Choosing a lawyer who best suits your needs can be a daunting task, especially for someone who doesn’t have a background in law. There are many factors that go into the choice, and there’s a lot of pressure to select the best possible option. After all, you’re choosing someone to represent you! Performing background research and interviewing potential lawyers will ensure you select a lawyer who is a good fit.
The first step in making an informed decision is to perform research. One method is to conduct a background check. To do this, contact your state’s Lawyer Disciplinary Agency. The agency will be able to inform you whether or not your potential lawyer is held in good standing, or has undergone any disciplinary action. Visit martindale.com to check your lawyer’s credentials. The site is an extensive database of legal professionals and law firms. Another option is to check for information at a local public library.
Another way to learn more about the candidate is through word of mouth. Attorney Sally Kane suggests reaching out to other attorneys to determine a lawyer’s reputation, level of skill, and temperament. Also consider asking your lawyer for references so you can speak to past clients. They will be able to inform you about their experiences.
Interviewing Your Lawyer
The best method of research is to go directly to the source. Request an interview from your potential lawyer. Many lawyers offer a free consultation session, which is the perfect time to ask any questions you may have in order to determine whether or not they would be a good fit. Before your meeting, take some time to determine your distinct needs, and then compile a list of questions in line with those needs. Don’t be afraid to ask about his or her past experience in similar cases, rate of success, and fees.
Take notes to ensure that you remember everything. After your interview, take some time to review your notes. Are you satisfied with their answers? Are the answers in line with your goals? Most importantly, would you feel comfortable having them represent you and speaking on your behalf? If you don’t feel that the lawyer is a good fit for you, move on and interview someone else. Remember, you’ll be spending a significant amount of time with this person, so it’s important to choose someone you feel you can trust and ask questions.
Selecting a lawyer requires a significant amount of effort. But rest assured, by taking the time to thoroughly research and interview your lawyer you’ll be able to properly select the individual that best fits your needs.