Finding The Right Lawyer: 8 Pro Tips
Most people need some form of legal advice during their lives. They may be wondering what to do when a family member’s injured in a serious car accident, or if they’ve been accused of a crime. Perhaps they’ve experienced a work injury or are going through a divorce.
With the right legal help, people can discover their rights and know how to proceed. Without it, the consequences could be costly. But how do you find the ideal attorney for you? The answer is to check out our 8 pro tips!
Check Their Website
It’s wise to begin by making a Google search and visiting each lawyer’s website. You’ll be able to find information about their practice areas, education, and experience. They may also disclose their affiliations and accreditations, and details of previous successful cases. It’s also wise to read any blog posts or articles that the lawyer’s written.
In 2021 Dallas had a crime rate of 845.82 per 100,000 people and a property crime rate of 3,508.88 per 100,000 people. By researching the website of a Dallas criminal defense lawyer you can discover the various types of crimes, what the lawyers do, and whether they keep everything confidential. You can learn about criminal penalties for common felony crimes, the nonlegal consequences of a criminal conviction, and possible defenses against conviction.
Ask For Recommendations
It can prove invaluable to ask for lawyer recommendations from friends, family, and colleagues. The key is to find someone who had the same legal need as you, whether it was for estate and inheritance planning, medical malpractice, or something else.
Your friends will have nothing to lose by telling you what they thought of the lawyer, and whether they could be able to help you.
Look For Online Reviews
This can be done by visiting a lawyer’s website and reading through testimonials or by searching for reviews on third-party sites like Google or Yelp. Checking reviews will give you a good idea of what other clients have thought about them and whether or not they’d recommend them.
There’ll always be someone who posts something negative but if there’s a definite trend you’d be well-advised to look elsewhere.
Schedule Consultations With Multiple Lawyers
You should never hire the first lawyer you consult – and your appointment places you under no obligation to employ their services. It’s wise to meet with a few different lawyers to get a sense of who would be the best fit for your case. You should come prepared with a list of questions (e.g. regarding their experience, success rate, and fees).
It’s important that you feel comfortable with the lawyer, especially if you’ll be discussing intimate information with them (e.g. regarding your medical details or personal finances).
Ask For An Estimate And Get Everything In Writing
Before hiring a lawyer, ask for an estimate of how much they charge. Many lawyers will give you a flat fee, but some may charge by the hour (which could be costly over time). Be sure to know what you’re being charged before moving forward, so you’re sure you can afford their services.
Once you’ve decided to hire a lawyer, get everything in writing. This includes the lawyer’s fee agreement (you don’t want hidden costs!) as well as an outline of what the lawyer will do for you. Read the small print before you sign anything because this will ensure that there are no surprises down the road.
Choose A Local Lawyer
There are a number of advantages to selecting someone local. For a start, it’ll be easier to have a lunchtime chat if they work near you. Otherwise, you may need to take a day off work to travel to their office. If you need to urgently drop off a document or sign something it’ll be easier if they live in your town or city.
Some other advantages include:
- In criminal cases, they’ll be more familiar with the local court system, judges, and lawyers. They’ll know which courthouse your case will be tried in, what the prosecutor’s office is like, and whether the judge is likely to be lenient or harsh. They’ll likely have a good working relationship with the prosecutor’s office and the courthouse staff. This can be helpful in getting information about your case and in negotiating a plea deal.
- The Statute of Limitations varies from one American state to another (as do many other laws and regulations) and a local lawyer will be familiar with this
- If you or a loved one have sustained a personal injury the lawyer may be familiar with the scene of the accident, or the workplace at which it occurred.
Check Their Credentials
It’s important to make sure that the lawyer you choose is qualified to practice law in your state or country. In the United States, each state has its own rules about who can practice law. Some require lawyers to have a degree from an accredited law school and to pass a state bar exam.
You can check the credentials of any lawyer you’re considering by contacting your state’s bar association.
Check Their Experience
You wouldn’t want a heart surgeon who just graduated from medical school, and the same logic applies to lawyers! Make sure the person you’re considering has experience in the area of law you need help with. If they’re unsure about the legislation and need to keep looking things up, mistakes could be made. At the very least they could take longer to help you.
If you’ve sustained a personal injury it’ll be advantageous if the lawyer’s fully familiar with the medical terminology. If they’re not, the other party’s insurance company could exploit this.
These 8 tips can help you find the right lawyer for your personal circumstances. In return for some research and wise decisions, you’ll have greater peace of mind that your goals can be achieved. The lawyer will help you from start to finish, and the end result will be worth the fees you’ve paid them.