Finding an attorney, especially during a time when you’re not mentally clear, can be tough. So, if you’re struggling with finding the perfect attorney, we won’t be surprised. Let us just ask you this: did it get to the point where people around you are just asking you to settle for anyone?
Well, don’t worry about that. We’re here to help. To begin with, the right attorney is not a unicorn; they’re as real as taxes and we’ll show you how to find them (attorneys, not taxes). Just forget everything you’ve been doing before and follow our step-by-step guide.
Know the Type of Your Claim
This first step is extremely important because it will influence a lot of the decisions you’ll be making later on in the process of choosing an attorney. Why? Because specialization is an important aspect of hiring any type of help. For example, when your throat hurts, you don’t go to a dentist just because they dabble with the same area of the body.
Granted, you could go to a general practitioner, but for best results, the most obvious option is an ENT doctor. See, they’ve spent their entire career honing their knowledge of one specific region of the body.
Likewise, depending on the case you have, you should pick out an attorney who specializes in your type of claim because chances are, they have already mastered these cases and at this point, it’s child’s play for them. And, keep in mind that there are various areas of practice, so make sure you know the differences quite well.
Some of the most popular legal fields are self-explanatory, like personal injury, employment law, family law, and criminal law, but we advise you to do your own research to find out under which field lies your specific case. For example, if your case is about crime, then find a criminal attorney.
Gather Potential Candidates
Doing this means developing basic search criteria. What matters to you the most? Experience? Credentials? People’s reviews? Popularity? All these things will help you out when looking for potential attorneys, since you can determine accordingly, which choices have the upper hand and which ones won’t really serve your cause.
For example, if you’re not concerned with popularity, you shouldn’t feel compelled to choose from, the first couple of options you find on your search results page, which opens a lot more windows. And speaking of search results, did you search for attorneys near your geographic location? Or did you just do a random search? Because it matters.
When hiring a lawyer, it is imperative that they have experience in practicing law in your vicinity. Think about it this way; New Jersey car accident attorneys know their way around New Jersey’s legal system better than anyone. They’ve got connections everywhere and they know the state’s laws and statistics by heart. But, can you expect them to perform the same in New York?
That is why finding a specialist lawyer for your claim also means finding someone who specializes in your state’s law, not just your type of case. Not to mention, if you found a lawyer who mainly practices in a different state than yours, why would you hire them, then go through the trouble of traveling between states to see them? Instead, take advantage of local expertise; it’s priceless.
Prepare Questions for Your Consultation Visits
If you’ll be working with someone and trusting them to handle something that’s critically important to you, there is no doubt that you must know some things about them. While it mainly depends on you and your case, there are essential questions that you need to ask. First off, we’ve got pricing.
Money plays a huge role when hiring someone, so make sure you find out whether they’ll be charging you with a flat or hourly rate. Not only that, but it also makes sense to know when they expect to complete your case.
Other questions include things like success rates, references, and when your attorney will be ready to take on your case. Finally, if it happens and you find anything questionable on their record, feel free to ask them about it. You may feel like you’re pushy or rude, but trust us, you’re not.
It’s your right to know what you’re paying for and to ask as many questions as you want, and it’s an attorney’s job to answer your questions and ease your concerns. But, of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be mindful of your attitude while presenting your questions.
Start Making Your Visits
After having prepared what you’ll be asking your potential candidates, start scheduling visits with attorney offices to get a better picture of who they are. Don’t forget that a huge part of a case’s success depends on the relationship between lawyers and clients.
If you’re not fully comfortable with your attorney, it’ll show in how much you trust them with information and how much you choose to share with them. And, bear in mind that clear communication is crucial in any case. Add to that, your first visit to an office will provide you with a lot of information.
When you visit, try to take note of the state of their office. Is it neat, organized, and has a good atmosphere? Or is everyone stressed out, with files all over the place, and it’s just overall disturbing? While these simple details may seem insignificant, they’ll tell you a lot about a person’s qualities and work ethic, and may actually serve as a warning for you to get the hell out.
So, having read all of that, does the process of picking the right attorney still seem like an intensely draining task? You’ve seen how it works. All you need to do is find out the type of attorney that you want, look for candidates online, according to what you want in your lawyer, plot out questions and visit their offices.
That’s it. However, don’t make the mistake of just settling for someone with whom you don’t feel fully comfortable. As we said before, communication is key when it comes to winning cases. We hope you find the perfect attorney for you as soon as possible; good luck!