Finding an Attorney: What Should You Look for When Choosing a Lawyer?

Did you know that there in 2018, there were around 823,900 lawyer positions in the United States? Do you need a lawyer but are wondering what should you look for when choosing a lawyer? If so, we can help.

We’ll go over how to choose a reputable lawyer in this guide. If you want to learn how to find a good lawyer, keep reading.

Research Local Lawyers

The first step you’ll take to picking a lawyer is researching. Start with a few names that you received from friends and family.

Ask neighbors and even coworkers for their recommendations. Having a personal referral is a great place to begin, especially from someone you trust.

If you couldn’t find any recommendations, you’ll want to start searching online. You can find reputable lawyers and see if there are consumer reviews for lawyers.

You can see how people rate their interactions with different attorneys. Read the three-star ratings. You will learn what the client liked about the lawyer, but also the potential drawbacks.

These reviews will provide more insight compared to high star ratings.

Ask Tons of Questions

After you have a list of lawyers, you will want to start evaluating them. Most attorneys offer a free consultation at the beginning. Take advantage of these and meet with them right away.

You’ll want a list of questions and a notebook. This way, you can take some notes during your meeting.

Decent lawyers will also listen and answer your questions. Watch and see if the lawyer understands your concerns.

Ask about the lawyer’s experience in the area of your issue. Most lawyers tend to work on cases in specific areas.

A compassionate lawyer will understand a client’s situation and care about them. Yet, lawyers won’t get attached to clients because that could cloud their judgment.

Next, ask about their legal team. Does the lawyer work with paralegals or on their own? Do they outsource some of the work? Make sure you know who will handle your file.

How Do They Communicate?

Do you have a case that could get drawn out like a difficult divorce? If so, you’ll end up staying in touch with your attorney often.

You don’t want to get a lawyer who doesn’t return emails or calls quickly. Lawyers have a lot of cases, but you will want someone who answers your questions.

Don’t ask all your questions after your initial meeting. You can test their

communication style by emailing questions after your first visit. If it takes a couple of days, the firm or lawyer might be too busy.

Yet, if you like their response time and thought out answers, you may have found your lawyer.

Ask About the Fee Structure

You can determine if a lawyer is honest and upfront by asking about their fee structure. Ask the lawyer if they have a flat fee arrangement or bill by the hour.

Some attorneys will advertise a low and flat fee. Ask about any extra charges. The lawyer may not have included the cost of printing documents or court filing fees.

You’ll want to match up the price with your case. A small dispute shouldn’t cost a massive amount of money.

Integrity and Compassion

You want to find a lawyer that’s both an aggressive advocate but is also compassionate.

Decent lawyers will understand that their reputation is essential. Lawyers will work hard to provide top service and keep their clients satisfied.

You’ll also want to look for a lawyer who cares about clients. Some attorneys will only see the law as a job. Top-notch lawyers will see that law is a way to bring justice and help people.

Are You a Good Fit?

Once you have the answers to your questions, you’ll want to consider your personalities. Do you feel comfortable with the attorney, or do you feel tense?

Do you feel worried about bringing up concerns or questions? You want to work with someone who puts you at ease.

When you pick a lawyer, call the organization that handles attorney disciplinary matters. Find out if the lawyer has ever had disciplinary actions in the past.

What About Credentials?

You’ll want to verify someone’s qualifications and credentials. You may have found a lawyer’s website and read about their awards or credentials.

Most lawyers will seek further accreditation or education in their area of law.

Ask a lawyer if they have a post-secondary degree beyond their law and undergraduate. Some lawyers will go on and get a master’s or law or a certified specialist status.

You could also ask about specialized accreditation or honorary degrees. What about any awards from organizations or lawyer societies?

Look for Lawyers With Specializations

Find a lawyer that has a specialization. Different from other professions, a lawyer can practice in any area of law.

You’ll want to find someone who has taken cases before that are like your own. Most lawyers will be honest about their area of expertise.

If you’re unsure about the lawyer, look them up online. You could also ask for references so you can speak to previous clients.

For example, if you were in an accident as a bicyclist, you’ll want someone who has experience. Look into finding an accident attorney.

Now You Know the Answer to “What Should You Look for When Choosing a Lawyer?”

We hope you found this guide on picking a lawyer was helpful. Take the time to ask your network if they can recommend anyone.

Now that you know the answer to “What should you look for when choosing a lawyer?” start meeting with lawyers. Take note of their communication style and personality before choosing.

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