September 24, 2013

Finding an Attorney

How do you find the best attorney for you?

Finding a lawyer that is best for you takes time and patience.  You can begin your search by:

  • Searching  the Directory on this Site
  • An On-Line Search.   You can Google the type of attorney you need such as a personal injury lawyer or attorney. (Search using both terms – sometimes you get different results). When you have found several you like, then you need to find out more.
  • Personal Referrals: You can talk to people in your community who have experienced the same problem you face — for example, if you are wanting to start up a business and need legal help, go to other new business and ask who they used for their legal matters. But don’t make your decision on their referral alone. You need to do your own “due diligence.”
  • Advertising: On Radio, TV, and the Newspaper. You will definitely need to do you own research before you choose.
  • Lawyer Referral Services:   There is a wide range in the quality of lawyer referral services so when choosing  a lawyer referral service, ask what its qualifications are for including an attorney and how carefully lawyers are screened.

When you have gathered three or more names of attorneys you would like to compare:

  •  Set up a consultation/Intrview with each one.  Many attorneys will give you a 30 minute free consultation to see if you are a “fit” – do you feel comfortable with the attorney and do they feel that they can give you the help you need?
  • Make a list of the questions you want answered, such as:

How long have you practiced law?
What is your specialty?
What experience do you have handling legal matters like mine?
Do you have any special credentials in this practice area?
Do you carry malpractice insurance?
Can you give me a reference from a former client by having them call me?
What is your fee and what are your payment policies? Will I be billed on time increments? Will I be charged for email and phone calls to you and/or your staff?
Will I be charged for expenses or overhead and, if so, what expenses should I expect and how will you charge me for overhead?
Will you personally handle my case or assign it to someone else in your firm?
Do you have a written agreement that I will need to sign that I can read beforehand?
If I terminate the representation before the matter is resolved, will you refund any remainingmoney?
What is the best way to communicate with you (letter, phone or email) and how long does it usually take for you to get back to me?
How will you let me know of developments in my case?
Will I receive copies of documents, such as correspondence and anything that you file incourt, throughout the representation?

After the Interview

Make your comparisons. Compare fees, answers to questions, personality, how well each one listened, the questions he/she asked you, how comfortable you felt with them, how confident you felt in their ability and willingness to represent you.

Make Your Decision