Steps for Finding an Exceptional Attorney
If you are looking for an attorney, chances are you already have enough to worry about and do not need the additional stress of hunting for the right lawyer. Wherever you are in your search, the steps below are useful for helping you find an exceptional attorney, no matter what your case may be.
Whether looking for a mechanic or a new pair of shoes, people tend to trust the opinion of their family and friends above all else. The same holds true while looking for a lawyer.
If you know someone who had the same legal problem as you, ask them who they hired and what they thought of that person’s services. Ask around your community to get a sampling of opinions. Remember to make sure that the referrals are relevant. For example, you would not want to be referred to a Clearwater bankruptcy lawyer if you need a copyright attorney.
Business referrals are particularly useful if you are not able to get a personal referral or if the field of law that you need is business-oriented. Sometimes businesses that serve the legal area you need can offer referrals. Such is the case with accountants, bankers, real estate and insurance agents who deal with entrepreneurs. These people would be able to give a referral if you need to find an attorney for small business law.
Lawyer Referral Service
This type of referral is less personal than the previous two, but can still be useful. Referral services vary in quality because they screen their lawyers differently. Before using this service, ask what qualifications lawyers must meet during screening. The more selective the service, the more likely you will find a quality attorney.
Unlike lawyer referral services, online services do not screen lawyers that are listed. Online services will report what type of lawyers practice in your area, particularly if there are any nearby that are qualified to handle your type of legal case.
Consulting with a law librarian could help you identify authors in your state who have published books and/or journal articles about the area of law you need. These authors may be lawyers themselves and are also qualified to make informed referrals.
This step is the most important because all the glowing referrals in the world won’t help win your case if you are not comfortable with the attorney.
Before committing to an attorney, meet in person to do an interview. Make sure your potential legal advisor has experience with the area of law you need. It is also important to note if you like his or her personality, approach, and level of aggression.
If you feel comfortable with this person and decide to continue, discuss communication and expected accessibility. You will want to know how best to reach your lawyer and how long you should expect to wait before hearing back. Nothing is more agonizing than waiting for weeks or even months for an attorney to get back to you, much less start taking action on your behalf.
Lastly, talk with your lawyer to be sure you are both on the same page. If you plan on representing yourself and just want legal counsel, you want to be sure they are willing to work with you.
Finding the right attorney for your case can be a challenge, but by following the steps above, you will hopefully find a lawyer who has your interests at heart and is willing to work hard for you.