So, you’ve gotten into a little trouble with the law. Having a criminal record will affect your future, which is a rather scary thought. When something like this occurs, things can quickly get overwhelming and chaotic, making the task of finding a lawyer even more stressful than it already is.
There’s a whole sea of options out there, so how can you find the right lawyer for your case? Here are some practical tips that will help you separate the wheat from the chaff.
1. Look For A Local Lawyer
Although you might be tempted to start looking all over the country for the best lawyer money can buy, it’s actually smarter to hire locally. A local attorney who works in the court systems of your city is going to be much more familiar with the subtle differences and will have a lot more insider information on how cases like yours usually go.
A local lawyer will be familiar with the laws of your region and the procedures you have to go through, making them an extremely reliable professional that will give you some much-needed peace of mind.
2. Browse The Internet
Websites are super easy to create nowadays, so virtually every business has one. Many lawyers have taken to advertising their legal practices online, where you can browse them at your own convenience. It’s a really useful tool if you know how to use it properly.
You could also go on LinkedIn to look for a lawyer. You can filter them by location, specialty, and experience, as well as check out reviews from clients and testimonials from colleagues! This really takes the tedium out of looking for a lawyer and gets you to the next step.
3. Hire The Right Professional For Your Case
Being fully aware of the exact nature of your legal woes is the first step in finding the right lawyer. Attorneys are specialized in the type of cases they handle. A family lawyer can’t do the job of a PI lawyer, and an entertainment lawyer can’t do the job of a constitutional lawyer.
There are some places where their designated tasks may overlap, but it’s the same principle as not hiring a vet to be your family doctor!
4. Ask For Referrals
You can get referrals from other people who have been in the same situation as you, from other professionals, or from other lawyers.
Speaking to people who have walked in your shoes before is definitely a smart move. Ask them about their experience, how it went, and whether they would recommend their attorney or not. Have a substantive conversation about what happened and what their impressions were, and you’ll quickly gain some perspective and direction. It’s not recommended that you just take everybody’s word as gospel, but do keep it in mind.
Other than regular people, you can also get referrals from employees of businesses that aid in legal procedures, like accountants. They regularly deal with lawyers, especially business lawyers. You’ll definitely come out of those conversations having learned something useful.
Lawyer Referral Services need to be approved by the state bar association, so they’re good for setting you on the right path. However, some of them have found a way around the rules and may recommend any lawyer who is in good standing with the state bar, regardless of your specific requirements of specialty and experience.
Always ask for documented proof, like credentials and qualifications, before hiring an attorney.
5. Interview Them In Person
You now have some leads as to who you might want to hire, but you still aren’t sure. It’s actually very important to have a sit-down with your potential lawyers just to get an idea of what they’re like. Your attorney is going to be representing you, after all, so you’ll want to know how they communicate.
You should also make sure that their personality is compatible with yours, so as to make the best client-lawyer team.
6. Ask All The Hard-Hitting Questions You Can Think Of
If there is ever a time to be shy, this isn’t it. Ask them about their specialty, experience, fees, whether they believe in your case, and anything else you can think of. Ask these questions point-blank and don’t beat around the bush.
You should probably even prepare them ahead of time, just so that you can get all of them answered in one sitting. This is the final stretch, and you’ll want to have a clear picture of your lawyer and how far they’re willing to go for you by the end of it.
The mental and emotional strain of dealing with legal matters can be quite unsettling. It’s a stressful situation to be in, but you can make it easier on yourself. Hopefully, these tips have helped to give you some direction and helped you realize that finding the right lawyer for yourself doesn’t have to be such an intimidating task.