how to choose an attorney

by Lenna Labadie 4 min read

How To Choose an Attorney

  • Know Your Goals, but Be Ready to Pivot. It is important to know what your goal is when looking for an attorney. ...
  • Look for a Firm That Gives You Realistic Expectations, Not Just One Who Tells You What You Want to Hear. We all want the absolute best result possible. ...
  • Don’t Base Your Decision Solely on Cost. Cost absolutely plays a role in the decision process, but be careful that it doesn’t play the leading role.
  • Have an Understanding of What a ‘Scope of Representation’ Is and Have the Attorney Tell You What Theirs Is. ...
  • Distinguish Between Marketing Hype and Actual Qualifications. Like previously mentioned, firms are businesses who must market themselves to get business. Just like any other business.
  • In Conclusion. Hiring an attorney can be overwhelming but hopefully this article gives or helps build a strategy to approach the task.

Full Answer

How to find an excellent lawyer?

Mar 18, 2020 · How to Choose the Right Lawyer. Area (s) of expertise. You want to make sure that the lawyer you hire has experience in the area of law in which you require assistance. There are ... Potential costs. Legal advice can become quite costly, so it's important that you know how much your lawyer will ...

How do I choose a good lawyer?

Choose an attorney that understands your goals and will approach those goals in a way that works for you. Find a professional counselor if needed – Divorce is frustrating, and can be an emotional rollercoaster. Use a trained counselor to navigate the emotional transitions. Your attorney, while a good listener, is not trained as a counselor ...

What to know before becoming a lawyer?

Sep 09, 2019 · There are many ways to find a reliable lawyer. One of the best is a recommendation from a trusted friend, relative, or business associate. Be aware, however, that each legal case is different and that a lawyer who is right for someone else may not suit you or your legal problem.

How to hire a good attorney?

20 hours ago · If you have never been accused of any crime before, you may not know how to choose a criminal defense attorney to represent your best interests to the level you need.

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How To Choose A Bankruptcy Lawyer - If you are looking for bankruptcy lawyers, then our online service can help you get in touch. good bankruptcy lawyers, good bankruptcy attorney, certified bankruptcy attorney, finding a good bankruptcy lawyer, finding a bankruptcy lawyer, bankruptcy lawyers near my location, find bankruptcy attorney, what is ...

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How do I choose an attorney to represent me?

There are many ways to find a reliable lawyer. One of the best is a recommendation from a trusted friend, relative, or business associate. Be aware, however, that each legal case is different and that a lawyer who is right for someone else may not suit you or your legal problem.Sep 9, 2019

What are the qualities of a good attorney?

Below are ten traits that are common to the best lawyers in the United States.Passion for the Job. ... Compassion for Clients. ... Great Communication Skills. ... Willingness to Listen. ... Knowledge of the Law. ... Strong Writing Ability. ... Creativity. ... Good Judgment.More items...•Jun 17, 2019

What are the weaknesses of a lawyer?

WeaknessesSkills gaps.Poor work habits.Client development.Negative personal characteristics.Sep 16, 2019

How do I know if I would be a good lawyer?

You work well with others. That's right—being a lawyer means working with people! ... You can persuade others. The ability to persuade=the practice of law. ... You are independent and self-disciplined. ... You can endure the grind. ... You don't take things at face value. ... You must be able to network.Sep 9, 2019

1. Will the attorney provide you a list of trial verdicts?

If an attorney does not have a proven record of trial verdicts, the client’s case will not have the same value in the eyes of an insurance company. Insurance companies fear trial; your lawyer must have a proven record of winning trial verdicts.

2. Does the attorney listen?

Your first meeting with any attorney should be an opportunity for you to explain why you believe you need legal representation. Make sure any attorney you consider listens to your story. You are the best resource for understanding the facts of the case.

3. Can the attorney explain the law to you clearly?

It is important that you understand the law that applies to your case, so that you can understand what will help your lawyer prove your case. An attorney should be able to explain the relevant areas of the law in a way to you that makes sense to you.

4. Does the attorney have experience with cases like yours?

Ask the attorney what other cases they handled like yours. Many lawyers have a long list of the type of cases they will take, but few lawyers have specific experience in all those types. Does the lawyer have trial verdicts in your type of case?

