Whether you are setting up a business or planning for your estate, choosing the right lawyer is an essential step in any legal process. It takes time to find a reliable and experienced lawyer to help you with your legal matter. You might waste your time and money by choosing the first lawyer that you see. These are just a few ways to find the right attorney.
Begin by asking for a recommendation
Referring to friends and family is a great place to start when looking for a lawyer with a track record of success. It will also help you avoid lawyers who have not been as successful.
Patricia Browne Holmes, Riley Safer Holmes, and Cancila LLP states that about 25% of my clients are referrals from clients or other firms. Referrals are vital to the success of a law firm. Other firms might have conflicts with other firms or may require lawyers to represent multiple witnesses in ongoing cases.
The 2019 Legal Trends Report by Clio shows that 59% of people were referred to lawyers by their friends and family. The remaining 32 percent sought out a referral from an attorney. The American Bar Association recommends that you start looking for a lawyer by talking to a friend, relative, or business associate.
Ask for a referral from a friend or colleague. Make sure you ask specific questions about the work done, the outcome, and when it was completed. This will ensure that the referral is appropriate to your circumstances. It’s one thing to hire an attorney to draft a real property contract or a will, but it is another to represent you in acrimonious divorce proceedings or when you are charged with a crime. Every legal situation is unique and not all lawyers are right for you.
With a healthy dose of skepticism, view attorney ads
Advertisements can be a great way to get a general overview of the legal landscape. However, they can also be biased and one-sided. Pay attention to everything you hear and read, including advertisements.
Advertisements are a great source of information. According to the ABA, you can find the right lawyer for you by looking at advertisements in newspapers, the telephone directory, radio, television, and the Internet. These ads can help you determine the area of practice for the lawyer, which can then help you choose which type of lawyer to use in your case.
To verify that the claims made by the lawyer in these advertisements are true, it is a good idea to check with another source. Although Yelp and other platforms offer information, it is a good idea for you to verify your potential attorney with other professionals.
U.S. Lawyers and Best Lawyers are two examples of peer-reviewed publications that provide peer-reviewed rankings. News Best Law Firms provides transparent guidance about whether an attorney is well-respected in their particular area of practice.
Interview your potential attorneys
After narrowing down your list to a few potential lawyers in a specific practice area, schedule a meeting or phone call. Free consultations are offered by many lawyers. You can gauge their enthusiasm and availability to help you with your legal matter.
How did you get your education?
What cases have you dealt with in similar situations to mine?
What percentage of my time can I expect to be occupied by it, and who else will my firm involve in my legal matter?
How likely is it that my case will be resolved successfully?
Some cases are not so straightforward. There might not be a straightforward solution for your case. Find out what expenses and services are included in the fee if a lawyer doesn’t offer a free consultation.
It is important to find out whether your legal matter is likely to be litigated or goes to trial.
Know your monetary limits
Setting a budget and sticking to it is an important part of hiring the right lawyer. If you have debts to pay, you won’t enjoy your case winning. Even if you don’t have the budget for the particular lawyer you are looking for, they can recommend someone in the same area of practice and within your price range.
Holmes explains that many consumers call us when they need assistance but our fees are beyond their means. Holmes says that sometimes, it may be appropriate for both them and us to take on the matter free of charge or at a reduced rate. We will also refer the matter to small firms and individual practitioners who we are in a long-term relationship.
There are also local bar associations that offer referral services. These can match you with the right attorney for your needs and help you choose from a range of affordable options. Many legal assistance programs offer free or low-cost legal services for those who are in financial need. These can also be found online. These programs often have eligibility guidelines that are based on your income, where you live and the size of your household.
Pro bono services are offered by some lawyers, but it is at their discretion. Some legal aid offices employ their own lawyers, while others use volunteer lawyers. In civil cases, individuals do not have the right of a free lawyer.
Trust your gut
It can be very discouraging to go through the selection process for a lawyer and then realize that you don’t get along well or that they aren’t effective at attending to your legal needs. Are you able to trust your attorney enough? Are you able and willing to share all the facts and expectations with your attorney? You might want to reconsider your decision.
Red flags include insufficient communication, missed deadlines, lack of updates, and inability to answer questions.
Holmes says that the consumer should be able to ask their lawyer questions and have the opportunity to discuss the matter with Holmes. They should have a conversation at the beginning to establish expectations, deadlines, and communication methods that will satisfy them about the quality of the services received.
Research and time spent researching are key to finding the right lawyer for your needs. Your case will be affected by the energy you put into finding the right attorney to work with.