Today I’m going to guide you on how to choose a good lawyer in your area.
Sometimes in your life, you might find yourself you need help from a lawyer. Or you may wish to hire your attorney to conduct your day-to-day legal issues. Or maybe you need an advocate to be your company’s secretary.
With 1,327,910 licensed attorneys in the United States, how does a person faced with a legal problem decide which attorney is best suited to help resolve the problem?
Finding the best lawyer for your demands could seem intimidating, but as with any other consumer purchase, research is essential.
Here I will provide you with some advice on how to choose a lawyer and walk you through some possible questions to ask when you first meet.
If you do your research, you can find a lawyer with the knowledge and skills to assist you with your issue.
Let’s get started
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How to Choose a Good Lawyer in Your Area
Generally, the process of choosing a good lawyer involves three stages namely; Research, assessment, and selection.
- Research– here you look and pick relevant lawyers based on your legal issue through friends’ recommendations, online reviews, etc.
- Assessment– here you assess the professionalism and integrity of some lawyers you pick from the research
- Selection – here you hire the attorney whom you find very suitable depending on your assessment.
It’s just simple like that.
I will break down the process so you can really understand what you should do when picking a good attorney.
The following are the criteria to consider when choosing a good lawyer in your area for any legal service needs.
Decide whether you need a lawyer long-term or short-term after realizing you do need legal assistance.
Do you, for example, require legal counsel with a current legal matter? This might simply need a consultation or short-term hiring.
On the other hand, if you want someone to handle all of your legal matters permanently, you might need a long-term lawyer you can contact as needed.
The longer you need a lawyer, the longer you have to scrutinize to make sure you get the right one.
Consider the Area of Specialization
A lawyer does not know everything about the law.
Someone might be very good in corporate law but poor in civil litigation or good in family law but poor in banking law.
Once finding a lawyer you must make sure you understand in which legal category your concern falls, this might help you to get the right lawyer for you. Is it a family issue, mortgage, company, contract or employment, or criminal?
There are lawyers specialized in every category. In case you don’t know, kindly use the contact form in this blog to tell us your concern and we will help to tell you in which legal category your concern fit.
Finding a specialized lawyer might save you time and enable you to get quality services.
See: 34+ Types of lawyers
Sometimes you ask yourself ‘should I go to a fresh-from-school lawyer or get an experienced lawyer?’ the answer is yes and no at the same time.
This is highly dependent on your issue at hand.
There are legal matters which are complex and need an experienced lawyer however there legal issues that are simple and they don’t need experience at all.
Examples of complex legal issues are adoption matters, murder cases, and matters which are urgent in nature.
Examples of simple matters are attestation issues, preparing legal documents like an Affidavit, Deed Poll and simple contracts, a normal civil case, etc.
So I’m advising you that if you have a complex legal issue please see an experienced lawyer for a better service but if your issue is simple then even a fresh-from-school lawyer might be enough.
NB. There are fresh-from-school lawyers who can handle complex matters.
This is a very simple and sufficient way of getting a good lawyer. Ask a friend or a family member who hired a lawyer for recommendations.
- Ask to find out
- what kind of lawyer was hired
- what kind of service was provided,
- were they satisfied?
- Ask if they can give you a better option.
State bar associations are another excellent place to look for attorneys that work in the area where you need help.
Online sites can also be reliable sources, and many of them also provide consumer reviews so you can see how other people felt about their experiences working with a certain lawyer.
Law Firm Matter
Sometimes you may meet with a ‘briefcase attorney’ (a lawyer who has no physical address) and enjoy his service.
But does the law firm matter when choosing a good lawyer? The answer is yes.
In a good law firm, you will find good lawyers. And you will have a security of service. Also, there are some law firms which are specialized in certain areas of law example mining and gases, intellectual properties, tax law, family law, and corporate law so you can easily find an expert in a law firm.
Legal services are always expensive.
Sometimes you don’t have enough money to engage a lawyer and you face very serious trouble that needs a lawyer’s help.
In this situation, you may seek a Probono lawyer (a lawyer who provides service for free) or go to any legal aid centers that are also free of charge.
In case you have a low budget you may seek a young lawyer who might be ready to help you.
Knowing the cost of legal counsel is crucial since it can quickly get expensive.
Based on the specifics of your case, a lawyer ought should be able to provide you with a rough estimate at the initial session.
Prefer local attorney
Laws vary by state.
This means you should look for someone in your area who is familiar with the region’s legal requirements.
Also, an attorney with local experience will be more familiar with the judicial or administrative authorities in your area, as well as local laws and processes.
Additionally, face-to-face contact is often preferable to phone conferences and email, so it may be beneficial to have the local lawyer nearby so they can quickly travel to the location of the issue.
While there are numerous professional factors to take into account when selecting a lawyer, you need also to examine their character.
Find a person that you can trust and who makes you feel at ease.
Do I feel comfortable working with this lawyer? Will I feel at ease approaching him or her with questions and bringing up concerns I may have?
Respect for one another is also crucial.
A lawyer who will put in the effort for you uses sound judgment, and is systematic and sensitive throughout the procedure is a tremendous asset.
Does the prospective attorney have adequate time to focus on your case? How is the volume of cases? Can they start working on your case right away? If you anticipate speaking with the lawyer frequently, these are crucial inquiries to make.
Consider seeking someone else who has the time to take care of your needs if a lawyer seems overworked.
Lawyers are busy buddies.
Between meetings and paperwork, there can be a propensity to lose touch frequently.
Make sure you select a lawyer with who you can always keep in touch.
First, make an effort to create proactive communication.
So that you and the other party are in agreement, mention your preferred method of contact and go over your working hours.
This will stop missed phone calls or meetings. Establish recurring check-in times to talk about updates and pose queries.
A professional lawyer should also take the time to explain complex issues, give you advice on your case in plain English, and provide you with a range of options or solutions to consider before deciding on a course of action.
Once you’ve decided on the lawyer you believe will work best for you, Make sure the attorney you’ve picked hasn’t been the target of any disciplinary measures by contacting the state agency in your area that deals with attorney disciplinary cases.
This organization will often be the state bar association, though this will depend on your state.