Whether you need to go to court for a criminal charge or just need advice on a car accident or divorce case, you probably wonder, “Who is the best lawyer to hire for my case?” With more than 800,000 attorneys employed in the United States, making your decision requires careful research and consideration of your situation.
Hiring the wrong lawyer can leave you frustrated with someone who lacks expertise, experience in your case’s area, or good communication skills. On the other hand, the perfect lawyer can save you time and money and tilt your case in your favor.
To have the best experience and results for your case, use these seven steps to find a lawyer who works for you.
1. Find Some Local Attorneys First
If you wonder how to find a good lawyer, know it all begins with a careful and thorough search of your local options. This requires knowing where to look and who to ask.
You can always start doing a web search for attorneys and see a list with reviews, websites, and contact information. However, this can overwhelm you with too many options, so it helps to take a narrower approach.
Consider consulting those in your personal contacts first. Ask your family members, neighbors, colleagues, and friends if they can recommend a local lawyer. Also, ask them why they would recommend that person.
During your initial search, try to come up with three to five lawyers.
2. Consider Your Case
Once you’ve found some recommended lawyers, you can then consider your case’s category so that you can choose an attorney with a lot of experience in your situation. While a general lawyer can work fine, choosing a specialist can give the best results, especially for a complex case.
Simply check the prospective attorney’s website for more information on their areas of practice. You can also call them directly and ask.
For example, if you need an attorney to help with a case related to long-term chemotherapy side effects, you could visit here for a good option. You can also find attorneys who specialize in bankruptcy, criminal law, personal injuries, medical malpractice, and other areas.
3. Check the Background of Potential Attorneys
So, you’ve found at least one attorney with expertise in your case. Now you need to do a background check to find out about their credentials, education, experience, and customer reviews.
Often, you can find much of this information on the attorney’s website. However, you can also consult lawyer directories and state registries. You can also ask past customers to share their experiences.
This list the American Bar Association provides can help you find your state’s agency for checking lawyer licensing. You’ll want to make sure they have a valid license without disciplinary issues.
4. Ask About Similar Cases
You should also know about how to get a lawyer who gives the best results for your particular case. While very helpful, just having niche knowledge and experience won’t suffice.
Instead, speak to the lawyer via phone, email, or in-person to learn about whether they’ve taken on similar cases as yours.
For example, you might have found a personal injury lawyer who has mostly dealt with car accident cases and doesn’t have much experience with complex workers’ compensation cases. So, you’ll want to ask not only if they worked on similar cases but whether they got good results for the clients.
5. Find Out If The Attorney Has Affordable Rates
Finding the right lawyer can get trickier when you don’t have much money to pay for legal fees. Besides that, any client will want to have a clear estimate of legal fees without any surprises near the end of the case.
So, take the time to ask prospective attorneys what, how, and when they charge clients.
For example, a great attorney requiring all the money upfront may not work for you, while a decent one with an installment plan might. Others might not even provide an estimate and surprise you as you go along.
Beware if the fees seem extremely high or unclear for a particular attorney. You’ll want to research and see whether customers’ experiences demonstrate that value.
6. Evaluate the Attorney’s Personal Qualities
When looking into how to find a lawyer, don’t get stuck thinking cost, reputation, and expertise are all that matter. Remember that you’ll work closely with the attorney for a while, so you need someone with positive personal qualities for a smooth experience.
For example, check whether the attorney communicates clearly and contacts you on time. Make sure they demonstrate professionalism with both clients and their firm’s staff.
Also, make sure that the person’s personality gives you a sense of comfort.
7. Consider the Firm As a Whole
While your attorney will be the most familiar face, remember that you’ll have others working on your case or handling other tasks for you. So, you’ll want to make sure they all act professional and seem helpful.
It helps to ask your prospective attorney who will be working on your case. This might include legal assistants and paralegals alongside others. You might find that you feel uncomfortable if most of the people helping your attorney seem new to the field and lack experience.
Also, pay attention to the customer service the firm provides to you and how the staff interacts. If possible, you might even consider coming to the law office to get a feel of how it functions and to meet the people who might work on your case.
Who is the Best Lawyer for You?
As you’ve seen, finding the right lawyer isn’t as simple as choosing the person you see advertised on the radio and web. It takes considering your case, needs, and the attorney’s personality and abilities.
Setting up a consultation with a prospective attorney is a good idea when you’re wondering, “Who is the best lawyer?” This one-on-one time will let you ask questions about the case and attorney as well as show you more about the attorney’s personality.
For more legal advice and tips, check out our other posts.