Legal representation is a serious matter. Your attorney can act as an advisor through business matters or be your top line of defense during a criminal case. With over 1.35 million attorneys in the United States, there are a lot of legal experts to choose from.
What is the best way to find an attorney? It may be easy to pursue the first attorney that pops into your mind, but they might not be the best match. Not only do you need an attorney, but you need a reputable and trusted attorney who can guide you to success.
Let’s explore how to find the best attorney for your legal matters.
Why and When You Need an Attorney
Not every legal matter requires an attorney’s expertise. However, there are situations where not having a lawyer by your side becomes risky. Legal representation is available to help citizens get to the bottom of a legal dispute.
Hiring an attorney means you’re working with a legal expert, which is a good idea because the law is complicated. If you’re trying to cut costs by avoiding an attorney, not having a lawyer raises your chance of losing your case. Losing could mean paying hefty fines and doing some jail time.
Attorneys have access to witnesses, can complete documentation on your behalf, and negotiate settlements that work in your benefit. They know how to file a lawsuit, so you don’t have to.
You may need an attorney if you’re dealing with personal injuries due to an auto accident, defective product, or negligent physician. Lawyers assist people with bankruptcy, debt collection, and consumer rights. Hire an attorney if you’re dealing with criminal law infringements, such as DUI, domestic violence, theft, and drug possession charges.
Attorneys are also needed for administrative law. Legal representation ensures workers’ compensation and navigates zoning board disputes. Small businesses need attorneys to create, merge, or sell a company.
Don’t forget to call an attorney if you’re dealing with family matters. This includes divorce, child custody arrangements, child support, drafting a will, and protecting your assets.
Steps to Finding an Attorney
Once you’ve determined you need an attorney, it’s time to find one. Consult with your friends and family to get names of local legal representation. You can also turn to the internet to discover nearby law practices.
1. Ask Your Inner Circle
Your friends, family, and colleagues can guide you in finding a reputable attorney. Word-of-mouth recommendations are one of the best ways to find an attorney.
The best approach is to consult with someone who went through a similar problem. For example, if you’re seeking a divorce attorney, consult with fellow friends and family members who have also gone through a divorce.
Take word-of-mouth recommendations with a grain of salt. Don’t immediately assume someone else’s lawyer will be the perfect match for you. Ask a few people about attorney recommendations and look into all of your options.
If you’re searching for a business attorney, reach out to other business owners or professionals who may have previous experience with attorneys. Insurance agents, real estate brokers, and accountants frequently deal with legal experts and may have valuable insights to help you with your search.
2. Use Online Resources
When in doubt, find an attorney online. The internet can be your attorney match-maker. A quick “attorneys near me” search in Google provides you with a list of local legal experts. However, Google listings may be outdated or not provide much information on the attorney’s practice.
A more advanced search can be done through Nolo. Nolo is an online lawyer directory. All listed attorneys are in good standing with their bar association and have a valid license to practice law. Nolo provides a detailed profile on every attorney, so you can pick the right one.
Choosing the Right Attorney
When it comes to legal representation, you need to find an attorney who is the right match for your personality and your case. The better you and your lawyer work together, the smoother the process will be.
1. Read Reviews
If you’re using the internet to find an attorney, do a little digging first. Online reviews and testimonials are excellent assets for determining if a practice is reputable.
Check the practice’s website for testimonials. Search for the attorney on Google or Yelp to find more reviews.
Look for reviews that outline how clients are treated and the professionalism of the practice. Keep in mind some people may leave poor reviews if they didn’t win their case, so read multiple testimonials to gather a fair assessment.
2. Pick the Right Attorney for Your Case
Lawyers are not one-size-fits-all. There are specialty lawyers that only deal with specific areas of the law, such as business or criminal cases. Research to ensure your prospective attorney is capable of handling your dispute. It’s best to hire an attorney who specializes in your field.
Most attorney websites outline their expertise. You can also call and speak with the practice to inquire about their experience with similar cases. If you feel the attorney is knowledgeable enough, schedule a consultation.
3. Ask Important Questions
Most attorneys and legal practices offer free consultations. The session acts as a meet-and-greet between the client and the attorney. During this time, your lawyer will review your case to determine if he or she is a good fit.
The consultation is also a chance for the client to assess the prospective attorney. Some questions to ask during an attorney consultation include:
- What are your previous legal experiences?
- What is your current caseload and do you have time to take on a new case?
- Will I (the client) be dealing with you (the attorney) or your staff?
- What are your fees and costs that I should be aware of?
During your consultation, you want to feel comfortable and respected. It’s essential to choose an attorney who has the time and energy to effectively represent you. The right attorney is professional, transparent, and well-organized.
Find the Business for Your Needs
When you need an attorney, find one that’s suited for your case. Whether you find an attorney online or through personal references, research before agreeing to anything. Ensure your attorney has the time and resources to effectively handle your case.
Are you looking for assistance? Our website can guide you in choosing the best business for your needs.