If your legal case is complicated or involves a large sum of money, you should not attempt to resolve it without the assistance of a lawyer. After all, lawyers do more than just provide legal advice. They provide strategic guidance and use advanced technological abilities to solve legal issues. Ideally, you’ll want to hire a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer to help you navigate the complex legal system.
What to Look for in a Lawyer
It’s not always easy to find a skilled lawyer who can effectively assist you with your specific issue. Don’t expect to discover a good bankruptcy attorney by reading a classified ad or searching online for a lawyer in your area. There isn’t enough information in these sources to make an informed decision.
You do, however, have alternative possibilities. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
A better method is to communicate with others in your community who have dealt with the same issue you are dealing with—for example, if you have a claim of sexual harassment, you should contact a women’s group. Inquire as to who their attorneys were and what they thought of them. If you talk to a half-dozen folks who have had a similar legal issue, you’re likely to get a few useful leads.
However, don’t choose a lawyer purely on the basis of someone else’s recommendation. Different people will react to a lawyer’s approach and personality in different ways. After you’ve met with the lawyer, discussed your case, and decided that you’re comfortable working together, hire him or her.
Furthermore, obtaining a lawyer with the knowledge you require through a personal referral may be difficult. For example, if your friend recommended a wonderful divorce lawyer but you require incorporation help, the recommendation won’t help you much. Don’t give up right away, though. Consider calling the divorce attorney and stating that they come highly recommended, as well as asking if the firm uses a specific business attorney. You might come upon the ideal match.
Services available over the internet
Many websites, including Nolo.com, allow you to connect with local lawyers based on your region and the type of legal matter you’re dealing with. You give your contact information and answer a few questions regarding your case. Then, a lawyer who specializes in the area in which you require assistance reaches you personally. Speak with a lawyer in your area.
The Lawyer Directory by Nolo
Nolo has a one-of-a-kind lawyer directory that includes a detailed profile for each attorney as well as information to assist you in choosing the correct lawyer. The lawyer’s experience, education, fees, and, perhaps most importantly, the lawyer’s fundamental philosophy of practicing law are all detailed in the profiles. Every listed attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with their bar association, according to Nolo.
Businesses that provide services to major players in the legal field you’re interested in may be able to assist you in finding lawyers to consider. For example, if you require legal assistance for your small business, contact your accountant, insurance agency, or real estate broker. Because they deal with business lawyers on a daily basis, these experts may make informed judgements about them.
Referral Services for Lawyers
Another source of information is lawyer referral services. Despite the fact that lawyer referral services are expected to be licensed by the state bar association, there is a broad range in quality. Some legal referral services thoroughly screen attorneys and only list those who meet certain criteria and have a certain level of experience. Other services, on the other hand, will list any attorney who is in good standing with the state bar and has liability insurance. Inquire about the prerequisites for including an attorney and the screening procedure before hiring a legal referral service.
A lawyer recommendation service, on the other hand, may not provide you with insight into the lawyer’s ideology. You won’t know the lawyer’s communication or litigation style, for example.
You can also look for potential candidates in your hunt for a lawyer by going to the following websites:
Avvo – Avvo is a Nolo partner that provides information on almost every lawyer in the country. Client feedback, bar data, disciplinary records, peer endorsements, and more are all available.
A useful source of business lawyers can be the director of your state or local chamber of commerce.
The director of a nonprofit organization interested in the subject matter of your litigation is almost certain to know lawyers who practice in that field. For example, if you’re trying to stop a new subdivision from being built, it’s a good idea to seek advice from an environmental organisation dedicated to reducing urban expansion.
A list of reputable family and divorce lawyers will most likely be available via a women’s or men’s support organization.
Think about hiring a specialist.
Keep in mind that a “general practitioner” who operates in a variety of legal fields may not be knowledgeable enough about your specific issue to be helpful. For example, of America’s almost one million lawyers, fewer than 50,000 have adequate knowledge and expertise in small business law to be of genuine assistance to a budding entrepreneur.
Working with an attorney who is familiar with the sector, such as employment discrimination, zoning rules, software design concerns, or restaurant licensing, can be beneficial. You might take advantage of the fact that the lawyer is already well-versed in the subject. Although an expert may charge a bit extra, it is frequently money well spent.
Interview the Potential Attorneys
After you’ve gotten the names of a few good prospects, the following step is to speak with each one individually. Many lawyers will meet with you for free for a half-hour or so if you outline your demands ahead of time so you can assess them and make an informed decision.
Pay special attention to the relationship between you and your attorney. You may never create an ideal lawyer-client connection if you are uncomfortable with that individual during your first encounter or two, no matter how experienced or well-recommended that lawyer is.
Trust your gut and look for a lawyer with a personality that matches yours. Experience, personal rapport, and accessibility are also important factors to consider.
Promptness and communication
You want a lawyer that will work tirelessly on your behalf and complete all tasks on time. Inquire about how to contact prospective lawyers and how long it will take them to respond to your communications.
Even if the lawyer is easy to talk to and appears kind, don’t skip this step. Lawyers with a lot on their plates typically have processes in place to help them operate more efficiently, and they’ll appreciate it if you follow them.
Unfortunately, all lawyer regulatory organizations’ complaint logs show that many lawyers are poor communicators, although to be fair, some clients’ expectations are unrealistic. Although receiving a call within 24 hours is preferable, there’s usually no cause to be concerned if you have to wait several days to speak with your lawyer on the phone or schedule an appointment. Most lawyers have to juggle office time with busy court schedules, so please be patient.
Anything more than a few days, on the other hand, is usually unjustified. The office should, at the very least, contact you and explain the situation. Attorneys understand that nothing is more annoying to a client than waiting weeks or even months for something to happen, and that this can be detrimental to your case. Consider hiring a new lawyer before you find yourself in this scenario if your calls go unanswered.