Did you know that there are 1.35 million lawyers in the United States? And this number is continually increasing yearly.
With millions of lawyers in the US, choosing the right lawyer or law firm for your case can be a daunting task. You must remember there is no lawyer that is the perfect for every case and/or every client.
The lawyer that helped you write your will is probably not the right lawyer to handle your personal injury claims.
In this article, you’ll learn the six qualities to look for when choosing a lawyer or law firm:
Top Six Qualities to Look for When Choosing A Lawyer
1. They Have the Experience
One of the most important things that you should focus on is picking an attorney with real experience in his/her given field. Legal procedures are complex and ever-changing. So, you need to choose an attorney that actively practices in the field of law that you find yourself needing help in.
2. They Have the Right Credentials
Confirming the credentials of your potential lawyers or law firms is essential. The internet and social media make this easy for you to do so. You can google the name of the law firm or lawyer, read about their structure, their reviews, and notable cases they have handled.
Find out if the lawyer or firm has any free information like a blog, white papers, etc. to get their clients more prepared for their own cases. The more information they provide the more they want their clients to understand what is happening and how to win their case. Now, with all of this information you can make an educated decision on whether or not this is the right attorney for you.
3. They Have a Good Reputation
Even if you are able to identify a lawyer that has the expertise to handle your case, you may need to know more about their reputation within the legal world. You can search for your potential lawyer or law firm ratings, disciplinary records, and reviews on AVVO.
You also check with your respective state bar association website to see if there are any pending investigations or misconduct complaints filed against the attorney or law firm. The best way to learn about an attorney’s reputation is to ask a lawyer you have worked with in the past for a referral. For instance, the lawyer that handled your DUI case might not do employment cases. But, they will be able to recommend a reputable attorney in the field of employment law.
4. They Are Available and Communicative
How fast does your potential lawyer answer your emails and phone calls? Is he/she is taking days or weeks to get back to you? Then they may not be the best option for you. One of the best ways to test your potential lawyer or law firm communication is to email them several questions after your first visit. Watch how long it takes them to get back in touch with you or reply to your email. If it takes them several days or weeks to do so, then they may be too busy to handle your case promptly.
Make sure you can also understand your lawyer and they are able to answer your questions readily. If your potential attorney speaks only in “legal-ese” and leaves you more confused every time you communicate with him/her, you should hire another lawyer.
5. They Have the Right Personality
The personal traits of your potential attorney may positively or negatively impact the success of your working relationship with them. Legal disputes may last for several months or even years and this may require long term collaboration with your lawyers. So, you must choose an attorney that is compatible with your personality.
Choose a lawyer that not only has excellent communication skills, but also has compassion, charisma, and perseverance. Choosing an attorney with the right personality will increase your confidence and make you more at ease in the courtroom and during all other legal proceedings.
6. They Understand Local Laws and Court
Laws and legal methods differ from state to state. The employment law process in the State of California will likely be different from that in North Carolina. When choosing an attorney to represent your case, you should opt for a lawyer that understands your local laws and from your home state. Besides, it will save you traveling costs, but you will get to work alongside an attorney who understands the inners of your local judicial authority.