At some point in life, almost everyone will need the services of a lawyer. Whether it’s buying a house or trying to solve a complex legal issue, lawyers are indispensable in our society today. What everyone should understand is that lawyers differ in terms of skills, interests, specialties, experience and so on. It is, therefore, important that you look for one who best suits your needs.
Choosing a lawyer is very important as it may determine whether you win or lose a case. So how can you be certain that you are going for the right one? Here are some lawyer selection tips that will come in handy for you.
Get your objectives right
The first thing you should understand is that you are looking for a lawyer, not a best friend. The traits you want in a friend may not be the ones you require in a lawyer. Always keep in what you are after legal aid and a professional relationship – nothing more or less.
So forget those types you see in television ads. The “strongman” might be good if you want to hire a professional wrestler, but they often never impress judges. If you are a person who is impressed by such kind of braggadocio and ambulance chasing, your case will probably not succeed.
Once you know exactly what you are looking for, ask your friends or acquaintances for recommendations, if they have any. Word of mouth is often reliable, so ask for two or three names of lawyers who did a good job for them. Chances are they will also represent you well and advice you accordingly. The lawyers may also refer you to other lawyers who have the necessary skill-set to handle your problem well.
However, don’t over-rely on word of mouth. While it can be a smart and viable method of getting a good attorney, you need to look further than that. Chances are your friend had different needs to yours, and the lawyer may be out of his depth trying to handle your matter. Not all cases are the same. Personal recommendations are a good start, but they are only a place to start.
Narrow your candidates
Word of mouth, lawyer referral websites and bar associations are some helpful resources that will help you draw up a list of potential lawyers for your issue. The next task is whittling down that list to just a single lawyer. Look at the biographical information and whatever else information you can on law firm websites. Try to see if any of the lawyers on your list have prior experience in the area of law you need.
Decipher the kind of clients he or she has represented, and find any articles, papers or information pieces they may have authored. Don’t forget to confirm on your regional bar association’s website if a particular lawyer is an active member of the bar, whether they have been disciplined, disbarred or suspended before.
After reading through the above lawyer selection tips, you should be well-equipped to make the right decision. Remember that the final decision on who to pick is yours. Look for someone you can trust, and don’t ignore your gut instinct.