How should you choose the best legal representative for your case? Legal services, like most products, require you to conduct the proper research before you make any important decisions. When you secure several good referrals, you need to research the candidates carefully. Here are some useful tips for choosing the best lawyer:
Determine the type of lawyer you need
It is always better to hire a lawyer who specializes in a certain field. You also need to look for a lawyer who is familiar with the laws and courts in your area of residence. If you live in Indianapolis, you should look for lawyers in Indianapolis. This way you’ll get the best representation possible.
The areas of practice include:
- Criminal law – a lawyer who practices criminal law is necessary if your case involves a potential illegal activity.
- Trusts and estates – this lawyer handles cases such as estate planning and probating an estate.
- Personal injury law – this lawyer will handle a case that involves dog bites, car accidents, or medical malpractice, where you suffer damages that interfere with your daily life.
- Bankruptcy law – if you are struggling with your finances and considering filing for bankruptcy, you will need a bankruptcy lawyer.
- Employment law – this attorney can help you to set up employment policies in your business. The lawyer will also deal with lawsuits involving your business.
One of the best ways to find out as much as you can about a lawyer is by conducting interviews. Doing so will allow you to assess the legal abilities of the lawyer. If your prospective lawyer provides a free initial consultation, you are in luck.
Here are some important questions that you should ask:
- How long have you been practicing?
- Can you provide references from other clients?
- How much experience do you have?
- What is your record of accomplishment?
- How often will you bill me?
- What percentage of your caseload will you dedicate to handling my case?
You should remember that a steep legal fee does not necessarily mean that the lawyer is more qualified. On the other hand, a very cheap lawyer may be a sign of incompetence or inexperience.
Consult other attorneys
Lawyers usually know the skill level and reputation that their peers have. For this reason, you should ask another attorney to give you information about your potential lawyer. An attorney can provide information that is not available online such as the competence level, practice habits, and ethics of another lawyer.
Tour the office
If you want a deeper insight, you need to tour the lawyer’s offices to see what he or she is about – you can tell a lot about an attorney from his/her office. For this reason, you need to request a brief tour of your prospective attorney’s office.
Is the space neat and organized or cluttered and slovenly? What kind of support does the lawyer have? Do members of the staff seem friendly or hostile? You need to watch out for red flags such as empty offices, unreturned calls, and miserable staff members.
Conduct a thorough background check
Before you decide to hire any lawyer, you need to get in touch with the attorney disciplinary agency to see whether the person you are considering has a good standing. While you are at it, you should also check the lawyer’s references, especially if you found the person on the web.
You should also consider checking the peer ratings of your prospective attorney.
These ratings will give you an objective indicator of the attorney’s ethical standards as well as his/her professional ability. Because other lawyers generate the ratings, you can trust them.