With over a million licensed legal practitioners in the U.S, it might get overwhelming when trying to choose which attorney is right for you. To help you out with selecting the best legal representation for yourself, we consulted professionals in the legal world, and here are the top factors for you to consider;
“One of the biggest tips I can give people when looking for a good lawyer is looking at how the lawyer communicates. When you call their office, are they available? Do they call you or email you back within a day? Are you actually talking to the lawyer themselves, or is all of your communication going through a paralegal or assistant? It’s true that lawyers are busy people, and it’s not necessarily a bad sign if a lawyer doesn’t answer the phone or respond to you right away – after all, they’re busy serving their clients. But, you’ll want to hire someone who is overall responsive and easy to talk to.
“One of the biggest complaints made against lawyers is a lack of communication, and while this doesn’t necessarily reflect the lawyer’s skills in the profession, a lawyer with poor communication skills at best can make you feel like you’re out of the loop on what’s going on with your case, and at worse may be a sign your lawyer is neglecting your case.
“So how do you tell if your attorney will be a good communicator before hiring them? First, see if you’re able to speak to them directly on the phone before paying for an initial meeting. A good lawyer should at least offer a brief introduction at no cost so you can see if your personalities are a match. If you’ve hired an attorney already, keep an eye on how often they communicate. “Regular communication may not always be necessary, especially if your case is spread out over months or years. But if you aren’t hearing from your attorney at least every 3 to 4 weeks, or if they aren’t responding to your messages or voicemails within a week, you may want to consider switching lawyers.”
Attorney Stefanie Trinkl is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-area attorney focused on estate planning.
“The best thing you can do, when searching for a lawyer, is going off references and other peoples’ experiences with that lawyer. Experience and history do not lie, so you should be able to get a pretty good sense of what you are signing up for from other peoples’ reviews. Ask around with friends and family to see if they have any recommendations.
“Most lawyers offer a free consultation, as well, and I highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity. You will be spending a fair amount of time with this person and discussing personal matters, so make sure it is someone you get along with and can spend time with.”
Jonathan Cohen, Co-Founder at Cohen & Winters
- Hire An Attorney That Focuses On The Type Of Law You Need
“Do not look at attorneys that do criminal law, bankruptcy and maybe throws in a little bit of divorce and a few other things and say they do it all. You need someone who understands the law, the laws of your particular need, and your state laws. They know the judges and the other attorneys in that specialty, and that is in your best interest. (Florida Women’s Law Group)
- Look For Someone Who Is Going To Ask You Questions
“This sounds so simple. You want someone who is going to ask you real questions about what you want. Not just the short view but your future. What is your life going to look like one year from now, three years from now, when your children are grown? The things that are decided now are going to impact your future. That is the concern you are looking for and that long-range view that you need in an attorney. (Florida Women’s Law Group)
- You Need To Look For A Strategy
“You are not going to get a strategy the first time you meet with an attorney because they will not have enough information. Every case is different, and the facts will not be the same as your friend’s or co-workers and it does take strategy. These cases are won and lost on specific facts and how they apply to the law. Ask the attorney how they are going to come up with their strategy, so you end up with where you want to be.”
Florida Women’s Law Group
“Finding the right lawyer is crucial to your case. Specific factors should be considered apart from their expertise and experiences. Here’s one thing that you should also look for that can help you find a good lawyer: Check your compatibility. Even though the lawyer has relevant experience to your case and is highly regarded in their field, they may not be a good lawyer for you if you are not compatible. Compatibility means that your characters align and that they are trustworthy and make you feel comfortable. You should also have mutual respect. A lawyer who will work hard for you, exercise good judgment, and thoroughly works your case is a valuable asset and a good lawyer.”
Dave Herman, President at EZ Surety Bonds