No matter what legal problem you have, if it involves a lot of money, you might want to rethink the decision of not hiring a lawyer. These kinds of matter should be handled by a skillful and professional lawyer. Because at the end of the day, what lawyers do is more than dispensing legal information. Lawyers apply sophisticated technical skills and offer strategic advice to the legal problems you have. Picture this, if you ever find the right lawyer, he/she will serve as your legal “coach” to help you educate yourself and will be your formal counsel if you need him to be.
The question is, with the number of lawyers around, how would you find the right lawyer for your legal problem? Would it be for real estate, civil trials, wills and trusts and small business? Looking for the right lawyer who is efficient and can help you out with your problem is not an easy task. Believe it or not, you couldn’t find a lawyer just by reading an advertisement of looking in the phone book. These sources don’t provide enough information to help you with your valid judgment.
1. Personal Referrals
One of the best approaches to find the right lawyer for you is to talk with the people in your community who is experiencing the same problem. For example, if you need real estate advice or assistance on civil trials, you talk to people who had the same experience. Ask them who were their lawyers and what they think of their performance. If you talk to at least a dozen people, there is a big chance that you will receive good leads.
However, you should remember too that someone else’s recommendation shouldn’t be the sole basis of your decision. Take note that people are different and their judgments are different from others. They don’t have the same responses to the lawyer’s personality and style, so don’t make up your mind just yet. Wait for the moment till you meet the lawyer, discuss your problems and decide for yourself if you’d be comfortable working with her or him.
Also, if you need a very specific expertise, it might be also difficult to find a lawyer through personal referrals. You will get several good leads, yes, but you have to make sure that the lawyer a person referred to you can cater your case.
2 .Business Referrals
You can also take a look of the angle of business referrals. There are businesses that provide services to people in the legal area you’re looking a lawyer for. These businesses might able to help you identify lawyers that you should consider. Take this for example. If you are interested in the law of small businesses, talk to your insurance agent, accountant, real estate broker or banker. These particular people normally meet with lawyers who represent some clients.
3. Lawyer Referral Services
Another source of information you can look into is lawyer referral services. There are referral services that screen and list attorneys with specific qualification and an amount of previous experiences. There are also other services that list attorneys who are in good standing with the state bar. However, before asking these referral services, carefully ask their qualifications for listing those attorneys and how they are also screened.
The only thing you couldn’t get from these referral services is the lawyer’s philosophy. They wouldn’t put if the lawyer has an aggressive personality or if the lawyer is willing to spend extra hours to be your legal counsel.
4. Look for Specialists
There are good lawyers out there who specialize in very specific areas, because there are also “general practitioners” who might not be able to handle the area of your concern. For example, there are almost 1 million lawyers in America but only 50,000 of them have sufficient experience and training in small business law to be sufficient enough for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Specialists charge a bit more, but the specialized information and knowledge that possess will be valuable. These specialists could be in the field of employment discrimination, wills and trusts or civil trials.
5. Interviewing the Prospect Lawyers
In the moment that you already have good prospects, the next step should be talking to them personally. Outline your needs before meeting so you are able to size them up when you’re already talking and finally make an informed decision.
One particular thing to look at is the lawyer’s personality. No matter how well-recommended or well-experienced a lawyer is, if you don’t feel comfortable with him/her then you will achieve the ideal client-lawyer relationship. Trust your guts, and look for the lawyer who is compatible with you.
Also, take a look at how easy you can communicate these prospect lawyers. Take note of how long will it take them to return your messages. Remember that you shouldn’t lose time trying to communicate with a lawyer who responds days later.
Looking for the right lawyer is a tiring process, but the right lawyers who works well with you is worth the time. Whatever kind of lawyer you need, looking for the one who can represent you well should be your priority.