Most people are pretty oblivious when it comes to the intricate workings of the legal system. They are not truly familiar with the letter of the law and the court procedures. So, when they find themselves in a situation that requires obtaining a legal representative, a significant number of them won’t even know where to start.
Whether you want to file a personal injury claim, buy a house, start a business, get a divorce, or something else, you will need a good and experienced lawyer. After all, whatever the nature of your case might be, you want to be on the winning side. But how do you know you have picked the right person to represent you?
Listed below are some of the things you need to pay attention to when you start going through the register of lawyers available in your area.
Where to Look?
The internet is the best place to start your research. The majority of legal firms have websites where you can see the type of services they provide, read the testimonials of former clients, and find contact information. If you’re familiar with some local office, you can schedule a meeting and see if they might be what you need.
Also, if you know any of your friends who have gone through something similar you are experiencing at the moment, make sure you ask who their lawyer was. Word of mouth is still one of the best forms of marketing and can save you a lot of time and energy. Your friends will give you their honest opinion about the person or the team that represented them.
However, don’t make any decisions until you meet the recommended lawyer. After all, not all of us respond the same way to a certain person. Schedule a meeting, discuss your case, and see if his or her style and personality suit you. Feeling secure and comfortable with your choice is necessary. This is someone who’s going to fight in your corner during an important legal battle and you need to trust that person.
Experience and Expertise Are Needed
Practice makes perfection! Just like in any other profession, the more experience you have, the more skills you acquire. Simply, there are some things you can’t learn in law school but you pick up along the way. Things like how to deal with attorneys on the opposite side and insurance agents, how the local judges and juries tend to react to certain situations, or how to effectively cross-examine witnesses.
Depending on your case, having the general practitioner on your side might be enough. These lawyers tend to do a bit of everything and can be found tending to the needs of smaller communities. They usually limit their work on non-complex matters such as drafting contracts, basic real-estate deals, and defending shoplifters.
However, in more complicated situations, the preferred candidate would be a lawyer who has already handled the case similar to yours. They usually specialize in a specific legal field like immigration, personal injury, or workers’ compensation, and will be able to get you, as attorneys working at BrooksLawFirm.com say, quality service and quantifiable results. General practitioners, without any expertise in these legal avenues, would not be able to manage proceeding regarding these problems.
Within Your Price Range
What kind of professional help you can hire will also be determined by the amount of money you can spend. On the very first meeting with your potential representative, you need to get the information about the fees. You don’t want any unwanted surprises when you are mid-case.
If they have court experience with something similar, they will be able to give you an estimate of maximum possible costs. Consultations are generally free of charge so make sure you ask all the necessary questions. Aside from fees, you want to know if you have a real chance of winning, how will you communicate, and do they carry errors and omissions insurance.
Pricing may vary depending on the expertise of a person you hire. Some attorneys offer hourly pricing while others opt for contingency or flat fees. The last one will be charged in one go, sometimes upfront, regardless of how many hours the whole procedure might take and is rather popular in areas like family law and bankruptcy.
Contingency option means the legal bill will not be charged unless the client’s money is recovered through a settlement or a trial. When the matter comes to a closure, your representative will receive a certain percentage of the recovered amount. Usually, these are cases against some sort of corporation.
As its name suggests, the hourly bill will be determined by the number of hours spent on the case. Corporations and other types of businesses usually use this form of pricing as well as individuals involved in long and complicated litigations.
The Size of the Firm
Whether you decide to hire a lawyer from a small or a large firm, both come with their set of pros and cons. If you opt for a small firm, you will probably get an attorney who will be able to dedicate a significant amount of his/her working hours to your case. These can have anywhere between 2 and 10 employees
On the other hand, larger organizations can have anywhere from several dozens to several thousand employees with offices in several cities or states, or even countries. Representatives usually deal with numerous cases at the same time which means you will get just a small portion of their attention. However, they have more money and manpower to invest in researching your case. Also, their reputation precedes them. Known for winning important lawsuits, they are highly respected by the judges and sometimes even feared by the opposing attorneys.
Finding a fitting lawyer is not necessarily the easiest thing in the world but make sure you don’t rush in. Ensure they have the required experience to manage the case like yours. You’re paying for their services, so you want someone who will be able to represent your interests in the best way possible.