For anyone having to find a lawyer, it quickly becomes obvious how daunting a task this can be. Using the yellow pages is like swimming in a sea of lawyers and not knowing where to turn. Sometimes even with recommendations, it can be difficult to find the right lawyer for you.
The first thing you need to do is determine what type of lawyer you need based on your legal issue. The categories of lawyers are varied but include civil law, family law, criminal law and taxation law.
Other important factors to consider when looking for the right lawyer for you include:
Experience: The years of experience that the lawyer has is an important and not to be overlooked criteria. Not only should they have experience practicing law, but especially in the area in which you need legal representation. A lawyer may be great at real estate matters but not so good with criminal cases.
Cost: Generally lawyers are expensive, but don’t just pick a lawyer because he’s expensive or because you think he’s reasonable. The most expensive lawyers are not always the best and those who don’t charge an arm and a leg may be fantastic. As such don’t make price your primary deciding factor when selecting the right lawyer for your needs.
References: If possible get references from former clients and check them out if you can. Try and find out how many cases they have won. Also, of equal importance, when selecting a lawyer try to find out if he or she is seen as being professional in their dealings.
Referrals: Don’t be afraid to ask family members, colleague…etc for recommendations. If you are going through a divorce, ask someone who may have had a divorce to recommend a lawyer.
If you have a lawyer you can ask them to refer a lawyer if they do not practice in that particular area. So your divorce lawyer may be able to refer you to a good real estate lawyer and vice versa.
Your comfort level: Never discount your gut feelings. Once you have done all the necessary due diligence, sit down with the lawyer you have decided on. You must follow your feelings when talking to any prospective lawyer. Try to decipher whether they seem genuinely interested in your case and in helping you. If you are not comfortable with the lawyer you have chosen you will not be a good fit. If you have any doubts, find another lawyer. You have to be comfortable with your lawyer and believe that they will work in your best interest.
Sometimes when looking for a professional, age is used as a determining factor. However, this is not necessarily a good indicator of a lawyer’s experience or capabilities. Sometimes a young lawyer trying to make his or her mark will work harder to win a case and do a good job for their client.
After choosing the right lawyer for you, make sure to get as much information as you can on the cost and payment options. Knowing the payment options will help you be prepared to pay for legal representation once you have decided on the right lawyer.
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