You may not know how to choose an attorney until you need legal representation, and these guidelines can help.
Abilities and Customer Service
Getting good service is one of the most important requirements, as well as working with a law firm that has the ability and expertise to get the result you need. As well as browsing the websites of one or more lawyers, call their office or go in and talk to them in person to see how the experience is. Contacting previous clients for a reference is also a good idea, and any good law firm should be able to provide you with client names.
It’s important for any lawyer you work with to have substantial experience of attending trials and a strong track record of resolving wrongful death and personal injury cases is also something to look for. If the other side knows that your lawyer has plenty of trial experience, they may not be quite so willing to take your case to court. Keep in mind that many lawyers don’t have a lot of trial experience, although the majority of cases are settled before they get to court.
Some law firms are just more experienced and better than others, and of course, you want to work with a lawyer who comes across as knowing what they are doing. Although most cases don’t go to trial, if yours does, you’ll want to be represented by a lawyer who is skilled and experienced at negotiating to get you a better deal. Ask the lawyer about any specialized training they may have had in this area, and how important they feel negotiating is. And of course, the law firm’s results should reflect their expertise in negotiating and getting results.
The Martindale-Hubbell Rating
Other lawyers use this well respected international rating system to evaluate lawyers and law firms. If their peers have decided that a particular law firm consistently practices the highest ethical and professional standards, they are given the highest rating of AV. You can see for yourself at http://www.martindale.com.
Bigger May Not Be Better
Some clients find the workings of a large firm rather difficult to navigate. Also, the large overheads of larger firms need to be paid by simply processing as many cases as possible as fast as possible. And the unique needs of a client can get lost amid cases that are processed in batches at a larger firm. It all means that bigger isn’t necessarily better when it comes to choosing the right law firm, and it’s easy to become frustrated and upset if you feel your lawyer isn’t paying attention to you. You should be made to feel as if you were their most important client.
Sometimes it’s in the best interests of the client for a law firm to partner with another firm, and a good lawyer should not be reluctant to do that. Resources and expertise can all be shared as long as it helps you, the client. A good law firm with national experience can help you win your case; it isn’t necessary to work with a locally based law firm.
If you only pay fees if and when your lawyer gets compensation for you, it’s known as a contingency basis, and you should look for a law firm that works on that premise.