4 Best Ways to Find and Choose a Good Lawyer? – Today, I’m gonna talk to you guys about finding a lawyer and how to find the right lawyer to fit your needs.
OK, so just like finding a doctor or a veterinarian, if you have pets or a contractor if you’re doing a home remodel, you wanna take care in finding a lawyer. I’ll be the first to admit that us lawyers, we’re not cheap and dealing with any kind of legal issue can be a very stressful experience. I know this. So it’s important that you take your time in finding not just a good lawyer but the right good lawyer for you.
4 Best Ways to Find a Lawyer and Choose a Good Lawyer?
To start, it’s helpful if you have a general understanding of how us lawyers operate.
Most of us specialize in certain areas of law. It used to be pretty common for lawyers to be like generalists. We do a little bit of this little bit of that. Sure I can help you with this thing. Those lawyers certainly still exist but it’s much more common these days for lawyers to only deal with certain types of legal matters.
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Most of us do not know all of the laws. We either know a little bit about a lot or a lot about a little. So the first step in finding the right lawyer is :
Knowing what kind of lawyer you need.
Before looking for a lawyer, pay attention to your needs. Like If you’re looking to file bankruptcy for example, then you need to find a bankruptcy lawyer. If you’re being charged with a crime, then you’d want a lawyer who does criminal law or criminal defense.
If you’re getting divorced, dealing with child custody or adopting a child, then you’d want someone who practices family law.
If you have issues with an employee or employer, then employment law attorney. If you’re in a car accident, get bitten by a dog or, you know, slip and fall in the grocery store, then you’ll want someone who knows personal injury law. If you need help with starting a business, then of course you would look for a business attorney like me. But it’s also helpful if you understand the licensing restrictions of us lawyers.
In order to practice law in a particular state, we have to be licensed in that state.
And sometimes we need special licenses to deal with particular areas of law. For example, we need a special type of license before we can deal with patents. So with most things, you’re gonna wanna look for an attorney who’s licensed in your state or in the state where your legal issue happened. So for example, if you live in California but you got arrested while you were partying on vacation in Las Vegas, you’ll wanna find a lawyer who’s licensed in Nevada, ’cause that’s where your case is happening.
There are however situations where we’re allowed to work with people in different states. And this typically comes up before dealing with a matter that has to do with federal law as opposed to state law. This comes up quite often in my practice. So I’m only licensed in Colorado. A lot of things that I deal with are specific to Colorado.
Forming an LLC for example, is governed by state law.
Each state has its own set of laws concerning limited liability companies. But trademark registration, for the most part, is governed by federal law. States have their own laws concerning state level trademark registration, but if we’re talking about national registration with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, then we’re dealing with federal law. So I can work with pretty much anybody when it comes to trademark registration but when it comes to forming a new business, I can really only deal with Colorado businesses.
Dig up information
From here, if you’re comfortable doing so, start asking around. Talk to your friends, family, coworkers, colleagues, neighbors, et cetera and see if anybody has any recommendations. If that doesn’t help, or if you don’t wanna be, you know, openly blabbing to everybody about your legal issues then you can contact your local bar association. State bar associations keep records about complaints and disciplinary actions taken against licensed attorneys in that state.
Even if the lawyer was referred to you by somebody else, it’s still a good idea to check the lawyer’s disciplinary history to see if, you know, they’ve ever gotten in trouble or had complaints filed against them.
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But many local bar associations will have a free referral service and ill be able to help you find the right attorney for your needs. You can Google, you know, state bar association or your city bar association to find info on how to contact your local bar association. Or of course you can use the good old reliable internet. You can search for the type of lawyer you need and the state that you’re in or search for something like divorce lawyers near me.
Ask people around
Check out reviews and testimonials, look at their website, stalk their social media accounts, whatever you need to do. If you’re going this route to find a lawyer, then you’re often going to have to rely on your gut instincts of who seems like they’ll be the right fit for you since you don’t have any personal, you know, friends or other people who have experiences that they can tell you about.
There are also a lot of legal directories and online legal listings that will give information about lawyers and their practice areas and can sometimes be helpful in finding a lawyer. I personally am not a big fan of this resource when it comes to finding a lawyer for you.
In my experience at least, you know, many of them are perfectly legit and can be relied upon, but there are also a lot of them that give preferential treatment to lawyers who, you know, pay more to advertise on that legal directory or are, you know, pay something to that site and in exchange for that, their listing gets a little extra bump or maybe their rating goes a little bit higher than it was before or something like that.
