Need a lawyer? Here are some helpful hints about how to select the right one
By Dean I Weitzman, Esq. on March 10th, 2010
At some point in your life, you will probably need to hire a lawyer.
It may be for help when you are injured in a vehicle accident or fall, or if you are going through a divorce, tax dispute, criminal charges or custody or other legal issues. It’s uncommon today if at some point you don’t have to at least consult an attorney about something in your life.
So if that happens, where in the world do you start?
At MyPhillyLawyer, we have some tips for you that can help you make the right decision to find the best legal counsel for your case.
First, look for attorneys who specialize in handling the kinds of cases you are pursuing, whether its a personal injury consultation, a tax issue, divorce or other matter. By finding someone who specializes, they’ll have the proper expertise to handle your case in a way that will get you the best outcome. You can literally start with the telephone book and look through the advertisements for attorneys who handle specific cases. You can also check with your local Bar Association to ask about specific attorneys, their qualifications and for information about their backgrounds.
Another good place to learn about attorneys is to ask friends, co-workers and others about their own experiences and see if they can recommend a lawyer who they have hired in the past. A real-life recommendation based on a personal experience can be very worthwhile and helpful to guide you to an attorney with a record of success and good client relationships.
Next, be sure to do your own due diligence. Scour the Internet using a search engine such as Google and carefully dive into the Web sites of any attorneys and law firms that you are considering. Check into their online case histories and details of settlements and verdicts in cases like your own. Read up on their approaches to their cases and find out if the have the depth and expertise that you require in your case. Make lists of questions to ask on the phone or during an initial meeting with attorneys who might make your first cut.
Those Web sites that you visit will also give you insights into the lawyers you are reviewing. Is the site information-filled and laid out in an organized and appealing way? Take a good look because what you see online will give you clear indications of the professionalism of the law firms that you are investigating. You should expect to find professional results of their casework, with statistics on their recovery and success rates, as well as helpful information on their philosophy of handling cases and working with their clients.
You want a law firm that works for you and places you and your case in the forefront of their work. You want great results from a law firm that will be there to support you during the proceedings of your case and let you know every step of the way how they are handling everything, from representing you in negotiations and in court to ultimately getting you the results that you are seeking.
One other place where you can learn about qualified attorneys — and those you might want to avoid — is by searching news media sites to find out about lawyers and their cases and settlements that are in the news. You want to find someone who can best represent you and be an effective advocate for your family.
Choosing a lawyer is not unlike buying a car or a house. Don’t fall in love with the first one you see. Do your research. Ask a lot of questions. Visit many. Get recommendations from trusted friends. And when you’re ready to decide on who to hire, listen to your gut and to your heart and go with the attorney who makes you feel represented, who makes you feel like they are on your side and involved in your case in every way.
It can be a legal jungle out there if you don’t have the right representation. Take your time, organize your search and make the best decision you can based on the best information you can collect. You’re not alone when you have the right lawyer by your side.
You have our word on that.