
Get a referral from a trusted source.
Seek referrals from trusted friends and family members. Even if they’ve never hired an attorney themselves, they may know someone who has. Their recommendations can help narrow down your search.
Choose a lawyer you can trust and communicate well with.
You need a lawyer who can communicate. A lawyer who is not reachable is not of much use to you. Does your lawyer return your phone calls or emails? Does he or she answer your questions? Make sure the lawyer’s personality works for you.
You will spend a lot of time communicating with your attorney, so you need to choose someone you feel comfortable talking to and who makes you feel confident. You also want to find someone knowledgeable about the law and willing to keep you informed and ask for your input when needed.
Communication is essential in this process, as there are many forms that must be completed and deadlines that must be met. If something is not completed properly or submitted on time, it could cost you additional money, delay the resolution of your case or even prevent you from getting the compensation you deserve.
Do your homework.
You may be able to save money by conducting research yourself or hiring the assistance of a private investigator to collect evidence. The more evidence you can bring to your lawyer, in the beginning, the more likely the lawyer is to take you seriously and maybe even take your case.
Finding a lawyer for your specific case can be a challenge. You need to find one that is experienced, knowledgeable and available in your area. Be sure to take your time researching attorneys so you can make a confident decision that will impact the outcome of your legal matter.