5. How does the attorney charge for fees and costs?

Make sure you understand how the attorney charges for his or her services. For example, Parsons Law Firm almost always works on a contingent fee basis — meaning we accept no fee unless the client wins their case.

Choose Services, not Results

One of the biggest misconceptions that exists is that attorneys are simply hired guns that are paid to get results. Unfortunately, attorneys cannot guarantee the outcome of any legal matter and are barred by the rules of ethics from doing so.

Choose an Attorney with Value

As with everything in life, you get what you pay for, and what you see is what you get. You wouldn’t buy a Pontiac Fiero and expect the performance of a Ferrari.

Choose Someone You Can Talk To

Regardless of the situation that you’re facing, you’re probably not thrilled with the idea of hiring an attorney. Beyond hiring an attorney, you’re probably even less thrilled at the idea of the months, and sometimes years, that you’ll be dealing with this legal issue.

What to do before hiring a lawyer?

Before hiring any lawyer, contact the lawyer disciplinary agency in your state to confirm that they are in good standing as a member of the bar. For an online listing of each state's lawyer disciplinary agency, review this directory of lawyer disciplinary agencies.

What do lawyers know about other lawyers?

Lawyers know the skill and reputation of other lawyers. Attorneys may be able to provide information about a fellow lawyer that you may not find in a book or online, such as information about a lawyer’s ethics, competence level, demeanor, practice habits, and reputation.

How to assess a lawyer's ability?

One of the best ways to assess a lawyer’s legal ability is by interviewing them. Most attorneys will provide an initial consultation—usually an hour or less—at no charge. Below are a few questions to consider: 1 What experience does the lawyer have in your type of legal matter? 2 How long have they been in practice? 3 What is their track record of success? 4 What percentage of their caseload is dedicated to handling your type of legal problem? 5 Do they have any special skills or certifications? 6 What are their fees and how are they structured? 7 Do they carry malpractice insurance? If so, how much? 8 Who else would be working on your case and what are their rates? 9 Do they outsource any key legal tasks for functions? 10 What additional costs may be involved in addition to lawyer fees (postage, filing fees, copy fees, etc.)? 11 How often will you be billed? 12 Can they provide references from other clients? 13 Do they have a written fee agreement or representation agreement? 14 How will they inform you of developments in your case?

What does legal insurance cover?

These plans vary. Many cover most, if not all, of the cost of legal consultations, document preparation, and court representation in routine legal matters. Other programs cover only advice and consultation with a lawyer.

How long can you be in jail for a crime?

Constitution guarantees you the right to be represented by a lawyer in any case in which you could be incarcerated for six months or more. State constitutions may guarantee your right to a lawyer for lesser crimes.

Can you be incarcerated for six months?

If you are accused of a crime, the U.S. Constitution guarantees you the right to be represented by a lawyer in any case in which you could be incarcerated for six months or more. State constitutions may guarantee your right to a lawyer for lesser crimes. If you cannot afford a lawyer, either the judge hearing the case will appoint a private lawyer to represent you free of charge or the government’s public defender will handle your case, also at no charge.

What is the most important thing to consider when selecting a lawyer?

The appropriate level of experience is one of the most critical criteria in selecting a lawyer. You want a lawyer with a track record of success with your type of problem. Such a record of experience will increase the likelihood that the attorney can help to resolve your problem successfully.

What is the best way to communicate with an attorney?

The attorney should have the ability to communicate in an organized and understandable manner. The attorney should have a good "bedside manner" and have good judgment as to when in-person communications or e-mail is most appropriate.

What is the difference between a larger firm and a smaller firm?

A larger firm may also have more depth or breadth of experience than a smaller firm. A larger firm may have more resources to assist you.

Can you use a national specialist?

Whether you use a local or national specialist depends on the nature of the matter at issue. For example, real estate or workers' compensation matters are almost always handled locally. On the other hand, matters of federal law, such as wage and hour or labor law can be handled best by national specialists. Transportation and technology make it possible to use a specialist from almost anywhere in the country.

