If you’ve never needed legal representation, finding the right attorney is difficult at best. However, it needn’t be so hard. When you know what you’re doing, the activity is easy. Read the article below for some great information to help you find a good attorney, and leave your legal troubles behind.
Do not pick a lawyer because you saw their ad on television or on a billboard. Many big firms that can afford this type of advertising use lawyers that are fresh out of school for most of their cases, but charge you for the experience held by its highest lawyers.
If you have been in an accident, do not hire any lawyer that comes to you and tries to solicit your business. This is not only unethical, but it is against the law. You do not want to hire anyone to handle your legal case if you have to worry about their legal ethics.
Discuss clearly with the lawyer what his or her role will be in your case. You want to make sure that they will file all the paperwork that is necessary and explain things to you every step of the way. Keep a journal and note all your interactions with the lawyer in it. This might come in handy if you and the lawyer later disagree on what was said or done in your case.
A good tip to keep in mind if you’re thinking about working with a lawyer is to give them as much information as you can. The more documents and information they have that pertains to a case, the better your chances are of winning. If you think a document might be worthless, you lawyer might think otherwise.
Avoid lawyers that use the term “slam dunk” in regards to any situation or case. Seasoned legal professionals know that the law is rarely a cut and dry matter. Otherwise, lawyers might not need to exist at all! You do want a confident attorney, but not an arrogant or ignorant one.
Often, lawyers are specialized in a specific area of the law. If you need a lawyer, make sure you find one that can help you in the exact area that you need. Do not try to hire a personal injury lawyer to help you with your bankruptcy. Even if you are referred by a friend, if the lawyer is not specialized in the area of law you need, then keep looking.
Beyond assessing the lawyer, also make a judgement about how friendly and helpful the lawyer’s office workers are. When you make a phone call, figure out how nice the receptionist is and how quickly you get a call back. If that office takes a while to return any messages you leave, this may be a hint as to how you will be treated as a client.
Keep in mind that you will end up paying a lawyer for more than just the time they spend on your case. If applicable to your case, you may have to pay them for phone costs, traveling costs, and even costs to make copies. Take this into consideration when making a financial plan.
Look into the educational background of your attorney. While this information should not be your only consideration, it is likely important. The better the school that he graduated from, the harder the courses likely were, and the harder that they were willing to work for their degree. A good lawyer could have gone to a mediocre law school, but that should be something you know when you are making choices.
Asking your trusted colleagues and friends for references is a great way to identify a good lawyer. If a friend has a positive experience with a lawyer, it is very likely that the lawyer and the rest of his staff are competent, courteous and follow through well on their cases.
After getting a recommendation for a lawyer, try setting up a brief meeting with them. Once you act on a recommendation, you will need to meet your potential lawyer face-to-face. Many offer free first-time consultations, so this is the perfect opportunity to interview them. You should ask them tough questions, have them describe past cases they’ve worked on, and see a list of previous clients.
Go over the details of your case carefully with your potential lawyer. You want to inform him of everything, then you can make a proper judgement of his skills and how he will help you. This will give you the best opportunity to make a judgement and decide whether he is right for you.
Depending on the type of case you are involved in, personality really does matter. For example, if you are dealing with a child custody situation, you are probably going to have a lot of questions for your attorney as time goes on. You want to make sure whoever you hire is approachable and willing to get back to you quickly.
Ask your lawyer how long they think you should expect your legal situation to go on. Know what their projections are for when your case will be filed and resolved. You must be realistic with what you are currently facing. Your legal costs will keep going up and your life can be negatively impacted.
For personal injury cases, find an attorney who will work on your case on a contingency basis. That way, you don’t have to pay any fees if you don’t win your case. Contingency fees are generally a very high percentage, so the lawyer is very motivated to help you win. If he wins your case then he will take his percentage before you receive the settlement, so nothing will come out of your pocket.
Now that you know a few things about finding an attorney, you can begin the hunt. Use these tips wisely, and you’ll have no trouble finding an attorney who will serve you well. Share what you’ve learned with others so that they too can easily find legal representation when needed.