At one point or another, everyone needs a lawyer; whether it is a divorce lawyer, probate lawyer, or business lawyer, you will need legal services. Like with any other product, you need to conduct thorough research to make an informed decision. When you get several lawyer referrals, you should do background checks to see their histories.
Here are some important tips when choosing a lawyer:
Conduct candidate interviews
One of the best ways to assess any lawyer’s skills is by conducting an interview. Most attorneys usually offer an initial consultation at no cost.
The questions that you need to ask include:
– How long have you been in practice?
– How often will you bill me?
– What is your record of accomplishment?
– Do you have any special skills or certifications?
– Do you provide references from other clients?
– What percentage of your caseload do you dedicate to handling my kind of case?
You should remember that the most expensive lawyers are not necessarily the best. On the other hand, you should be wary of extremely cheap attorneys, as this could mean that they are incompetent.
Ask other attorneys
Attorneys usually know the reputation and skill that their peers have. This means that they can provide information that you would not be able to find elsewhere. This information covers demeanor, competence level, lawyer’s ethics, and reputation. Once you have the right information about the lawyer, you can make your decision from a point of knowledge.
Conduct a background check
Before you hire any lawyer, make sure that you contact the disciplinary agency within your state to see whether the lawyer is of good standing. Before you even consider hiring any lawyer, you should check his references, especially if you found him online. Does the lawyer have good peer review ratings?
These ratings provide an objective indicator of your prospective lawyer’s professionalism and ethical standards. Other members of the bar generate these evaluations, making them accurate.
Visit the lawyer’s office
You can tell a lot about a person by looking at his office. For this reason, you should ask your prospective attorney to give you a brief tour of his office. This tour should go beyond the reception office where you have met him before. Is the law office neat and orderly? What kind of support staff is in the office?
If the staff appears hostile and unwilling to help, you should consider looking elsewhere. Is the office easily accessible and local? Make sure that the office is nearby in case you need help with something. Be on the lookout for red flags such as unhappy staff members and unreturned phone calls.
Look at the personality
You need to pay special attention to the chemistry between you and the candidates that you are considering. No matter how professional and experienced an attorney is, you need to feel comfortable around him. If you are always uneasy around the person, you should consider looking elsewhere.
You need to feel comfortable around the person if you hope to achieve an ideal lawyer-client relationship. To pick the best person for the job, you need to trust your instincts and choose a person whose personality is compatible with yours. Moreover, you need to look for accessibility and personal rapport.
Promptness and communication
Look for an active law firm. Ask all your potential lawyers in this firm how you will contact them and how long they usually take to respond. Just because a lawyer seems friendly, you should not assume that he is easy to reach. When hiring a lawyer, you should make sure that the lawyers are prompt in answering calls.