Finding the right attorney can be hard if you don’t know what to look for. Finding one who knows what they’re doing can be even harder, which is why it’s important to make sure you have a good attorney on your side from the beginning of your legal issue until its end. There are a lot of different factors that you need to consider before choosing an attorney, but this article will help you get started. Check out our guide on how to choose the right attorney so that you can get back to focusing on the issues that matter most to you and your family.
Define your legal issue
Before you can get in touch with a potential attorney, you should define your legal issue. Defining your legal issue is essential because it determines whether or not you even need an attorney at all. If you’re still having trouble defining your legal issue, don’t worry—there are plenty of resources available that explain what constitutes a particular legal issue, as well as how much that issue might cost.
Decide what you want from an attorney
Do you need legal help setting up a new business? Do you need assistance getting out of a contract? Would you like to begin divorce proceedings? Whatever your legal issue, you should be clear on what it is and what kind of assistance you’re looking for. Selecting an attorney without knowing exactly what you want isn’t efficient and can cost more in time and money.
Research your options
When you are looking into hiring an attorney, make sure you thoroughly research their background. You should also talk with others who have used them in cases similar to yours and look at their track record and reviews online.
Having an attorney on your side will help decrease stress during a stressful time, so it’s important that you hire someone who you feel comfortable with. The American Bar Association suggests asking potential attorneys about their experience and any relevant certifications or memberships they hold.
Reach out to a few attorneys
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, it’s time to start contacting them. You can do so by emailing or calling each one individually. If you know a friend or family member who has used an attorney in the past, ask them about their experience and if they’d recommend that person.
Do note that it may be expensive or impossible to get an initial consultation with some attorneys, especially if you don’t have a case that is related to their specific area of expertise.
Prepare for meetings with attorneys
Just because you have an attorney doesn’t mean your case is going to be easy. There are a number of things you can do beforehand that will make it easier and more likely for your attorney to successfully represent you: As soon as possible, gather all documents pertaining to your legal issue, from emails and medical records (if applicable) to receipts and police reports.
Hire the right lawyer
There are a lot of things you can do when choosing an attorney, but don’t just go with your gut. The best way to find a good attorney is to ask other people for referrals or ask someone you trust in a professional field who they would go to if they had that issue.
Remember, different areas of law have different attorneys who specialize in them (ie: there are many criminal defense attorneys but only one judge), so make sure you get a referral from someone familiar with your area of need.
Set clear expectations
Whether you’re hiring a real estate attorney or bankruptcy lawyer, make sure you clearly understand what your issue is and what they can help you with. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page throughout your case. For example, if you need bankruptcy protection from creditors in order to restructure your debt, don’t be afraid to ask upfront whether it’s an option for you and how he or she can help.