There are a lot of different lawyers and before you go picking what kind of lawyer, you should first be able to identify what legal matter you want to discuss. A major part of finding the right lawyer is through research, so if you haven’t had any legal experience yet, it’s best to rely on the Internet or interviews to get you started. To help you land a good lawyer, here are some tips.
6 Tips on Finding the Right Lawyer
- Do the research
It all starts with research. If you already know the legal matter you want to discuss, say, personal injuries, then you know how to search for them. Or you’re a victim of assault and you’re looking for a lawyer to represent you. You can search the internet to find the best sexual assault victim lawyer NYC based on the reviews available on the firm’s feedback page from previous clients. It helps to use the Internet a lot since a lot of sites for legal firms are seen in the search results page. It also provides a lot of feedback on law firms and law professionals.
Research is not limited to the Internet. You may also conduct interviews among your peers to ask them about their legal experiences. This is where you ask for referrals, too.
- Narrow your search
It’s hard to find the right lawyer if you are not asking yourself the right questions. Without specifics, you might end up having a long list of attorneys that you think can do the job. To narrow your search, ask questions like, “How much experience should the lawyer have?”, “How successful should they be?”, and “Am I looking for a lawyer that has certain certifications and skills?” Asking these questions will help you zero in on what you are actually looking for.
- Background checks
Now that you’ve done your research, you have a shortlist of the lawyers you want to work with. The first thing you should do now is a simple background check. You can contact the lawyer disciplinary agency in your state to ask about each lawyer’s standing. You can also hold a call to their clients (if they are disclosed on their websites) to ask about the services and the performance of the said lawyer.
For lawyers that you got on the Internet, make sure to do background checks by looking at other references. Good references are found in peer review ratings or other bar evaluations.
- Visiting the office
The next thing you have to do is visit the lawyer’s office. When you visit, you have to take into account the location of the office. Is it near to you? Are they accessible? You want to make sure you hire someone that is very accessible especially when your concerns involve personal injury cases. It also helps that they live in the same state as yours since laws in states differ from each other.
You can step in as a client and then request for a brief tour of the office. During the tour, be mindful of the office culture. Are the staff friendly? Are the lawyers there? Is the office neat and organized? These things are indirect feedback about your lawyer and their firm. If you found them to be rude to clients, they will definitely have the same behavior to you as their future client.
- Interviewing the lawyer
For the final step, it’s time to interview your shortlisted lawyers. This step is crucial in knowing your future lawyer. This will also be the best opportunity to check for their competency and their ability to support you in your cases.
When talking to a lawyer, ask questions about their legal fees, their past experience in similar cases, whether there were any disciplinary actions given and their success rate in similar cases. You have to be prepared for interviews like this because you want to be able to get the answers that will help you make the right decision in picking your lawyer.
A Few Notes on Picking the Right Lawyer
As a first-timer to legal cases, it might feel daunting to look for a lawyer. The best thing to do here is to know what you are looking for and what you can afford. Don’t forget that lawyers charge fees, so it is important to have a budget for legal consultations. It helps to choose someone who only charges their fees if they win a case. This is common in personal injury cases and accidents.
It’s also good to assess whether or not you need a lawyer now. If there are no pending cases or things you want to consult with, postponing your lawyer search can be an option if you are tight on resources. However, for certain legal concerns, like estates, it is best to consult a lawyer early.