How to Choose a Lawyer
Lawyers possess highly specialized knowledge, skills, and experiences that are needed in resolving legal problems. Reasons may vary as to why you need a lawyer. You may require legal assistance when:
You want to purchase or sell real estate properties.
You acquire physical injuries due to an accident.
You need to negotiate a business contract.
You plan to start a new business.
The following suggestions will be valuable to simplify and effectively manage the selection process.
Ask for recommendations from your colleagues, close friends, relatives, and employers. Referrals are useful in conducting a background check especially if you want to investigate a candidate’s good standing and credentials.
Aside from your personal contacts, conduct an online research within a specific geographic area. Look for lawyers who work in a relevant area of expertise. A thorough research regarding a candidate’s legal abilities can help you make an informed decision.
One of the determining factors in hiring a lawyer is professional competence. Aside from academic background, legal knowledge, and trainings, you should also consider other factors such as timeliness, reliability, assurance, empathy, and tangibility. These factors should serve as minimum standards in choosing the right attorney for your case.
Always raise the subject of professional fee even if your lawyer does not bring it up. Be candid about your financial capability to pay for the entire costs, which include legal fees and down payment.
To find out if a lawyer is reliable and consistent, make a call for an initial consultation. Have a short list of basic questions that you want to ask. This list guides you as you express your concerns to a lawyer. You may also bring some documents that are related to your case.
Before you start signing any documents, ask your lawyer to provide you with a brief, clear, and concise explanation. An itemized accounting is preferable because it gives you a clear idea about the costs and kinds of services being performed. Clarify the fee arrangement as well. Your lawyer may prefer a combination of hourly, fixed, and contingent fees.
Client testimonials can also help you gauge whether a lawyer is dependable or not. A satisfied client can also provide a reliable recommendation and factual observation about a candidate’s professional work ethics, technical qualifications, specialization, and abilities.
Ask your lawyer how long did it take for him or her to bring a similar case to its final conclusion. You should also clarify if your current legal problem is more complicated and ask whether it will affect the length of time to settle your case.
Arm yourself with the right information when you hire a lawyer. Your lawyer should help you make sense of your legal battle and what possible outcome you should expect. Remember, the best candidate is someone who has a proven personal and professional integrity and especially a lawyer who is genuinely concerned about and more focused on your needs and situation.