Even if you go through life on your very best behavior, there’s a good chance you’re going to need a lawyer at some point. Lawyers deal with all manner of issues including criminal law, family law, property, and employment.
When the time comes that you find yourself in need of a lawyer, it’s so important to make the right choice. After all, you need to trust them to advocate for your interests and give you the right professional advice.
If the only lawyers you know are on TV, then you’re going to need to do your research. Here’s some advice on how to choose the right lawyer for you.
A Good Track Record
You’re going to need a lawyer that specializes in the area you need. It’s no use asking a property specialist to look at your employment case. If you’re suing a company, such as the current Zantac lawsuits, then you need a lawyer who is used to dealing with class-action lawsuits or medical negligence. If you’re getting a divorce, then you are going to need to find someone with a good reputation in that area.
Recommendations & Reviews
Ideally, you’ll be able to get a personal recommendation from a family member, friend, or colleague. Knowing someone who’s had the first-hand experience will be able to tell you a lot more than a website.
Ask around for recommendations. Check out any online reviews on Google, Yelp, and social media. A quick search for their name on the internet should unearth any negative news stories about them. You can also check with your state’s bar association that they are in good standing or have any incidences of malpractice upheld.
Prices & Fee Structure
A good lawyer will be upfront about their fee structure. You’ll be able to see at the outset whether they are within your budget, saving your time and theirs. Ask questions about what their fees include so that you aren’t surprised by any hidden costs further down the line. If an offer looks too good to be true, it usually is.
Lawyers are busy people, that’s part of the job, but a good law firm should communicate with you on a regular basis even if only to tell you that there are no changes to the situation.
If you find that all communication is one-sided, and they need to be pressed for any kind of info then they aren’t taking you seriously and you’ll get better service somewhere else.
Test out their communication skills before you hire them. Do they take a while to return your call or answer any emails?
If your lawyer looks good on paper, but you still aren’t quite sure, then don’t be afraid to listen to your gut instincts. After all, you will be trusting this person with an important job and a great deal of your money. You need to be absolutely sure that you have made the right choice.