Locating a good lawyer who can efficiently help you with a particular legal problem can be difficult for some. People in need of legal advice often find themselves unsure about how to even begin this process. Don’t expect that you can simply open up a phone book or quickly search online and immediately find the right person. Choosing a lawyer can be a lot like choosing a new doctor or dentist. You really need to think about your needs, do some research and then interview them or have an initial consult set up in order to make certain that the ”fit” is right. But what do we mean by “fit”?
I believe that the “fit” in this case means that you have found a person who practices and has extensive experience in the area where you need assistance. But that is not all. You also need to find the attorney whose fees are the right fit, whose approach to presenting solutions is right for you, and who has the time now to deal with the pressing legal matter. In other words, you need to know something of the lawyer’s philosophy and case management style in order to make sure that it meshes with you.
So how do we go about doing this? Well, first and foremost, make sure that you have a good understanding of the legal matter at hand. You will need to be able to describe your situation in detail in order to determine how a lawyer may help. An experienced attorney can provide advice and guidance to help you understand laws that are often complex, and can help you get out of difficult situations now or avoid other future circumstances as well.
Often times a good place to start is with personal referrals. If possible, talk to people in your community who may be able to provide you with some initial leads. But don’t make a decision solely upon someone else’s recommendation. Different individuals will have differing responses to a given lawyer’s personality and approach. Don’t make up your mind with first talking to or meeting with a potential attorney. This is why I suggest the phone or in-person consultation. If you outline your needs in advance, many lawyers will be happy to speak with you briefly so that you can make an informed decision.
Here are some important things to keep in mind. 1) Pay particular attention to the chemistry between yourself and the prospective attorney. Trust your instincts and seek a lawyer whose personality is compatible with you. If you feel uncomfortable at all, you may never be able to achieve the necessary lawyer-client relationship that will make your interaction go smoothly. 2) Ask all lawyers how and when they will communicate with you. You want a lawyer who will work hard for you and will handle things promptly. 3) Make sure that the attorney is willing to work for you, AND is within your budget. Make sure that you understand the legal fees involved. Many people “shop” for lawyers based solely upon fees. Hourly fees can be standard, but many lawyers will also work utilizing a flat-fee approach to billing. When you have a legal issue you will need legal information. Lawyers are a great source for that information, but you can quickly run up high fees. Make sure that you understand all of the predicted costs before finalizing arrangements.
Hiring a lawyer can certainly seem like a daunting task to those who have never done so in the past. But if you keep these ideas in mind, it doesn’t have to be. Hiring an experienced lawyer can help get you through your legal issue quickly and on to your next project!