If you are in need of legal assistance, chances are good you are going to be looking for a great lawyer to help you with your case. Whether you are starting a business, ending a marriage, or looking to open a suit against a business or individual who has wronged you, it is crucial to make sure that you have the right kind of legal help in your corner.
So, how do you know how to choose the best lawyer for your specific legal needs? In fact, choosing legal services and assistance can be very much like choosing any other kind of product. That means, the wise consumer is going to conduct throughout research before they make an informed decision.
Once you secure several lawyer referrals with expertise in the field and practice area that you are needing assistance in, you should make sure to carefully research each candidate.
If you are either on the verge or currently preparing to seek out legal defense or assistance, here are five great steps to start out on the right foot.
First, conduct candidate interviews:
One of the most effective ways to make sure that you are going to get the most of your relationship with your lawyer is conduct through interviews will all potential candidates. Most attorneys will provide an initial consultation free of charge. If they don’t offer that, you may want to consider that a sign that they are not the right practice for you.
If they do, here are some questions to consider asking them during your free consultation.
- What are their fees and how are they structured?
- Do they carry malpractice insurance and what is the cost if they do?
- Who else would be working on your case and what extra prices apply?
- Do they outsource any of their legal tasks?
- What additional costs can you expect to face?
- How often will you be billed?
- Can they provide references from other clients who had similar legal needs?
- Do they have a written fee agreement or representation agreement?
- How will they inform you of developments in your case?
- What experience does the lawyer have in your type of legal matter?
- How long have they been in practice?
- What percentage of their caseload is in a similar type of legal problem that you are facing?
- What is their track record?
- Do they have any special skills or certifications than apply?
Once you have the answer to these questions, you will surely be closer to being able to make your decision about whether or not a specific attorney or practice is right for you. That being said, it is important to remember that a fee does not necessarily equate to a more qualified attorney. That being said, a rock-bottom fee could certainly indicate an attorney with a bad reputation or lack of experience.
After you are done conducting interviews with any and all prospective attorneys, here are some questions that you can ask yourself to better help you decide which one is right for you.
- Are the lawyer’s experience and legal background well matched to your legal needs?
- Did the lawyer or legal assistance you met with provide prompt and courteous responses to your questions?
- Are they someone with whom you would be comfortable and happy to work with?
- Are you confident that they have the skills and experience that you need to handle your legal case?
- Are you comfortable with how their fees and billing is structured and are you confident that you will be able to afford their services over an extended period of time?
- Are you comfortable with the terms of the fee agreement or representation agreement?
Ask Other Attorneys
One great way to find a great lawyer, is to ask other lawyers what they think. The legal world is a fairly tight-knit community and chances are good any lawyer you know will have either heard of the lawyer or firm you are considering working with, or will be able to quickly spot whether or not they are worth working with after taking a look at a few easily accessible indicators such as their company website.
Factors that attorneys may be able to shine a light on include ethics, competence, practice habits, and reputation. If you are deciding between two or more lawyers, this could help be a deciding factor.
Conduct a Background Check
Befoyre you sign on the dotted line and decide to hire a lawyer, contact a disciplinary agency in your state to make sure that they are in good standing.
You should always check references, especially if you located the attorney through the internet. You can also check a lawyer’s peer review ratings online.
These peer review ratings are valuable because they offer an objective insight into how a given lawyer has performed and behaved in the past.
Take a Tour of the Layer’s Law Office
Believe if or not you can tell a lot about an attorney from their law office. Request a bref tour of their office beyond the conference room that you met. Look ot for whether or not the office is neat and orderly. Take a look at the kind of support staff they employ. Keeping in minds factos such as whether or not they are friendly and helpful.
Red flags to look out for include mass disarray, unhappy staff, and many empty offices.
Hiring a lawyer can be an intimidating, but incredibly important aspect of life. It’s a way to take care of yourself and make sure that you are covered when a potential legal situation comes into your life.
Hiring a lawyer, however, is half the battle. You need to be sure that you are hiring the right lawyer for the job. By following these steps, chances are good you will be making sure that you are doing all you can to work with the very best.
The very best typically render the very best results, so it is really your duty to yourself to make sure you are prepared as possible.