Tips for Finding a Good Lawyer
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Published by TOP4 Team
Some people mistakenly believe that you only need the services of a lawyer when you find yourself a party to a criminal or divorce case. On the contrary, attorneys can provide invaluable advice and guidance on various facets of a person's life.
For example, seeking legal advice before starting your own business can help you avoid potential woes when your venture is up and running. A lawyer well-versed in estate planning, on the other hand, can help ensure that your family gets what is rightfully theirs upon your demise.
But how should you proceed to find and choose the right lawyer?
Take note of the area wherein you need legal help
It is crucial to remember that lawyers have their own fields of specialisation and it would be beneficial to choose an expert in the particular area wherein you specifically need legal help.
An expert in criminal law, for example, would not be in the best position to provide advice on matters pertaining to taxation or divorce.
Beginning your search
One good place to start is to get recommendations from the people you trust like your relatives, friends or colleagues who may have worked with a lawyer. They can give great insight on the quality of work a lawyer can provide to a client, as well as his personality. You might also want to get recommendations from other professionals you work with like your accountant or even your business's attorney.
Alternatively, you can use an online database or the websites of local bar associations to find legal experts working in the area where you live. Ideally, you should create a shortlist of more than one lawyer to choose from.
Narrowing down your choices
Once you have created a shortlist of potential lawyers to hire, the next step you will need to undertake is to further narrow down your list.
The first thing you need to do is to check the background of each lawyer. Ideally, the lawyer you choose should have the qualifications and experience in the particular field of law you need some assistance in. He or she should also provide proof of the successful outcomes he or she has been able to attain for past clients.
It is also crucial to check not only the educational background of each potential lawyer. More importantly, find out if each lawyer has pending complaints or has been subjected to any disciplinary action.
Interviewing each potential lawyer
Interviewing each attorney on your shortlist will help you assess the expertise, professionalism and even the personality of each.
Prior to the interview, it would be beneficial to prepare a short summary of your legal problem as well as a list of questions. This will allow each candidate to give their best take on your problem.
During the interview, each lawyer should give a frank assessment of your chance for success, available options, timelines, previous outcomes and payment terms.
But apart from legal expertise and experience, you would want to opt for a lawyer who can put you at ease and inspire confidence. Remember, you will work with your lawyer for a significant amount of time, and if you can't trust him or if he does not communicate well, then you will surely face some troubles.
The last thing to consider would be the fees asked by each lawyer on your shortlist. Some charge hourly rates while others charge a flat rate for their services. Factors like the type of legal service you need, the timeline and time limitations, and the experience and reputation of the lawyer all come into play when it comes to pricing.