Are you struggling to find the best lawyer for your needs? Here is what you need to do in order to make your choice click in the very first attempt. Before planning to opt for a lawyer, it is important to understand that legal services are no different than any other product or services that we seek.
As a wise consumer, we conduct research to make the informed decision. Have you noticed how many times you refer to the customer reviews or friend’s suggestions when buying a phone? Isn’t that fascinating to realize how the process of buying a phone makes one so much responsible? Compare the damage choosing the wrong legal aid would make over a low grade mobile phone’s choice.
You can either use referrals or visit the reputed online directory for finding the choices you have around your area. However, this does not end the hunt for finding the right lawyer, it’s just the beginning
Once you have formed a list of lawyers to consider, these five steps would help you make the final decision.
1. Make the List of Good Lawyers
As discussed above, you will always need choices to know whose services would better fit your legal requirements. To make this list, ask for referral from your friends and family. Check for reputed online directories like Avvo, Lawyers, Justia and LawTally to look for options in your area.
Prepare the list and move to the next very important step.
2. Start with Well Planned Interview
Have you heard of first free consultation that most of the lawyers provide these days? You can utilize this session to interview them. To avoid ending up with wrong choices, ensure you have the right questions prepared beforehand.
Let me give you some examples of questions that would help you access the abilities of the lawyer during interview.
- What is your overall experience?
- What is your experience in resolving the matter at hand?
- What percentage of caseload you dedicate for handling this type of legal problem?
- What is your success rate?
- Do you own any special skill or certification that can help with this case?
- Do you own malpractice insurance?
- What is your fee structure and what would you charge in total?
- I would like to know your best five references for the similar case?
- Would you like anyone else apart from yourself to work on this case? What are the rates?
- Are there any additional or hidden costs?
- What kind of agreement works for you: fee agreement or representation agreement?
- How often would you inform me about my case development?
After you have collected answers from all the lawyers, do not just base your judgement upon the fee structure. An expensive lawyer may have less experience in your type of legal matter. It may happen that a lawyer with reasonable fee excels at resolving the legal problem you face.
You must think about your compatibility working with the lawyer, his promptness and transparency in providing the right answers and a lot of other things.
3. Do the Background Check
If you are serious about finding the lawyer that intends to help, he must score good on the background check. It would be a huge mistake to lend your trust on the lawyer with serious past complaints. To do the background check, connect with the lawyer disciplinary agency located in your state and confirm if the lawyer you are seeking is in good standing. You can also check online directory for reviews and ratings.
4. Ask for a Friendly Visit to Lawyer’s Office
It is very well said: Never judge a book by its cover. If the conference room or the cubical where you conducted the interview with the lawyer felt neat and organized, it does not mean that the office would show the same picture.
Hence, before making up your mind, ask for a friendly visit to look for the important points. A good lawyer will have an organized office, enough amount of supporting staff, helpful and friendly employees, well run system and a positive aroma.
If you feel that the office has a lot of unoccupied space, unhappy employees, no one to attend the ringing phone, you must take the back seat.
5. Ask for Attorney’s Help
This part is totally crossable. However, if you know any attorney who know the lawyer you have finalized, do not shy away from asking for the reviews. If you have any family attorney or know someone, even if not handling the similar cases, never shy away from seeking suggestions on that particular lawyer of your choice.
People from similar field know each other darkest truth. Who knows, you may be able to eliminate one or two from the list before making the final decision.
Do you think this checklist is all you need to make the right decision? If yes, you still need some more tutoring. All the math can go wrong if you keep your instinct on the sleep mode. These five points are very important, but to make the plan full proof, you need to train your guts to alert you at the right times.
You just need two ingredients: Right set of mind and patience.