Researchers estimate that we make about 35,000 remotely conscious decisions over the course of a single day.
Some of these choices are snap decisions with little impact on our lives—but finding a lawyer isn’t one of them. Picking the right legal aid can have far-reaching consequences that affect the outcome of your legal claim and on your life as a whole, so it’s critical to find the right person to help.
If you’re not sure how to sift through the overwhelming number of professionals at hand, we’ve got you covered. Here’s the ultimate guide to finding an attorney that matches your needs.
- Seek a Lawyer With Expertise in Your Area
The first step to finding an attorney is to create a list of reputable prospects in your state. Though most fields of law are the same across the US, each individual state will have its own specific processes and nuanced standards. No matter what kind of lawyer you’re seeking, it’s important to find someone with expertise in your state and, for certain types of cases, even your region or city.
To do this, try searching “lawyer near me” and crafting a list of reputable legal firms in your area.
- Research the Legal Firm Online
Once you have an idea of the best lawyers in your area, it’s time to narrow down your list.
One key way to do this is by visiting the attorneys’ websites. If you’re considering a specific lawyer, you should look for an authoritative website that showcases their professionalism. Don’t forget to check that their practice areas are a good fit for your needs. You should also see if you can find out how long they’ve been in practice, as well as their success rates.
From there, you’ll want to look for testimonials or reviews. Many lawyers include these on their website, making it easy to get a feel for their clients’ satisfaction.
However, you shouldn’t stop there. To do your due diligence, check the lawyer’s track record on third-party review and testimonial websites. This includes general review sites like Facebook and Yelp as well as legal-specific sites like Lawyers.com.
Sifting through third-party reviews should give you a better sense of the attorney’s qualities overall. Be sure to check for proof of basic professionalism and client satisfaction, like good communication, compassion, and attention to detail.
In general, the more signs that show that other clients are happy with a lawyer, the more likely you are to be happy with that lawyer as well!
- Make the Most of Free Consultations
Reputable legal firms will offer a free consultation to look at your case. If you find that a lawyer you’re considering doesn’t offer a free consultation, it may be a sign that you should walk away.
Decide Whether You Need a Lawyer at All
Don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer whether they think your situation demands legal aid. If you’ve reached out because you don’t know when to hire an auto accident injury attorney, for example, the attorney in question can help you decide whether you’ll need help proving fault. On the other hand, if you could just as easily gather evidence on your own for an ideal resolution, a good lawyer will tell you as much.
Consider the Next Steps for Your Case
Try to consider your free consultation like an interview: what should the person you’re hiring bring to the table?
Your attorney should be able to provide a list of the next steps they would take to further your claim, allowing you to get an idea of their experience and knowledge in the field. They should also be able to provide reasons for hiring them over another attorney, as well as the number of years they’ve practiced the specific area of law related to your case.
Check Out the Legal Office
If you’re meeting your potential legal team in person, it gives you the perfect chance to tour their office. Seeing the legal firm can help you assess their professionalism, so look for a well-kept and organized space.
- Consider Your Lawyer’s Characteristics
Once you’ve gotten this far, it’s important to find an attorney with a few key qualities.
First, find someone you’ll feel comfortable working with for an extended period of time. Depending on your case, you might find yourself working with your attorney for months or even years, so it’s important to make sure your personality matches.
Next, make sure you’ve chosen someone willing to involve you in decisions. Your attorney may have the experience when it comes to settlements and claims, but it’s your case—meaning that they should be willing to work with you in partnership. Though their advice will be desirable and helpful, they should be able to step back to allow you to make the ultimate decision in serious matters.
Last, ensure that you’ve found a go-getter who’s willing to take your case all the way to trial, if need be. Though some cases may settle out of court, it’s important to find a legal partner who will fight for your rights as far as needed if things don’t initially work out in your favor.
Use These Key Steps to Finding a Lawyer
When the time comes for finding a lawyer, these four critical steps can help you find someone who will get you the compensation you deserve with less stress and hassle. The right legal help makes all the difference, so be prepared to take your time to find someone who matches your needs, situation, and personality for the best results.
Want more of the essential tips you need in life? Check out our other posts for more helpful guides!