After you have decided to hire an attorney, the next important step is to choose a specific lawyer for your legal issue. The field of law is full of lawyers leaving you spoilt for choice when it comes to picking the right one. Having the right lawyer for your case will make the difference between winning and losing. Here are a few tips on how to hire the right attorney for your case.
When choosing a lawyer, you need to be keen on the personal chemistry you have with them. You must feel comfortable enough to open up to them and disclose all the details necessary to tackle your problem. Look for a lawyer whose personality is compatible with yours. You should also watch out for personal rapport, and trustworthiness.
Communication and Promptness
Many lawyer regulatory groups receive complaints that lawyers are terrible at communication. If your lawyer is late to respond to your calls or is not available for emergency communication, that can pose problems for your case. Ask a lawyer how you will be able to get in touch with them, how long they will take to respond to your communication, and whether there are alternative ways through which you can reach them. The ideal lawyer is one who is time conscious and available to answer your every beck and call.
Area of Expertise and Experience
A lawyer's prior experience and expertise are an important consideration you ought to make before hiring them. In many states, there are specialization programs that distinguish attorneys as specialists in certain areas of law. Some legal programs also have their own special certification programs like the "National Elder Law Foundation", and the "National Association of Estate Planners and Councils". Inquire from your lawyer the kind of cases they handle and the breakdown of their practice. For example, you may find that a lawyer handles 50% personal injury claims, 25% family law cases, and 25% of other cases. At times it may be better to go for a specialist than a general practitioner.
The Size of the Firm
Law firms can be categorized in terms of size. There are solo law firms, small law firms, and large law firms. One major disadvantage of solo law firms is that they often lack experience and resources. On the other hand, small firms may be better equipped and experienced than solo firms. Additionally, with small firms, you may get personalized attention since lawyers in these companies may not have large case loads or be required to joggle several responsibilities. However, though expensive, large law firms have been known to be more resourceful and experienced in legal practice areas. Furthermore, many judges and opposing lawyers tend to fear and respect large firms for their great reputation for winning cases and their ability to sway judgments in their favor.
What is the Price Range?
Part of finding the right attorney involves choosing services you will be able to afford. It is important that you inquire about the costs of legal services during the first meeting. Try to get an estimate of how much your case will cost, and to obtain a contract that indicates the costs of trying your case. This will keep you from paying for hidden costs that you did not plan for.
What Are Your Odds?
When choosing a lawyer, you need to weigh the circumstances of your case. How bad do you want to win, and what happens when you lose? How is the other side's defense? What are your chances of winning? If your odds for winning are bad and you need to have a victory, you need the reputation, resources, and experience of a large firm. You also need a specialist who has a good record of winning cases. For minor cases, where a win or lose is likely, or where you have a strong case, it is more affordable and convenient to hire a general practitioner from a small or solo law firm. Personal injury attorney Juan Reyna's advice is to hire a specialist when the stakes are high, and to settle on a general practitioner when the stakes are low. This risk management strategy helps you to minimize the chances of losing in both big and minor cases.
Where to Look
When looking for the right lawyer to handle you case, you need to know where to look. Some of the places you can begin your search include: personal referrals, business referrals, a local referral service, and online services. In each case, you should identify the kind of qualities, expertise, and experience you are looking for.