How Do I Find a Lawyer?
You have thought about it carefully and you have decided that you need to consult a lawyer. The big problem is how to find out? This section will give you some tips on what to look for when choosing a lawyer and guide you through some questions to ask a lawyer when you first meet. If you do your homework, you can hire an attorney with experience and expertise to help you with your problem.
Most people do not have a “regular” lawyer, in the sense that they have one or more doctors that they see at least annually. So how do you find the right lawyer for you? Where do you turn for recommendations?
What should I look for when choosing a lawyer?
A lawyer will help you solve your problems, so the first qualification is that you should feel comfortable enough to honestly and fully tell him or her all the facts necessary to solve your problem. Nothing you hear or read can guarantee that a particular lawyer will be best for you; You should decide that for yourself.
Are there any practical considerations to keep in mind when choosing a lawyer?
Yes, a lawyer’s skills and previous experience are important. Many states have specialty programs that certify attorneys as specialists in certain types of law. Some legal specialties have even created their own certification programs, such as the National Association of Estate Planners and Counselors and the National Elder Law Foundation. You can also ask about the types of cases your lawyer typically handles. What is the breakdown of the attorney’s practice (eg, 50 percent personal injury cases, 25 percent divorce cases, and 25 percent “other.”) Keep in mind that most attorneys are not certified in a specialty, but that does not mean that a particular attorney is an expert in a particular area. . No, especially where the lawyer handles a large volume of cases in a particular practice area.
Other considerations include the convenience of the lawyer’s office location, the fees charged, and the length of the team in the case.
Are advertisements a good place to look for a lawyer?
In some ways, yes, ads are useful. However, always be wary of believing everything you read and hear—and nowhere is this truer than in advertising. Newspaper, telephone directory, radio, television, and Internet advertisements, along with direct mail, can introduce you to the names of attorneys who may be a good fit for your legal needs. Some advertisements will also help you determine the lawyer’s area of expertise. Other advertisements will specify a fee or price range for handling certain types of “simple” cases. Keep in mind that your case may not have an easy solution. If a lawyer quotes a fee, make sure you know exactly what services and expenses the charge covers and what it doesn’t.
Where should I start to look for a lawyer?
There are many ways to find a reliable lawyer. One of the best is a recommendation from a trusted friend, relative or business associate. However, be aware that every legal case is different and the lawyer that is right for someone else may not be right for you or your legal problem.
What about a local referral service?
Most communities have referral services to help people find lawyers. You can find them under “Lawyer Referral Services” or something similar in your yellow pages. These services usually recommend an attorney in the area to evaluate the situation. Some services offer help to groups with unique characteristics, such as the elderly, immigrants, victims of domestic violence or persons with disabilities.
Bar associations in most communities make referrals according to specific areas of law, helping you find a lawyer with the right experience and practice concentration. Many referral services also have eligibility requirements for attorneys who wish to receive referrals in a particular area of law. You can find your local bar association in the white pages of the phone book under your community name (“Centerville Bar Association”) or under your county name (“Cass County Bar Association”). You can also find your bar’s website through your favorite search engine or through the ABA’s interactive state-by-state lawyer-referral directory.
However, these services are not a guaranteed way to find the best lawyer or the right lawyer for you. Some services make referrals regardless of the lawyer’s type or experience level. You may want to look for a lawyer referral service that participates in an American Bar Association-sponsored certification program, which uses a logo to identify lawyer referral programs that adhere to certain quality standards developed by the ABA.