Whether you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime, you’ve been hurt in a car accident, someone has wronged you, or you need to protect your business, an attorney can help. But with so many different attorneys in your area, how can you possibly choose the right one? Well, we’ve got a few suggestions:
1.Ask for Referrals
Start by tapping your personal and professional networks. Can anyone provide you with a referral? And do you trust the person providing the referral? If so, this may be enough to hire a lawyer on the spot. Otherwise, you’ll probably need to go through some additional layers of due diligence.
2.Read Online Reviews and Ratings
You can learn a lot about a lawyer by browsing their online reviews and testimonials on third-party websites. Be mindful of particularly scathing or glowing reviews, as these are probably exceptions. Pay careful attention to everything in between. What are the common threads? Does the lawyer seem to deliver on his promises?
3.Review a Lawyer’s Website
These days, every attorney has a website. However, not every attorney has a quality website. You can often tell the difference between average and exceptional attorneys by studying the design and content of their sites.
Consider Gross & Schuster Injury Lawyers, for example. Notice how clean, sophisticated, and informative their website is. Now contrast this with some of the in-your-face websites that other injury lawyers have. Which lawyer do you want handling your case?
4.Search for Niche Expertise
Some attorneys practice general law. And while there’s nothing wrong with offering broad services to clients, there’s something to be said for a lawyer who zeroes in on a particular area and has a niche expertise. If that expertise aligns with your needs, it could be a good fit.
5.Consider the Team
It’s not enough to consider the lawyer. You’re highly encouraged to also consider the legal team the lawyer partners with.
“Some lawyers work by themselves, while others have paralegals on their team or outsource some of the legal work to other lawyers,” LegalZoom mentions. “You want to make sure you know who will be handling your file, as this can have an impact on both the quality of the service you receive and the cost.”
You don’t want a cheap lawyer. A cheap lawyer typically provides cheap results. But you also might not need the best lawyer on the block, so there’s no sense in paying for the most expensive option. After you’ve got a feel for who a lawyer is and the type of work they do, it’s perfectly acceptable to discuss fee structures.
If you sift through enough online reviews and complaints of lawyers, you’ll discover that many of the problems have to do with a lack of communication. You can avoid some of these same issues by hiring an attorney who prioritizes transparent communication at every step along the way.
When considering an attorney, make it a point to inquire about how they communicate, as well as how you can get in touch with them. Their answers will be telling. Do they encourage you to contact their paralegal’s secretary via email? Or do they give you their direct phone line?
8.Schedule a Consultation
You might think you’ve found the perfect attorney online, but it’s highly recommended that you schedule a consultation before hiring any lawyer. This face-to-face time is invaluable.
“Pay particular attention to the personal chemistry between you and your lawyer. No matter how experienced and well-recommended a lawyer is, if you feel uncomfortable with that person during your first meeting or two, you may never achieve an ideal lawyer-client relationship,” Nolo advises. “Trust your instincts and seek a lawyer whose personality is compatible with your own. Look also for experience, personal rapport, and accessibility.”
This consultation also gives you the chance to ask questions regarding how your case will be handled, what sort of timeline you can expect, and what action steps need to be taken in order to move the case along. These things are hard to do over the phone or via email.
Be Patient and Thorough
You probably won’t find the perfect attorney in an afternoon – and that’s okay. Hiring a quality attorney requires thorough due diligence and a willingness to perform the necessary research. A patient approach and meticulous analysis will help you find the ideal lawyer for your needs. Don’t rush the process!