More law school students graduate each year than there are legal jobs available. With such a huge influx of fresh legal advisors, it can seem impossible to find the right one.
Between advertisements, google searches, and legal review websites, the search can quickly become confusing and frustrating. If you focus on looking for a few key characteristics of a quality lawyer instead of sifting through them all, you’ll find the perfect legal help much more quickly.
Read on to learn just what those characteristics are, and why you need to consider them.
Look for a Lawyer Who’s Right for Your Case
There are at least 14 different fields of law, with lawyers committed to specializing in each. A tax lawyer isn’t going to be able to help with your criminal injury case, and vice versa.
Just because a lawyer passed the Bar doesn’t mean they’re the right lawyer for your case. The Bar exam has become more of a rite of passage than a true measure of competence.
Figuring out which field your case falls under is a great place to start. Some firms, like Danny Glover, cover multiple practice areas and will offer these options on their website.
Look for a Lawyer Who Cares About You
We all have this shark-like image of lawyers in our heads. It’s how they’re depicted on television, in the media, and by friends with very, very large legal bills to pay.
Like all stereotypes, it’s not necessarily true. Lawyers are normal people, trying to make a living just like you.
Finding a legal advisor who won’t overbill for hours not really spent on your case is key. Try to look for a lawyer who’s trustworthy, and will take the time to explain complicated legalese in layman’s terms.
Some lawyers even have fixed price packages or will work on partial (if not full) contingency. A good lawyer will care about you and the outcome of your case.
Look for Good Reviews and Recommendations
Advertisements on buses and benches aren’t necessarily the best place to look to find what you need. The best way to find your lawyer is simply to read reviews & ask friends and family.
Reach out into your social network to find out if anyone’s had a similar case to yours, and ask who they used. This is the most effective way to find out how they’ll treat you, the cost of the services, and the lawyer’s success rate.
Big firms with lots of money to spend on advertising have lots of clients. Consider using a smaller firm where there’s more room to focus on you.
Look for a Lawyer Who Makes You Feel Comfortable
Ask yourself: do you really feel like your lawyer is on your side?
It’s important to feel comfortable enough with your lawyer to tell him or her the full story, in all its embarrassing glory. It’s the only way they can help you to their fullest extent.
Feeling comfortable with the person behind the label “Lawyer” is essential for a happy and healthy working relationship.
Look for a Lawyer Who’s Available
There’s nothing more frustrating than a case dragging on and on due to an unavailable lawyer. Maybe they’re busy, or don’t care about you, and feel entitled to drag their feet.
There are plenty of awesome lawyers out there who would love to take time to work with you. Avoid lawyers who you don’t feel you’re getting enough attention from.
If your initial appointments always seem to be scheduled a month out or frequently rescheduled, take that as a warning sign. If it’s this hard now, it’ll just be harder later once the proceedings really get moving.
The Skinny on Your Legal Advisor
At the end of the day, it’s about a gut feeling.
It’s hard to tell if your lawyer is trustworthy, or if you’re being overbilled. Listen to your gut about whether or not your lawyer has your back.
Check out some more tips on finding the perfect lawyer here. Once you’ve done all your homework, start your search!