At some point in your life, you might come across a situation where you could need an attorney. Whether it be divorce or some other type of lawsuit, if you’re anything like I was before, you have no idea how the legal world works and where to start. Unless you have a close personal friend in the field, chances are your knowledge about courts and lawyers is limited to crime TV and what you hear on the news. So if you’re starting at square one, there a few key steps you can take to ensure a smooth and painless experience when finding the right attorney for you.
Step 1: Use the connections you have
Talk to people you trust. Chances are, someone you know needed an attorney for something at some point and can recommend someone to you. Getting a few names from a few people in your life ensures that you won’t be picking a random attorney off of the internet, not knowing what you’re going to get. A disclaimer for this point, though: Just because Attorney A was perfect for Susie from work’s divorce doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s perfect for you. It’s just a person to add to your list, which we’ll get to in the next step of this plan. It’s ok to take a recommendation from someone and choose someone else! It’s all about what works for you and your situation.
Step 2: Interview
Gather your list of people’s recommendations and any other names you may have acquired from google searches, etc. You’ll want to interview each attorney on the list to find the best fit for you. Remember, you’re hiring your attorney and although they are the expert, you are paying for their service! So you want to make sure you’re getting the quality and type of service you are expecting. Pay attention to how they are during the interview: Are they answering the phone and emails while you talk? Are they pushing you into something you don’t want right away? Are they personal and willing to listen? Try and pick up the energy of the person you’ll work well with and feel comfortable addressing, as you’ll need to rely on them and trust them with your legal issue. In this step, it can also be beneficial to ask questions regarding experience (i.e., how many divorce cases have they dealt with? How many years have they been in the business) and finances (i.e., how much do they charge? How much is the retainer fee?). The more you know up front, the less of a headache you’ll have later.
Step 3: Choose
After the interviews, choose the professional that you feel is most qualified for the job you need them to do. Trust your gut and feel confident in your decision! You need this person to help you and you want to make sure that they can do that with an open line of trust and communication. Contact your top choice and move forward with your legal needs!
When seeking legal aid, selecting an attorney can be a truly daunting task. With these steps, you’ll be able to make a decision regarding the attorney that is best fit for you in an organized, easy, reliable fashion. You can feel comfortable with your choice knowing that you did a thorough, detailed search before making a selection. Best of luck with your interviews and making your choice, and with all your legal needs.