Have you ever got lost trying to choose the right lawyer? Whatever life brings, it is good to have a good lawyer by your side. Whether it’s real estate, business, marriage or estate planning, most doctors will need an attorney at some point. Attorney Lyle Solomon is here to give us 10 tips on choosing a great lawyer.
10 Important Things You Should Consider When Choosing the Right Lawyer
If you face a complex legal issue involving a large sum of money, you should seek expert advice from a professional lawyer. Legal issues come in many forms, such as: Business, Real Estate, Will and Estate Planning, Marriage, Mortgage, Bankruptcy
To protect yourself, you want someone with expert knowledge in a specific area to guide you and represent you along the way. You’ll face these challenges with confidence with a few things to consider for your specific legal needs. If you take the time to find the right lawyer, it will help you win your case.
Consider Recommendations from Family and Friends
Talk to your family and friends who have consulted with a lawyer before. Research the lawyer profiles of their recommendations and the services they provide against your legal needs.
Make sure you understand how your family members and friends are making their recommendations. What is the basis of their decision?
Never commit to hiring a lawyer before meeting with him or her for an interview to discuss your needs. You have to make sure that you are comfortable working with whoever you hire.
Decide on the type of attorney you need
Different lawyers have expertise in different areas of law. It is best to choose someone who can cover the area you need. These legal areas may include bankruptcy, criminal law, trust and property, family law, employment, personal injury, small business law, and more. An attorney familiar with the local courts in your area will better understand your case so that you have the best representation in court. ,
Some choose representation from small, boutique law firms. With a team of 2 to 10 lawyers, they can provide a variety of legal services if you need them. They are there to support you in difficult legal matters.
Large law firms with dozens of attorneys have resources to help you with complex legal situations. They also provide services in many cities and states. Their lawyers work with both individual and corporate clients. However, attorney fees in larger firms are usually higher than those in smaller firms.
Review online listings and referrals
Several websites offer local law firm listings and free attorney reviews, including Avvo.com, LegalZoom, LawTrades, RocketLawyer, and more. Websites such as LawHelp.org provide attorney information for low-income clients.
You can check client reviews on several websites to choose the right lawyer. This will help you be confident that you are getting a clear picture of a law firm or lawyer. You may find more information on the “Lawyer Referral Service” or something similar in your yellow pages.
Contact the local bar association
Prepare a list of local lawyers, including their names, addresses, emails, contact numbers and websites. By reviewing public records from the state bar association, you can find out whether a licensed attorney has filed a complaint or taken disciplinary action against them.
Check with local bar associations for free referral services and choose the right lawyer for your needs. You can find all the details you need from the American Bar Association’s State and Local Bar Association websites.
Attend meetings with the attorneys
Compile a list of potential attorneys and begin setting up consultations. Most lawyers offer their clients a free consultation. However, make sure you understand their consultation fees before meeting with them.
Make a careful note of everything that is said during your consultation. It is important to exercise discretion before hiring a lawyer. Make sure you bring all the required documents with you.
Don’t hesitate to ask questions. If you feel that the lawyer is not cooperating with or disregarding your questions, choose a different lawyer.
Review the attorney’s website
You can check your background by looking at the information available on the lawyer’s website. He/she should disclose information regarding his/her educational background and degree and areas of expertise.
You can find work history, success stories, customer reviews and testimonials, and many more. You should also review the service page and frequently asked questions (FAQs) section. Many websites may have a blog focusing on several legal issues.
Usually, the best lawyers have the best websites by showcasing their expertise and answering questions from potential clients. Make sure you are looking for an attorney in your local area who has at least 3-5 years of experience with a positive success rate.
Don’t overlook social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to connect with lawyers. This may be the easiest way to contact a lawyer. You can also learn how the attorney handles and resolves client complaints.
Compare Cost and Billing
Ultimately, cost will be a factor when you choose an attorney. How much you are willing to spend is up to you. You can gather more information than ever before by asking a lawyer for a quote as well as how they bill their clients. This can be an hourly fee, a flat rate, a contingency fee, a negotiable fee, or possibly even a retainer for future fees. Find out if the fee includes expenses (such as shipping, filing and travel) as these costs are not always treated the same and may be billed separately.
If you’re not satisfied with the bid or the cost doesn’t fit your budget, shop around and ask the same question. When you negotiate with a firm or attorney, always make sure the cost terms are clear and don’t be afraid to talk about price so there are no surprises. You can also confirm all costs in a written agreement.
Communication goes hand in hand with compatibility and availability. Often, between paperwork and meetings, there can be a tendency to get out of touch. Try to establish active communication in the beginning. Mention your preferred form of communication and discuss your hours together, so you’re both on the same page. This will prevent missed meetings or phone calls. Agree on regular check-in times to discuss updates and ask questions.
A good lawyer should also take the time to explain complex cases, provide you with clear English advice on your situation, and present you with a range of options or solutions before deciding on a plan of action.
Negotiate the fee
Always negotiate the fee with a lawyer and keep it within your budget. A lawyer can charge high legal fees if your case is complex and time-consuming.
You should get the final fee structure in writing. If the attorney’s fees are high, discuss the fee with him or her and work out a payment plan. If you’re having trouble paying the upfront fee, ask your attorney to work with you based on your financial needs.
Does the lawyer you wish to hire have enough time to dedicate to your case? How’s their caseload? Can they take your case immediately? These are important questions to ask if you plan to get in touch with a lawyer often. If they seem to be overworked, consider looking for someone else who has the time to meet your needs.
Sign the contract
Your attorney will ask you to sign a document called a letter of engagement or retainer. It is a contract between you and the lawyer that clearly describes the legal relationship between the two parties along with all the terms and conditions.
Choosing the right lawyer takes hard work, but it is an important decision. You should choose someone you trust and feel comfortable working with.
Make sure you fully understand how the attorney will charge you and don’t be afraid to ask questions. When you choose the right lawyer, he or she will help relieve your financial stress.