Did you know the number of lawyers in the US is 15% higher than it was a decade ago? The number of lawyers in the country has surpassed 1,162,100. In other words, you have plenty of options if you need representation.
Unfortunately, not all lawyers are the same. If you need a lawyer to represent you, it helps to have a plan. Knowing how to find a good lawyer can make all the difference.
Not sure where to start? Here are eight tips to keep in mind.
With these tips, you can find a lawyer capable of protecting our rights. Their experience and expertise could make all the difference in your case.
Don’t wait to get the help you need. Start your search with these eight easy tips today.
1. Choose By Specialty
Before you rush to start making calls, it helps to sit down and understand what you’re looking for.
What type of legal situation are you in? Were you injured in a car accident or on the job? In these cases, you need a personal injury lawyer.
Maybe you need a divorce lawyer to help you draft an agreement. Maybe it’s time to start working on your will.
Regardless, it’s important to consider your specific legal goals before you start your search. Otherwise, you’ll fail to find a lawyer who can help your situation.
When learning how to find a good lawyer, start by focusing on their specialty. Choosing a lawyer by their specialty will ensure they have the experience you need.
You can even break a specialty down into subcategories based on your situation. For example, you might want to find a personal injury lawyer who handles:
- Animal bites
- Product liability
- Assault and battery
- Slip and fall incidents
- Automobile accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Truck accidents
- Medical malpractice suits
Was your license suspended? Make sure to request legal help right away.
Focus on finding a lawyer who has years of experience in their specialty. They’ll understand the laws and procedures that could help benefit your case.
2. Make a List
Now that you know what type of lawyer you need, you can find a lawyer within that specialty.
Start by asking your friends and family members if they can recommend someone. Do you know anyone who has lived through a similar situation? They can likely point you in the right direction.
For example, if a friend was recently in an accident, ask if they hired a personal injury lawyer who specializes in auto accidents.
What was the process of their lawsuit like? Were they glad about their choice in a lawyer? What was the outcome of their case?
Speaking with friends and family members can give you unique insight into lawyers in the area.
If your inner circle can’t recommend someone, check your local bar association website. You can also check the Martindale-Hubbell law directory. The directory can offer more information about each law firm in the area.
3. Look for Experience
Now that you have a list of lawyers to look into, you can learn more about each one.
First, it’s important to find someone who has years of experience under their belts. How long has each attorney practiced law? How long have they tried cases under their specialty?
You might find an attorney has 40 years of experience but recently changed specialties.
How long have they practiced in the area? Laws can differ based on the state you’re in. Make sure your lawyer has the know-how necessary to try your case.
Don’t forget to visit the local bar association website. Make sure each lawyer on your list is licensed to practice in the area.
4. Pick a Winner
It’s not enough to find a lawyer with years of experience. You want to make sure they’ve put that experience to good use. How many cases have they won over the years?
How many of those cases were recent? Ask how many cases were similar to yours, too.
You might find a lawyer with a strong track record but few wins that are relevant to your case. In these instances, it’s best to look elsewhere.
As you learn about their cases, ask about the outcome. How many went to trial? Did they settle, and if so, how much was the payout?
Asking about their case history will help you determine if they’re right for your case.
5. Review the Reviews
About 95% of consumers read online customer reviews before trusting a business. When it comes to learning how to find a good lawyer, it’s the same situation. Reading online reviews will help you learn more about their professional reputation.
You can visit the firm’s Better Business Bureau and Google My Business listing to find reviews. Online law directories can offer reviews, too.
Make sure to read multiple reviews for each attorney to get a better picture of their abilities.
6. Run a Background Check
Take your research a step further. Make sure the lawyer’s on your list don’t have any disciplinary actions filed against them. After all, you want to work with someone you can trust.
You can contact the state lawyer disciplinary agency for more information.
7. Meet in Person
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, schedule a free consultation with a few people. Take the time to tour their law offices, too.
Does the office appear well-run and organized? Do you feel safe at their offices?
During your meeting, explain the situation you’re in. Then, ask the lawyer:
- About their current workload (to make sure they’re free to handle your case)
- If they have malpractice insurance
- If they have any special skills or certifications
- Who will take your case
- If they’re confident about your case
What outcome are they expecting? Make sure they don’t make outlandish promises. Instead, look for a lawyer who is upfront and honest.
8. Read the Contract
During your meeting, make sure to ask about each lawyer’s pricing. What is their fee structure like? Do they work on a contingency fee basis?
If so, the lawyer won’t expect payment unless they win your case.
Make sure to review the details of the contract to ask any questions you have.
How to Find a Lawyer: 8 Tips for Finding the Right Representation
Don’t wait to find a lawyer who can take your case. Instead, use these tips to find an experienced, qualified attorney. They’ll ensure your legal rights are protected.
Otherwise, you might find yourself navigating the complexities of your case alone.
Looking for more helpful tips? Explore the latest posts on the blog for more informative guides!