It seems now more than ever there are law firms on every corner in town. How does one know what matters when they prepare to hire an attorney?
- Does the lawyer have a good reputation with fellow attorneys? A lawyer’s reputation is arguably the most important trait to assess when making your hiring decision. When you need a lawyer to fight for you in court, it is important that the lawyer is known and respected by the courtroom personnel, opposing lawyer, and especially the Judge. Now, this is not to say that newer lawyers cannot be good lawyers. However, the reality is, the reputation a lawyer has in her community of attorneys speaks volumes.
- Does the lawyer have a good reputation with current and former clients? Many lawyers are stretched too thin. They have a lot of clients with hardly any staff. They do not come to court prepared. They do not treat their clients with respect. The easiest way to learn if a lawyer is going to treat you well is to research how she has treated her clients in the past. Sites like Google, Facebook, and even legal directories provide users with an opportunity to share detailed reviews and ratings based on their experience with a lawyer. You should not choose a lawyer based solely on one or two Google reviews, however, if multiple users on multiple platforms provide excellent reviews of a specific lawyer and/or law firm, the chances are you will have a good experience as well.
- Does the lawyer have experience with cases like mine? While it is not important to hire a lawyer who has handled a case exactly like the one you need assistance with, you do want to hire someone who has experience in the practice area that you need. You don’t want to hire a Bankruptcy lawyer to handle your DUI. You don’t want an Entertainment Lawyer representing you in your divorce. Many Firms have multiple practice areas and this is great, just be sure the lawyer assigned to handle your case is experienced and trained to represent you in the best way possible.
While this is not an exhaustive list, it is certainly a starting point. As you consult with lawyers in preparation to make your hiring decision, keep these questions in mind.