Choosing the right attorney is important because the final judgment of your case will surely affect your future life, whether you are filing for bankruptcy, going through a divorce, or have recently been in a car accident. In order to make sure that you find the best lawyer possible, here at Yodle, we outline some tips you should keep in mind when searching for legal representation in your area.
Enough Available Time
“One of the most important qualities that an attorney should possess is an enthusiasm for making himself readily available to you when you’re in need. ” says bankruptcy attorney Stephen Graves of Graves Law Firm in Texas. According to Graves, when you search for the right bankruptcy attorney, you should make sure to find someone who doesn’t rely unduly on his office staff, or who isn’t so overbooked that he barely has time for you.
In addition, you should never feel rushed when you sit down to speak with your lawyer. If a lawyer cannot even manage to set aside enough time in his day to make a satisfying first impression, he probably won’t provide you with the services you need throughout the rest of the legal process.
Offering free consultations prove that the attorney genuinely cares enough about his clients and is willing to put in the time to earn their trust and approval.
If a lawyer has a policy of offering free consultations, he actually creates a stress-free environment to discuss all of the details about your case, which also allow you to cast a wide net in your search for the attorney who is right for you. When you don’t have to worry about the cost, you can give yourself enough time to meet with as many attorneys as it takes for you to find the one who is worthy of representing you.
Undoubtedly, you want to find a lawyer who will represent your best interests and fight for your well-being. However, it can be a little unnerving to contemplate the cost of obtaining a great lawyer. Although you shouldn’t settle just because a particular attorney is the least expensive, you don’t necessarily have to hire the most expensive one either.
You should estimate what you are being charged for instead of focusing on dollar signs alone. Start by comparing the lawyer you are interested in against others in the area who have a similar concentration. If his asking price is far below what the competition is charging, there may be an underlying reason for why he is practically giving his services away. On the other hand, according to Illinois divorce attorney Arnold Goldstein, you should also be aware that you’re going to pay for a lawyer’s level of expertise. Goldstein says that the more experience the attorney has, the more it should cost you. However, when you are paying more for the service, your lawyer should be so excellent that the case will progress both quickly and smoothly.
In short, the lawyer with more experience is more likely to be able to do a job worthy of your business. After all, an experienced attorney will be familiar with the details of the legal system and have the ability to use his expertise to offer the best possible defense. Charles Nistico is a DUI attorney in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey areas. And in his opinion, when it comes to appearing before a judge and actually arguing a case, it’s difficult to find a proper substitute for actual experience though studying case law and reviewing statutes can certainly be helpful.
So it’s necessary for you to do a little cross-examining of your own to deduce just how familiar a lawyer is with the area of law you are seeking an expert in. And, as always, ask questions. Treat your first consultation as a job interview, only in this scenario, you are the employer. Instead of just getting a general sense of his practice, make sure you infer about his case-by-case experience and how he has seen cases similar to yours unfold.
After all, you want to be reassured that you’ve hired an attorney who is not only experienced, but is remembered for being well-informed, persistent, and respected. Therefore, you need to do your part to take a bit of investigation, which will be rewarded in the end. One of the best tools that can be used to your advantage is the Internet. When narrowing your initial search, California bankruptcy attorney Catherine Christiansen recommends searching within organizations that only accept members of a particular concentration. For example, the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys is a group with a lot of information for consumers, she says.
If you’d rather get the opinions of individuals who have been represented by this particular attorney, it’s a good idea to ask his office to provide you with a list of references whom you can contact. You can also ask other lawyers in your area for recommendations. A characteristic of an excellent attorney is being well-received by his fellow colleagues. For example, if you know a bankruptcy lawyer, but you are looking for an immigration attorney, ask for his professional opinion as to which immigration lawyers have the best reputation.
Hopefully, with these helpful tips, you can easily find an attorney who you are confident in and comfortable with.
This article has been compiled by the Yodle Law Marketing (www.yodlelawmarketing.com) division of Yodle, a leading provider of local Internet marketing devoted to helping lawyers and law firms with marketing initiatives by providing tools and information through this site.
This article is for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this article as a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances, and you should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Neither publication of this article nor your receipt of this article creates an attorney-client relationship.