- Identify your legal problem
The first step to finding a competent attorney is to identify what area of law your problem involves. There are many areas of laws and not every attorney will be proficient in all areas. Consider an attorney that specializes in certain areas of law. You wouldn’t ask your dermatologist to perform open heart surgery. An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer will know the latest developments in their area of practice. This up to date knowledge could be the difference between success or failure for the client.
- Find an experienced attorney
Experience is invaluable in the legal field. Look for attorneys with a track record of success for your particular legal problem. A record of such experience will enhance the probability of a successful outcome for your legal issue. Remember that just because a law firm handles high volumes of cases, it does not necessarily mean that they are best for you. In high volume type of law firms, the firm may seek to settle a case as soon as possible. Sometimes, it is wiser to chose a smaller firm since they don’t necessarily want to settle the case as soon as possible and will give greater attention to the case.
- Look for a good communicator
Attorneys are involved with communication with their adversaries on behalf of their client. Attorneys also interact with various agencies when handling various types of cases. Equally important, is the attorney’s ability to communicate with the client. You want an attorney that is easily accessible and keeps you updated on the status of your case. A good communicator should have sound judgment as to when to meet with the client regarding updates or whether an email or phone call is appropriate. Nothing is more frustrating that going thru hoops to find the status of your case.
- Look for the Attorney’s Professionalism
Professionalism embodies that attorney’s character relating to his career. The attorney should work zealously to protect the client’s interest. The attorney should work efficiently and economically by treating the client’s resources as his own. Look to see if the attorney arrives at meetings on time and prepared. The attorney should provide sound alternative resolutions when applicable.
- Price vs. Experience
The old saying “You get what you pay for” generally holds true when dealing with attorney pricing and quality of work. Generally, expect to pay more for an experienced attorney. Some large law firms will charge premium pricing and may use less experienced lawyers to handle your case. If you look at smaller firms, like those in the suburbs, you can find experienced and competent attorneys for a competitive price. You will generally get more personalized service. For example, you can usually talk to the attorney and not just the secretary. Remember that the attorney you hire will be working with you for a good amount of time and that the correct attorney is crucial for a successful outcome.
The location of the law firm is important because you will be meeting with your attorney throughout your legal representation. Find a flexible attorney that is close enough to you so that client visits are hassle free.