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Choose A Client-Centered Approach

  • Do you know how to choose an attorney? Most people don’t. You’re not the first person to hire an attorney; BIG surprise, right? This is important for you to realize at the beginning. It’s important because you should understand that law firms are managed with the idea that new clients will be calling. Therefore, you aren’t going to be given a law exam when you call, and you aren’t expecte…
See more on matthewharrislaw.com

Choose Services, Not Results

  • One of the biggest misconceptions that exists is that attorneys are simply hired guns that are paid to get results. Unfortunately, attorneys cannot guarantee the outcome of any legal matter and are barred by the rules of ethics from doing so. The greatest reason that attorneys can’t guarantee an outcome in your case is because it is impossible to predict the verdict that a jury will return or th…
See more on matthewharrislaw.com

Choose An Attorney with Value

  • As with everything in life, you get what you pay for, and what you see is what you get. You wouldn’t buy a Pontiac Fiero and expect the performance of a Ferrari. It is true that there is a sizeable gap in the hourly rates that different attorneys charge but consider first that there may be a reason that some attorneys are willing to accept your case for a cheaper rate. You already know that co…
See more on matthewharrislaw.com

Choose Someone You Can Talk to

  • Regardless of the situation that you’re facing, you’re probably not thrilled with the idea of hiring an attorney. Beyond hiring an attorney, you’re probably even less thrilled at the idea of the months, and sometimes years, that you’ll be dealing with this legal issue. The absolute best advice that you’ll ever hear in finding an attorney is to find an attorney that you feel comfortable talking to. S…
See more on matthewharrislaw.com

Know Your Goals, But Be Ready to Pivot

  • It is important to know what your goal is when looking for an attorney. However, don’t simply hire an attorney because they tell you they will seek to get you that goal without discussing all your options. A diligent attorney will discuss your goals with you along with the facts of your case and give you all of your options. You may be surprised that the attorney can exceed what you origina…
See more on starks.law

Don’T Base Your Decision Solely on Cost

  • Cost absolutely plays a role in the decision process, but be careful that it doesn’t play the leading role. This applies both ways. Just because one attorney is cheaper it doesn’t mean just a better price. It might mean less services, less experience or a narrower scope of representation. On the other side, a more expensive attorney doesn’t mean better. It could mean the attorney isn’t exper…
See more on starks.law

Distinguish Between Marketing Hype and Actual Qualifications

  • Like previously mentioned, firms are businesses who must market themselves to get business. Just like any other business. You, as a consumer, must be aware that some things are selling points that simply don’t apply to the attorney’s effectiveness or whether they are a good fit for you and your legal matter. One of the very tired selling points we often hear is “the other attorney say…
See more on starks.law

in Conclusion

  • Hiring an attorney can be overwhelming but hopefully this article gives or helps build a strategy to approach the task. As always, you can also give us a call. We will be happy to review your case, free of charge, and answer any questions you might have about the qualifications of the attorney who will be handling your case.
See more on starks.law

Conducting Candidate Interviews

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One of the best ways to assess a lawyer’s legal ability is by interviewing them. Most attorneys will provide an initial consultation—usually an hour or less—at no charge. Below are a few questions to consider: 1. What experience does the lawyer have in your type of legal matter? 2. How long have they been in practice? 3. Wha…
See more on thebalancecareers.com

Asking Other Attorneys

  • Lawyers know the skill and reputation of other lawyers. Attorneys may be able to provide information about a fellow lawyer that you may not find in a book or online, such as information about a lawyer’s ethics, competence level, demeanor, practice habits, and reputation.
See more on thebalancecareers.com

Conducting A Background Check

  • Before hiring any lawyer, contact the lawyer disciplinary agency in your state to confirm that they are in good standing as a member of the bar. For an online listing of each state's lawyer disciplinary agency, review this directory of lawyer disciplinary agencies. You should always check references, especially if you located the attorney through the Internet. You can also check a lawy…
See more on thebalancecareers.com

Touring The Lawyer’S Office

  • You can tell a lot about an attorney from their law office. Request a brief tour of their office, beyond the office or conference room where you met with the lawyer. Is the law office neat, orderly, efficient and well-run? What kind of support staff does the lawyer employ? Does the staff appear friendly and helpful? Is the lawyer’s office local and easily accessible? Is a large portion o…
See more on thebalancecareers.com