If your legal problem is complicated or involves a lot of money, you should not try to manage your legal matters without a lawyer. After all, a lawyer does more than just dispensing legal advice. They give tactical advice and employ advanced skills to solve legal difficulties. Ideally, you can find a lawyer who’s willing to be your legal “coach” who will help you prepare yourself to the maximum possible extent and take over your case as your legal counsel only if needed.
Here are some of the things to consider before hiring a lawyer:
The Lawyer Must Be Willing to Work with You
When you have got a legal difficulty, you need legal advice. Attorneys, of course, are prime sources of this information, but if you will purchase all the needed information at their rates — $150 to $250 an hour — you will surely empty your bank account.
Fortunately, many attorneys will work with you to help you get a great working knowledge of the legal principles and processes you need to deal with your difficulty.
Communication and Promptness
Ask all prospective attorneys about the means to contact them and how long it may take them to return your communications. And do not suppose that because the attorney appears friendly and easy to speak to you can overlook this step.
Interview the Prospective Lawyers
When you have the list of the prospective lawyers, the next thing you should do is approach each of them personally. If you outline your needs in advance, many attorneys will be willing to meet you at no charge so you can size them up and make an informed decision.
Consider a Specialist
Most attorneys specialize in specific areas, and a so-called “general practitioner” may not understand the nuts and bolts of the special area of your concern. If you’re an employee experiencing signs of pregnancy discrimination and wants to get legal help, you should hire a lawyer who is expert in dealing with this type of situation.
Lawyer Referral Services
These services are another good source of information. Both good and bad referral services are present in the market. Even though all the referral services should necessarily be approved by bar association of the state, some agencies referring lawyers may not function as expected. Some services carefully choose the attorneys they are going to recommend. The lawyers they choose have special qualifications and certain amount of experience. Before selecting a lawyer referral service, ask them about the criteria they have for screening the lawyers.
There are certain businesses that provide services to big lawyers. They may help you identify the lawyers you should consider. For example, in case you are interested in small business law, ask your banker, insurance agent, accountant and the real estate broker for references. These individuals come into frequent contact with attorneys who represent business customers and are able to make informed judgments.
Many websites offer means to connect with local attorneys based on your place and the sort of legal case you have. You answer a few pre-determined questions about your case and give your contact information then the right kind of lawyer will contact you directly.
Finding a good lawyer who can efficiently assist with your special issue may not be easy. Do not expect to identify a great lawyer by just reading an ad or looking in the phone book. There is not much information in these sources to help you make an informed judgment.