In life, we are always trying to find the right fit for us. From shoes to jeans to cars to our potential partner, we will go to numerous stores, car lots, and go on numerous dates to find the right fit for us. Finding a good lawyer is no different. When searching for a lawyer to give you legal advice, you want to make sure it’s someone experienced with a good reputation.
But how do you find them? And once you do, how will you know if they are the right fit for your needs? Allow us to answer those questions and more for you so finding the right lawyer will be easier than finding that perfect pair of jeans!
Where Do I Start?
Every new search has to start somewhere. Sometimes it starts with a few keywords in a search engine, a few clicks of the mouse or with a recommendation from a trusted source. But every search has to start somewhere, so here are some suggestions on how to get yours started.
- Ask a trusted source in your life (e.g. family member, close friend, co-worker, etc) for any lawyer recommendations they might have. Most of the time, personal references are the best references you can get.
- If you know any lawyers, ask them who they recommend. Lawyers in different areas of law will have contacts who don’t practice their area of law.
- Use the words lawyer search in databases. They will provide information of the location, practice areas, and disciplinary records as well as providing reviews on each lawyer.
- Consult the attorney directory at your local or state bar association. This will have a list of all the lawyers in your nearby and surrounding area.
- Consider using a lawyer referral service to get some recommendations.
So now you have numerous recommendations for lawyers, but how do you decide which one is the right one for you?
The Interview Process
We’ve all been on job interviews where we are asked specific questions to see if we are the best candidate for the job. So it’s only natural that we would have questions for our potential lawyer. Here are some questions you might consider asking.
- Is your initial consultation free? If not, how much will it cost?
- How long have you been practicing law?
- How much experience do you have with cases like mine? What were the outcomes of those cases?
- Have you ever been the subject of a disciplinary action?
- What are your fees? What services are included? How do you expect to be paid? Are your fees and fee structure negotiable?
- What does your current caseload look like? Will you have the time to commit to my case?
These questions are just recommendations and will vary depending on what information you already have about the lawyer.
Other Factors to Consider to find Good Lawyer
So now you’ve asked your questions, but are still on the fence about which lawyer to choose. Recommendations and questions aside, there are other factors to consider when choosing the right lawyer for your needs. Here are some of those factors:
- Personal observation: While you’re sitting in their practice, take note of the way their office is run. Do they have a sufficient support staff? Were you treated professionally by everyone? If you’ve answered no to both of them, then they probably aren’t the right lawyer for you.
- Communication is key: You will want to work with a lawyer who is good at answering your calls. Obviously no lawyer can be there day and night, but you want one with a good response time. If their initial contact with you took awhile, that could be a possible red flag for how it will be if they take you on as a client.
- Additional references: As a potential client, you have the right to ask for references from past and present clients. If they are unwilling to give you those references, then move on.
- Instinct: We all have instincts about certain places or people and those instincts are right more times than they are wrong. Because you will be working closely with this person, your level of comfort with them is extremely important. They will know private details about your life and will also have your future in their hands. So if you are uncomfortable with him/her, then working with them isn’t in your best interest.
With all this information, hopefully finding the right lawyer will come easily to you. Just make sure whoever you choose you can trust with your case and feel that you will have a good rapport with. After all, the attorney client relationship is one that could last for a long time and you need to make sure you have the right person in your corner.