So again, these legal directories and legal listing websites might be a good resource for finding a few lawyers to, you know, initially look into, but I just wouldn’t rely too much on maybe the reviews or the actual information about that lawyer that’s on those sites because, you know, often it might be misleading or biased, or it might not just be updated.
I personally don’t really look at the information about my firm on these listings because I don’t get many clients from them, most of my clients find me other ways, and so I don’t update that information or it might not adequately reflect the types of services that I offer or my pricing structure or whatever it is. So again, you know, take those things with a grain of salt if you’re looking through these legal directories or online lawyer listings to find a lawyer.
I recommend making a short list of maybe three to five different lawyers then go about scheduling consultations or discovery calls with each before you really make any decisions.
So what are the things that you’re gonna wanna look for when you’re in consultations?What type of questions should you be asking?
In my opinion, the four things you want to be sure of before you hire a lawyer are :
You are likely going to become very deeply and personally involved with this person. You guys may have to spend a lot of time together or at the very least, you’ll probably have to talk to her a lot.
So if you find yourself getting annoyed or frustrated during that initial consultation, that might not be the right person for you.
Experience is of course important. You wanna make sure this person is knowledgeable about the particular area of law. It’s perfectly fine to ask a lawyer, have you dealt with cases like this before? Or, do you have experience dealing with this type of matter?
But keep in mind that experience isn’t everything. Again, we don’t know all the laws. Sometimes things come up that we haven’t dealt with before and a good lawyer will, number one, be honest with you about this and tell you if they don’t have a particular experience, and number two, will be able to research and familiarize themselves with your matter so they can help you. But aside from their experience, you also wanna ask questions about your experience.
More specifically, what will your experience be like if you choose to work with this lawyer?
Is he a solo practitioner or does he work for a large firm? Often, but you know, not always, but often you’ll have a more personal and kinda hands-on relationship with a solo practitioner, but there can also be a lot of benefits in working with a larger law firm. What about their technology stack? Can you communicate with them via text message? Can you expect regular updates on your case or will you only hear from them when something goes wrong?
These are the questions you wanna ask to learn what your experience will be like if you decide to work with this lawyer. Lastly, you’ll wanna know about their fees and billing practices. I put this last because in my opinion, it’s the least important. Sure, you can find a lawyer who charges, you know, one 10th of what everybody else does, but what if that’s reflected in the quality of their work? Lawyers typically charge, you know, in a number of ways.
Our fees are structured slightly different from lawyer to lawyer, a situation to situation. Most commonly you’re usually gonna run across lawyers who charge hourly. They have an hourly rate and they bill you for your time, however much time is spent. Lawyers sometimes have flat fees. I do a lot of work on flat fees.
And then there are some lawyers who will charge contingency fees. This is usually more common in personal injury situations where, you know, they’ll take your case for a car accident. And then they take 30% of whatever is awarded to you in that lawsuit. There are other kinds of alternative billing structures among lawyers and different law firms, but those three, hourly, flat fee, and contingency fees, are the most common that you’re probably gonna run across.
If you’re dealing with an attorney who offers flat fees, like me, aside from just asking their flat fee, you want to know exactly what you’re getting with that flat fee.
And this is gonna come in especially handy when you’re comparing lawyer A to lawyer B. Let’s say you’re strictly comparing their fees. Lawyer A’s fee may be a lot less than lawyer B’s fee. But what if lawyer A’s fee includes a lot more? Or I guess I got that mixed up, what if lawyer B’s flat fee includes a lot more than with lawyer A’s?
You may end up paying less with lawyer A, but you’re getting a lot less also. So if we’re talking flat fees, you wanna know exactly what you’re getting for that fee and exactly what’s included so you can properly evaluate if you’re, you know, price comparing or price shopping to find a good reasonable price. When it comes to finding a lawyer, it really ultimately comes down to finding someone that you trust and like as a human.
We ask a lot of our clients sometimes. We need you to be completely 100% honest with us.
We need you to be forthright with us about certain types of information and we also often need to know very sensitive and personal details about you and your life.
But, I think the most important factor in finding a lawyer is making sure you actually like the person.
Because you have to be comfortable with people who will be very involved in your life.
All right, so now you’ve made it through all 4 Best Ways to Find and Choose a Good Lawyer. What’s next? Do me a speedy spare and tell us which tip you liked “the world’s largest” in the comments below right now.