Choosing an appropriate attorney that can work best to help resolve your specific problem is no easy feat, especially given a statistic of over one million licensed lawyers in the United States to choose from, like kentuckylegalteam.com/practice-areas/personal-injury-lexington/. Making such an important decision will take much of one’s time and effort, but that is inevitable.
To get you started, build up a list of potential candidates, which you can identify by seeking help from business advisors, people in your same industry, other lawyers, as well as your trusted sources. You can also utilize online resources, and visit law firm sites, bar associations, and other referral platforms. Next is to cut down your list to a manageable few, which you can then make contact with and meet up to conduct an interview in person. Read on to find out the ten factors that you should look out for in your search to find the right attorney.
1. Identify Your Legal Issue, and Use a Specialist
Firstly, always be clear about the exact problem that you are facing. The law has various different specialties and sub-specialties, so it is important that you can precisely determine the type of attorney that will best address and help you to solve your problem. For this initial step, you should consult a general corporate lawyer, or other trusted business advisors like your company’s consultant, for sound advice.
Go for a specialist that can help to solve your type of problem, as a specialist will be well informed of the legal nuances and newest developments relevant to your specific problem, which prevents you from incurring additional charges for the “extras”.
2. Ensure that the Attorney has the Proper Experience
Scrutinize your potential candidates’ experience by searching up the law firm sites and individual attorneys. Having an appropriate level of experience is no doubt one of the most crucial criteria when it comes to choosing a lawyer. You would want to work with an attorney with a highly successful track record on your specific problem type, as this increases the probability of your problem getting resolved successfully.
3. Ensure that the Attorney is a Great Communicator
It is essential to find one who is able to communicate well. A good lawyer is one who anticipates your queries and is consistent in keeping you abreast of all the developments in your case without you chasing for it.
The attorney should also have a good judgment as to the most proper form of communication for different situations, and the appropriate level of communication necessary, as over-communication may just lead to unnecessary costs.
In the case where you have to make a choice or act upon something, the lawyer should properly explain your available courses of action, the legal and practical pros and disadvantages of each, and all other relevant matters that are significant towards your decision making.
4. Consider the Attorney’s Professionalism
Professionalism is more important than the personality, as it distinguishes the best lawyers from those who are merely qualified. Among many other factors, a professional lawyer should respond promptly, be well-prepared in meetings, and extend respect to everyone regardless of their status.
5. Consider the Attorney’s Fit and Approach
Each attorney has his or her own personality, style, and approach when representing their clients. It is ideal that you find an attorney that complements your personality, style, and approach. This makes for a more smooth-sailing process between both parties overall.
6. Engage an Attorney who is Familiar with Your Region
Today, technology makes it possible for anyone to engage a specialist from just about anywhere worldwide, but the decision to engage a local or national specialist will depend on the type of issue on hand. For instance, real estate matters are usually handled locally, while matters of federal law like labor and wage law are best tackled by national specialists.
A specialist who is familiar with your area will be better equipped with the knowledge of local laws, as well as the personalities of the local administrative or judicial authorities. Furthermore, in-person meetups may still be preferable over video conferences, and having the specialist nearby can enable urgent matters to be resolved at greater convenience.
7. Get References on the Attorney
To evaluate your list of potential candidates, you can request for them to provide you with several references from their past clients, but do remember that those selected clients will likely have the best things to say. Dig into the attorney’s reputation by checking with other sources if you can, such as online sources and bar associations which can alert you to any complaints or disciplinary sanctions filed against the lawyers.
8. Clarify Responsibility for Your Case
For smaller firms, it’s more likely that you’re able to deal directly with the attorney that you’ve chosen to engage in. This is as compared to larger firms, where there may be several attorneys that work on different areas of your issue. As such, you need to be aware of how the firm will be staffing your case, as well as how they use their paralegals and support staff.
9. Assess the Extent of Attorney’s Resources and Support Network
The size of the firm that you should pick will be dependent on the nature of your legal matter. A larger firm will have more capacity and capability to manage more complex cases as they would have various offices in different regions, and the attorneys under such larger firms could also have a wider breadth of experience.
10. Know the Fees and Other Business Arrangements
Ask your contact attorney to relate to you their firm’s billing procedures and payment methods. Most lawyers bill as per the hours involved, but contingency arrangements and other methods of payment have become more popular today. You could propose to your attorney a reduction in rate for an increase in work volume. Ensure that you are well aware of the charges that you may expect to incur during the whole process of handling your case. The costs may include expert fees, postage fees, and travel charges.
There are many things to consider before you engage an attorney’s services, but the effort required to pick the best match for your needs will be worth it. Use this list of ten factors as a guide to selecting your attorney, and all the very best!