If you’re thinking of finding a lawyer for whatever reason, searching for a qualified one can be daunting. Selecting the right lawyer is time-consuming. However, it’s necessary. This article offers advice on the steps you need to take how to choose a qualified lawyer for your case. Check it out!
The safest and most common way to find a qualified lawyer is through word-of-mouth recommendations. Asking advice from someone you trust is effective especially if that person has similar legal problems as you.
Apart from friends and family, you can also get recommendations from other people who might be in the same boat. Join online forums and dig online to find reviews for top-rated lawyers who might be able to take your case.
Check Their Expertise
Good lawyers aren’t those who can take on any type of case. They are those who specialize in a limited number of connected areas and build their expertise around them. A personal injury lawyer isn’t going to be effective in intellectual property or labor cases.
In other words, choosing a lawyer based on their field of expertise is better if you want proper guidance and knowledge of your case. If you’re looking for a labor lawyer, try Wyllie Spears, which specializes in employment and labor law cases. Otherwise, here are the most common types of lawyers that people hire:
- Personal injury lawyer
- Estate planning lawyer
- Bankruptcy lawyer
- Corporate lawyer
- Immigration lawyer
- Tax lawyer
- Family lawyer
- Medical malpractice lawyer
- Civil litigation lawyer
- General practice lawyer
Check Their Credentials
While meeting Mike Ross from the TV show Suits would be an awesome experience, it wouldn’t be advisable to hire a lawyer with no license to practice law. It’s a big red flag, no matter how good the lawyer is.
Check the Canadian Bar Association website or your state’s bar website to check your prospective lawyer’s license and credentials. While you’re at it, check the lawyer’s record of disciplinary orders, if any, and find out if they have malpractice insurance.
Ask the lawyer to provide references that you can consult. Expect such references given by the lawyer to give rave reviews. Apart from them, find references through other means, such as asking other attorneys about your prospective lawyer’s history, clients, and experience. This will help you verify their reputation and work ethics more accurately.
Assess Their Network
Network is everything. The depth and breadth of your prospective lawyer’s network can greatly affect your case’s success. This is especially true if you have a large, complex case. A larger firm will have more resources to help assist you and retrieve money-saving or case-winning information.
As a result, you should check on the law firm’s background in terms of memberships and networks. Check whether they’re a part of any organizations or groups that share resources that might be of use in your case.
Ask about Fees and Other Arrangements
Don’t shy away from discussing costs and fees. Always ask your lawyer or law firm to provide a breakdown of costs and explain their billing methods and procedures. Most lawyers bill by the hour, while others prefer contingency arrangements. Flat fees are also not unheard of.
While you’re at it, ask the lawyer if they consider lower rates for higher-volume work. From there, ask what other charges to expect from them. These additional fees may include travel charges, postage, expert fees, and others.
On the flip side, never make a decision based on cost alone. Competition is tight, and law firms are throwing everything but the kitchen sink to get new business. As a result, you must be more diligent in securing a written engagement letter to address the billing arrangement as well as the other aspects of the relationship.
Prioritize Comfort and Communication
Apart from their credentials and cost factors, your compatibility and communication with the lawyer are also critical considerations. This is particularly true for more personal cases such as divorce or custody battles.
The lawyer should make you feel that it’s okay to share your more personal side, fears, expectations, and doubts. At the same time, you want a lawyer that keeps professional communication and tone while inspiring trust and respect. That way, you can avoid communication problems even when they tell you something unpleasant but beneficial to your case.