A wise consumer will always conduct a thorough research before choosing a product or service, including legal services. For those who haven’t hired a lawyer before, the process of choosing a lawyer can be quite intimidating. But when you are informed and know what you’re looking for, the likelihood of having a positive results is much greater.
To help you find a good lawyer, we have detailed a few steps to choose the best lawyer.
- Determine when you need to hire a Lawyer
While this will vary for every individual, the quicker you establish a crucial relationship with your lawyer and start getting good advice, the better off you will be. Nonetheless, good legal advice is not going to be free.
When starting out, you can start contacting your local lawyers and asking them about their rates and basic services through an initial interview. Most lawyers will offer an initial consultation for an hour or less free of charge. Some of the most important questions you should ask include;
- How long they have been in practice
- What experience they have in your legal matter
- How their fees are structured
- If there will be anyone else working on your case and for how much
- Whether they have any certifications or special skills
- The percentage of caseload that is dedicated in your type of legal issue
- Whether they carry a malpractice insurance
- How often you will be billed
- Their track record of success
- How they will inform you about the developments in your case
Don’t forget that higher fees doesn’t mean that the attorney is more qualified. But a rock bottom price could also be a sign that the lawyer is inexperienced or incompetent.
- Conduct a Background check
Prior to hiring a lawyer, you should contact a lawyer disciplinary agency in your state and ask about the lawyer. You can even check the online listings for the state’s lawyer disciplinary agency to confirm the lawyer is in a good standing as a member of the bar.
Be sure to always check the references, especially if you found the lawyer online. You should also check the various peer-review ratings that you can find online. These can serve as an objective indicator of the ethical standards and professional ability of the lawyer, which are generated from evaluations by other members of the bar as well as the judiciary.
- Visit the Lawyer’s Office
The law office can tell you a lot about an attorney. You can request a brief tour around the office, as well as beyond the office or the room where you meet the lawyer. Check if the law office is orderly, neat, well run, and efficient. Is the staff helpful and friendly? Does the lawyer employ any kind of support? How accessible is the lawyer’s local office? Watch out for any red flags like unhappy staff members, a large unoccupied office space area, unreturned phone calls, and unhappy staff members.
Hopefully, these three tips will be helpful in finding a good lawyer. You are now better equipped to choose a lawyer that has the personal qualities and legal skills to serve your needs best.