Before getting started, one of the biggest questions you want to ask yourself is whether you seek long-term representation or help with a specific case. You may seek an attorney for many reasons, including personal and professional. There are also many tips and tricks for finding the proper legal representation for various laws and case types, some of which overlap. You can then narrow your attorney options by area of practice, location, and other criteria.
Area of practice
Some popular practice areas include personal injury, business, family and criminal law. Each area will slightly differ in how you approach the case, but choosing an attorney to interview and work with will be standard practice. For instance, whether interviewing a personal injury lawyer or an attorney practicing real estate law, you will want to ensure your needs fall under their purview and experience.
Experience and Availability
Remember to ask for experience years and success rates for the attorney you are interviewing and the firm. The size and composition of a law firm may impact who is handling your case, so be sure to ask if the person you are talking to will be who you ultimately work with or if they are unavailable to take your case.
When you are trying to determine the reputation of an attorney or law firm, it is critical to ask for referrals and talk to your contacts. For instance, if you have business contacts and are looking for a contract lawyer, asking who business partners and contacts have worked with is an excellent way to determine who is reputable.
Laws vary depending on the state, so you want an attorney who is local and familiar with the law in your area. This can mean that you look for attorneys in your municipality or county, but as long as he or she is licensed to practice law in your state, you should be good to proceed with lawyers elsewhere.
Compatibility between yourself and potential lawyers is critical to ensuring quality communication and the ability to understand what is happening with your case. For instance, if you find an attorney who is easy to talk to, quick to answer questions in a way you can understand, and committed to keeping you in the loop, then you will have an easier time during the term of your case than if you are uncomfortable or unable to talk to your lawyer.
Not every attorney will work on a retainer or require an upfront payment. Attorneys in personal injury law will usually work on contingency. Contingency means that your attorney will not get paid until you do, usually for a percentage of the damages you are awarded. Other billing options can include monthly retainers for long-term legal help or payment plans.
An attorney can be a big help in situations requiring an understanding of the law, such as personal injury claims, business startups, and real estate purchasing. To find the right lawyer for your needs, it is vital to narrow your options by practice areas, locations and availability. You can then interview lawyers to ask about billing and determine whether you can work together on your case.