Whether you’re facing a legal battle or creating one of your own, you’ll need a lawyer to help you navigate the world of lawsuits, settlements and courtrooms. The first step is finding the right person for the job. If you seek a legal professional, here are just a few tips for choosing the best.
1. Find a Specialist Most lawyers have a background in a specific type of law. For example, they might be a personal injury lawyer who deals with things like dog bites and car accidents, or they might be a finance lawyer who can assist you during tax season. You should find someone with the right kind of expertise to tackle your case. Avoid “jack of all trades” lawyers who dabble in many different practice areas without specializing in any of them.
2. Ask for Recommendations and Referrals Don’t choose a lawyer by flipping through the Yellow Pages. Your best bet will be someone who comes recommended by a trusted friend, relative, neighbor or community leader. They’re the person who will be able to tell you if the lawyer actually responds to emails and follows through with promises.
3. Stay Local They might be a hotshot lawyer, but if they live more than an hour away from you, they’re probably not worth the effort. Long commutes will make it difficult for you and your lawyer to schedule face-to-face meetings, and it isn’t always comfortable or practical to discuss sensitive legal matters by email or over the phone. Look for someone in the area or someone who at least has a local office.
4. Find Them Online Every lawyer worth their salt will have a website or social media presence, and these things can tell you a lot about the lawyer’s attitude, personality and skill set. Do their values match your own? Do they seem like someone you can work with over the next few months? Does their “about me” page include details of their education and background?
5. Schedule A Consultation A consultation is basically a “getting to know you” meeting where neither party has signed anything yet. You haven’t committed to their services, and you’re under no obligation to do so. If you get to their firm and discover that they’re a rude, unprofessional jerk with a dirty waiting room, there’s nothing stopping you from simply walking out and finding yourself another lawyer. This is the power of a consultation. These are just a few things to keep in mind as you seek legal counsel. For additional information, contact an organization like Juristes Power Law. They’ll be able to answer your questions and help you take the first steps towards finding legal representation.