8 Important Things to Look for When Choosing a Lawyer

Choosing a Lawyer

If there is one thing there isn’t a shortage of in the United States, it’s lawyers. With 1.3 million lawyers in the United States, there’s no shortage of available people to handle your legal needs.

However, finding the right lawyer to handle your specific case is easier said than done.

If you’re planning on choosing a lawyer in the future, it pays to learn what makes a great attorney. Use the eight tips below to choose an attorney that will meet your legal needs.

1. Legal Team

There are some cases where your case only needs a single lawyer for your case. Things like paperwork, standard legal procedures, and routine legal issues don’t need much research or resources.

However, larger legal cases aren’t the same. If you have a large case, a single lawyer may not have the time or resources to care for everything themselves.

Many lawyers have legal teams that help with larger cases. Look into the size of the firm you’re dealing with. You can use what you find to see if an attorney has the resources to handle all your legal needs. 

2. Availability

Some lawyers have busy schedules. Lawyers will book as many clients as possible and get to the later clients whenever they get more time.

If you have a case that needs urgent attention, you can’t afford to hire one of those lawyers. Ask a lawyer what their availability is like and when they can get to your case.

If someone can’t get to your case in a reasonable timeframe, look for another lawyer to represent you.

3. Billing Options

You need to find a lawyer that offers pricing options that work well with your needs. Lawyers have several ways to charge you, so investigate those types of billing.

Hourly and service-based pricing is common in the legal world. This is an excellent option if you don’t have a lengthy case. You know exactly how much you’ll pay and won’t need to worry about future surprises since you don’t work with a lawyer for long.

Working on contingency is better for lengthy cases that require a lot of hours. You don’t have to worry about paying upfront in this case. You’ll pay your lawyer a percentage of your settlement amount.

4. Primary Lawyer

The attorney you speak with when interviewing law firms won’t always be the one who takes on your case. Larger firms pass cases to associates to free up time for the more prominent attorneys.

You need to know this before you commit to working with a law firm. Ask the person you interview if they are the person who will be the primary lawyer on your case.

If not, ask to speak with the person in charge. You need to learn about the person in charge to vet them for the job.

5. Communication

The last thing you want is to hire a lawyer that can’t communicate well. This is especially true for cases where you’re dealing with sensitive matters. It can be stressful paying someone to handle legal issues and barely hearing from them.

You’ll need to learn how a lawyer communicates before hiring them. Use your time interviewing someone to see how well they respond to questions.

If it seems like a lawyer communicates well, the next step is to ask about response times. Will it take days for a lawyer to respond, or will you get a response in under 24 hours?

6. Legal Expertise

It’s hard to find a lawyer who’s a jack of all trades. A lot goes into each legal field, so lawyers specialize in specific areas to better serve their clients.

It doesn’t matter if you need an injury attorney or help with business issues. The lawyer you hire needs to have plenty of experience dealing with cases similar to yours.

Ask about the track record of the lawyers you speak with. They should be able to demonstrate results in the type of law you need help with. Otherwise, it will take too long for a lawyer to get up to speed with the specifics of your case.

7. Location

Even if a lawyer has experience in the field of law you need, that doesn’t mean you should hire them. They may know the law well in the region they operate, but the same may not be true in your location.

Laws can vary a lot by location, so you need to hire someone who knows your local area.

During your search for a lawyer, start by looking on Google for lawyers in your area. A quick search will give you lawyers with offices close to you. Start your search with this list to find lawyers who will know the laws in your area.

8. References

One factor when choosing an attorney you need to consider is references. A lawyer having the experience and skill to handle your case isn’t always enough to make them worth hiring. There may be factors you aren’t aware of that make someone a bad choice.

You can learn about the downfalls of working with an attorney by speaking with previous clients. Ask your attorney options to provide references that you can talk with.

Use your time with references to learn the pros and cons of an attorney’s services and look for common issues that make someone not worth working with.

Choosing a Lawyer Isn’t an Easy Task

There’s a lot on the line when dealing with legal issues, so it can be intimidating when trying to find a good attorney. However, there are some factors you can consider when choosing a lawyer. Keep the things above in mind to ensure you find a good attorney that will get you the results you deserve.

Head back to the blog to find more tips that will help in other areas of your life.