When facing legal trouble, it can be tempting to rush and fix everything as soon as possible. But this might not be the right process for you. Selecting the right attorney to help you is a necessary step. A divorce lawyer is better than a family law for the dissolution of a marriage. An employment lawyer is a better option than a personal injury lawyer when seeking redress for wrongful termination.
Finding the right lawyer who understands your case and has the legal experience and knowledge to provide you with rigorous and effective counsel will save you a great deal of distress. Look to people you trust in the community to get references for a good lawyer.
Business advisors and other attorneys will usually retain information about lawyers who have a good reputation for getting the job done. Attorneys are also happy to set up appointments where you can interview them. It would be best to set up a few meetings and vet them until you find the one who works best.
What Is Your Exact Issue?
What exactly is your problem? Are you being sued, or do you want to sue someone? Have you been harassed in the workplace? Was it sexual, verbal, discriminatory harassment? This seems to be getting very specific, but it is because the law is very specialized. Many lawyers nowadays practice exclusively within sub-specialties of specialties.
The right lawyer for you will have experience in the exact issue or have handled similar cases to yours. Finding this lawyer will allow you to have the right advice to help settle the matter. Otherwise, you will be paying for the lawyer to read up and educate themselves on the matter. Going straight to the specialist you need will reduce the amount of time you have to spend going through legal trouble.
How Much Experience Is Enough?
Any specialist must have a track record of success in their area. One successful care or a string of unsuccessful cases does not mean that the lawyer is well-suited to that field. Vet your lawyer and contact their references to ensure that the information they are giving you is accurate.
Spend some time researching to find out exactly the amount of time your attorney has spent in their specialty and the number of successful cases within that time period. This will tell you if the lawyer you are vetting is dedicated to getting the client a good outcome or is interested in making a name for themselves. You want a lawyer who is interested in strategizing and understanding the opposition.
You do not want a lawyer who will try to use your case to get their name in the media. More often than not, this leads to sensationalism and can hurt your case.
Can You Understand Your Lawyer?
Attorneys are one of the most effective communicators in any industry. Their ability to communicate clearly, both verbally and in written form, is what allows them to do their job. If you feel more confused after talking to your lawyer, and they use a great deal of legalese and jargon, then it is safe to assume that they are not very good at their job.
Your chosen attorney should be able to help you understand your legal troubles better. They should communicate openly and effectively with you about your options and not just answer your questions but also anticipate your worries.
An attorney who responds to you well and has an organized and clear way of speaking is more likely to be knowledgeable than one who tries to impress you with Latin legal terms. You can rely on the good judgment and sincerity of a lawyer who wants to help you understand exactly what you are facing and how they will help you.
Someone who tries to obfuscate the issue and refuses to explain things to you on the basis that you cannot understand, or they do not have time, will not be diligent and cannot be relied on to supply you with the level of service you require.
Does Region Matter for Your Case?
This is an interesting area to look into when considering hiring a lawyer. If your case can be handled locally, then a local lawyer is the best bet as they will have connections and detailed knowledge about the local authorities and system.
But if your issue touches on federal issues or labor law violations, you might want to hire an expert who has experience dealing with federal government and cases that could lead to class action lawsuits.
Once you have narrowed down to a list of potential candidates, it is time to discuss money with them. Ask for their billing procedures and have them explained to you. While cost should not be the only deciding factor, it is important to understand how your lawyer will bill you and the items they will include in the bill. If a lawyer does not discuss negotiating the amount or coming up with a payment plan, then they are not the right lawyer for you.
Some lawyers will count any travel expenses, courier fees, and copying towards your bill. A good lawyer will be willing to negotiate the amounts set for this or be willing to include you more in the decision-making about what actions are necessary before doing them and then billing you.
Do not trust a lawyer who tries to convince you that their reputation should be enough for you to pay any price. No matter how prestigious a law firm the attorney works for, they should be willing to work with the client to find a payment scheme that works for both parties.