Most people don’t usually have to deal with legal troubles. Therefore, when they do, it becomes a high-stress situation for them. Finding the right lawyer is probably the problem that troubles them the most since so much of the outcome depends on this decision alone. Whether you require a criminal defense lawyer or a divorce lawyer, it is natural to be worried.
The law is complicated, and there are many factors that go into finding the right lawyer for your case. However, it is not an impossible task. There is a step-by-step method that you can follow that will help you make a confident choice.
Ask Around For Recommendations
You can start by asking for recommendations, whether from friends, family members, or colleagues who have used a lawyer before. But understand that every area of the law requires its own expertise. If you need someone to defend you against a crime you have been accused of, and you get the number of a real estate lawyer, it would be a fruitless phone call.
If someone you know can refer you to a lawyer, ask about their experience before visiting them. Ask how the lawyer approached their case, what is their impression of his legal skills and, for the lack of a better word, what is his general vibe. After this inquiry, if you feel the lawyer might be fit for you, then visit them.
Do An Online Research
If you do get a recommendation from the people around you, then online reviews are an excellent way to find out about a lawyer’s track record. However, it’s important to note that online reviews aren’t always accurate. Some are often paid reviews, and some are comments from disgruntled clients unhappy with the outcome of their cases.
If you have not received any recommendations, the internet can still be of great help. Of course, you can simply Google lawyers and visit the ones with the best ratings. But a much better option would be to opt for a free lawyer consultation online. You can use this consultation session to explain your situation to an expert, and they will pair you up with a local lawyer they think is the best suited to handle your situation.
Schedule Consultations With Multiple Lawyers
It’s important to talk to multiple lawyers before deciding who will represent you in your case. By speaking with multiple lawyers, you’ll be able to compare their costs and experience and get an idea of how each one will approach your case. A good lawyer is going to ask about your specific situation and also information about the other side.
It is not necessary that the right lawyer will be working for a big firm. They can be a lawyer with a private practice or a lawyer employed by a small firm. In fact, Bloomberg Law reports that most big law firms are expected to go through a phase of recession and layoffs in 2023 due to a complex mix of different reasons. Therefore, it might be a good time to give the little guys a chance if they feel right.
It is important to understand that finding the right lawyer is much like finding the right therapist or the right fitness trainer. You have to find someone whose approach makes sense to you and whose goals align with yours. You might find them on your first try, but there is a good chance you might not. That is why you need to consult multiple lawyers and not just settle for the first one you find.
Be Honest About Your Situation And Clear About Your Expectations
Talking to a lawyer probably won’t be pleasant all the time. You might need to confront some uncomfortable truths or relive some traumatic incidents. But it is always the best policy to be completely frank with your lawyer. It helps them understand your situation much better and come up with a plan of action. It will also help them spot weaknesses in your case that might become relevant later.
You also need to be clear about what you want out of the trial from the get-go. If you are looking for criminal defense and your goal is to avoid jail time, even if that means pleading guilty, let them know from the beginning so they can plan accordingly. If you are looking to settle a claim and expect to win a specific amount, explain that as well, so there is no communication gap between the two of you.
Explaining your expectations early on can also help your lawyer moderate them. Since they are the ones with the legal experience, they can explain to you what a good or bad outcome would look like in your scenario. For example, if you have been injured in an auto accident and expect to win around $50,000 in settlement for it, they can tell you that the average settlement for such incidents is $29,700, as reported by Forbes.
Don’t Fall For A Sales Pitch
Most attornies need your business just as much as you need their services. Therefore, not everyone who promises you a quick resolution is a good lawyer. A good lawyer will show they care about your case by listening to you and answering your questions in detail. If they aren’t interested in helping you understand what’s going on, then chances are they don’t have much interest in taking on your case at all.
If someone promises you a lightning-quick resolution, if they promise you that your best-case scenario will definitely come true, or if they agree with everything you say, these are usually the signs of a salesperson instead of a lawyer. A good lawyer will moderate your expectations and correct you when you are wrong. It generally indicates that he/she is putting your interests above their business needs.
It might take a little time to find the right lawyer, but don’t panic. According to Statista, there are nearly 1.33 million practicing lawyers in the US. With some patience, you’re bound to find a good one.
Use Logic To Decide, But Take Your Gut Into Account
You have to share intimate details of your life with your attorney. You will have to discuss things that you have done that you might not be proud of. Therefore, it is important to know that the person fighting the good fight for you is not sitting across the table judging you. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your attorney, you will not function as an effective team.
There are practical considerations to be made before hiring a lawyer. For example, you need to see if you can afford their services. Thervo reports that the national average cost for lawyers is $225 per hour. But they charge between $100-$400 an hour depending on their location and experience. You need to consider what you can afford to pay before you hire a lawyer.
Other than their fees, you also need to consider their experience in your particular field and their approach to the case. But do not discount your gut feeling. If an attorney doesn’t feel right despite meeting the necessary requirements, it is okay to look for another one. The right attorney will treat your case with respect, take the time to clear your doubts, and will not be afraid to point out the uncomfortable truth to you.
Legal troubles are stressful, but finding an attorney doesn’t have to be. Don’t stress and follow the steps mentioned above. You will soon find an attorney you’ll be glad to go to battle with.