In need of an attorney? Whether you need a lawyer to help with a criminal case, someone to help you with a will, or an attorney to assist you with a prenuptial agreement, finding a good lawyer matters.
After all, you’ll likely work closely with this individual, and you need to trust they know what they’re doing. Just like with a doctor, you want an attorney who is licensed, experienced, and trustworthy. Otherwise, you may end up in legal trouble or have a worse legal outcome than expected.
While you’ll want to cover the basics, such as ensuring they can legally practice law, you’ll also want to consider a few other attributes and factors before choosing your attorney. Some of these factors are about experience, while others are about personality.
Let’s check out some of the main things you should look for when hiring an attorney.
1. Their Experience Level
One of the first and most essential elements you should assess is how experienced the person is in their field. You should figure out how long they’ve been practicing law and also get some information about the specific kinds of cases and situations they cover. For example, some personal injury attorneys have more experience in car accidents, while others specialize in workplace accidents.
Of course, all attorneys have to get experience over time, but you’ll probably feel more at ease working with someone with at least a few years of expertise.
2. Their Communication Style
While you might not think about communication styles when it comes to lawyers, this is an attribute that really matters. You will have to talk to your lawyer a lot, whether they’re helping you with your divorce or taking a criminal case to court.
So, you want to ensure they are quick to get back to you and communicate in a way you understand and respond to.
3. If You Trust Them
While your lawyer doesn’t need to be your best friend, you do need to feel like they are transparent with you, and you also need to feel you can be open with them. In many situations, you’ll need to share personal details about your life with your attorney, so they need to have a personality that makes you feel at ease. So, a highly praised attorney with a lot of experience in their practice area might sound great on paper. Still, if their personality isn’t a match for you, you should keep looking.
4. Their Rates
As you look for a lawyer, you also need to think about the cost. This can be a complex subject, especially because more experienced attorneys tend to charge more. It makes sense that they would charge for their expertise, but not everyone can afford to go with the most sought-after lawyer in their area.
Before hiring any lawyer, ensure you ask about their fees. Some may offer a free consultation, while others will charge for any services. Just make sure you aren’t surprised by the bill.
5. Licensing And More
While you probably already considered this, it’s vital that you search your state’s bar website to determine if an attorney can legally practice law in your area. By doing a quick online search, you’ll be able to determine if the lawyer you’re looking into is legitimate. Also, you can see if they have any other professional awards or certificates.
With these five factors in mind, the process of finding a lawyer feels much more manageable. You can also ask people you know for their recommendations. Finally, it doesn’t hurt to talk to a few different lawyers to see which is right for you.