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At some point in your life, there’s a chance you will need a lawyer. Whether is launching a business, investing in real estate, getting a divorce, or drafting a will, when it comes to it, you’ll want to have the best lawyer for your needs. To quote Harvey Spectre from the TV show Suits, in some situations, you’ll need to get someone who can win a no-win scenario by rewriting the rules.
When it comes to seeking the right legal representation, there are numerous factors to consider. This can make the decision process a bit hectic and overwhelming, and that’s why attorney Charles Emmet Harris, decided to help us when we created this guide about choosing the right attorney.
Tips For Picking The Right Attorney
1. Word Of Mouth Recommendation
Perhaps the best way to find the right attorney from the get-go is by getting a recommendation from someone you know and trust. Similar to how you would ask a friend or a neighbor who recently renovated their home whether they can suggest an ideal contractor, the same applies to seeking an attorney.
If you know someone who has gone through your situation before, ask them for advice first before you proceed. If you don’t know one, then fire up your browser and look up the top-rated and recommended lawyers in your area. You can even ask for recommendations in forums.
The knowledge gained in law school might be vast, but it can’t compare to years spent in the field and the experience gained at court. Lawyers who have been in the industry for an extended period are more likely to give you sound advice regarding the repercussions and potential risks of some legal actions. Also, they are likely to represent you better in court and have higher chances of getting your desired results.
However, keep in mind that seasoned attorneys don’t come cheap. On the contrary, you will find that those new in the field tend to be more enthusiastic. So, if your case is not complex, they can prove to be the best option.
If you have watched the show Suits, then you know that one of the protagonists is an excellent lawyer, but they don’t have a license to practice law. If you run into such an individual in real life, things are bound to be a lot different.
Hiring a legally unqualified individual is likely to jeopardize your case. You should ensure the potential lawyer is qualified and carries a license by looking them up at the state bar website. While at it, you can also check if the lawyer has disciplinary orders filed against them. Ensure you check for malpractice insurance as well.
4. Field Of Expertise
In theory, a good attorney can take on any case and win. In reality, however, this could not be further from the truth. In fact, most lawyers specialize in a few (often connected) fields and build their expertise in them. So, do not expect a personal injury lawyer who helped you with your claim to be as good when it comes to real estate investments. Picking an attorney based on their field of expertise ascertains better guidance and council.
5. Comfort & Communication
In addition to checking professional credentials and experience, it is also imperative to ensure you’re ‘compatible’ with your legal representative. Some cases tend to years, while others are emotionally hard, such as custody and divorce cases. As such, you need to ensure the communication between you and the lawyer is honest and two-way. You need to be comfortable enough in front of the stranger to share your doubts and fears. Ideally, you need an attorney that is trustworthy and respectful as sometimes, they’ll need to tell you something you may not like.
6. Price & Billing
The cost of legal services depends on an array of factors including the size and reputation of the law firm. Another primary factor is the complexity of your case. If your issue isn’t specifically complicated, you can hire a less experienced attorney and pay lower than you would with a more seasoned lawyer.
Billing transparency counts as well. The fee structure should be clear, honest, and appropriate for the services. Most attorneys advertise a low flat fee and include extra costs like court filing and document printing. Others charge by the hour and others on a contingency basis. Regardless of the lawyer you settle for, ensure the pricing and billing are clear from the start.
7. Proximity & Availability
Nowadays, most business interactions are perfectly fine when done through the phone or email. However, when it comes to complex legal matters, you need the option to physically meet the lawyer at least once. The number of times you need to meet, of course, depends on your needs and the complexity of the case. This is why it’s best to have a lawyer in your proximity.
At the same time, the attorney needs to have adequate time to work on your case, and so, ensure you ask about this.
Choosing the right lawyer might entail an array of things to consider. However, it’s important to ensure you have the right representative if you want to improve the odds of winning your case.