Life poses several challenges for each of us. One of these is finding a reputable attorney.
We might need legal advice from a law firm. Or we might need an experienced lawyer to handle a personal dispute or litigation.
Getting the right lawyer is crucial to winning your case or helping you with the legal process and documentation.
Most of us try to find a potential lawyer by browsing Google or hiring one based on word-of-mouth references. But, if you want your lawyer to be the right one, you need to know some basic information.
7 Factors to consider before hiring a lawyer
Area of expertise
One lawyer cannot handle all types of law cases. For example, you need an accident lawyer or a personal injury attorney in a hit-and-run case. For a marital dispute, you need a divorce attorney. For property litigation, a real estate lawyer is the person you must reach out to.
Identify what type of lawyer you need before you hire one. Contact a law firm and check what specialization the lawyer might need to handle the case. Do some research and find the right lawyer based on his expertise and not on his availability or proximity to you.
Experience and track record
Some think hiring a beginner attorney or a legal assistant is best to cut costs. They fail to understand those beginner lawyers or law interns are novices who lack the experience to handle the legal process. They also lack the commitment to see the case through. This is where an experienced lawyer comes in with a commitment to winning the case.
To win a case, you don’t just need an experienced lawyer but also an attorney who wins cases. Check the track record of the lawyer to ascertain his winning percentage. The higher the number of wins, the better legal representation you have.
Style of legal representation
Before you hire a lawyer, know what their style is. Some may be gentle and diplomatic, but they may be average lawyers handling the case. An aggressive lawyer may be able to win the case for you. Yet he might give you a difficult time.
The lawyer’s style plays a significant role as it impacts the course of the case. If you are involved in a felony case, you need an aggressive lawyer to save you. But if you are in a custody case, you need a compassionate lawyer to pull you through.
Find a professional lawyer to handle the case well and maintain an excellent attorney-client relationship with them.
This is a crucial factor when hiring an attorney. Attorneys may charge by the hour or with a flat fee per case. Probate lawyers may also charge a percentage of the estate value. Personal injury attorneys might charge a contingency fee of 33% of the recovered amount. Depending on the complexity, bankruptcy lawyers charge by the case or hourly and must disclose the amount to the court.
Most importantly, check the lawyer’s accreditation with the American Bar Association (ABA). It is not enough if the lawyer just attends a law school. To be accredited, every professional lawyer must pass the Bar exam held by the ABA. Some states allow only accredited lawyers to practice in the state.
The next thing to be aware of is that the Uniform Bar Exam is not valid forever but only for 5 years. Every lawyer must have these scores transferred or renewed periodically by showing proof that they are regularly practicing.
It’s best not to hire a lawyer who has no ABA accreditation. All reputable law firms have ABA-accredited lawyers. Check this crucial factor before hiring an attorney.
A lawyer’s credibility is based on his professional reputation. What his peers and colleagues think of him gives you a fair idea of how trustworthy a lawyer is.
Inquire about the lawyer online and with the state bar. A lawyer who handles his professional relationships well is a lawyer you can trust.
Responsibility for the case
If you are handing your case to a larger law firm, the case might be handled by any of the law firm’s associates. The legal documentation is often taken care of by the paralegals.
If you hire an individual lawyer, he takes responsibility for the entire case- the documentation, case filing, etc.
It is best to know who is handling what, as far as your case is concerned. This will ensure that you can keep track of the case and not lose vital legal documents.
While hiring lawyers, most of us browse by location and online reviews. The above factors are crucial when hiring a lawyer and must not be overlooked.
Choose your legal team wisely
Winning your case depends heavily on the attorney you choose. Choose your legal team wisely based on the above factors. The team at Florida Law Advisers in Tampa & Orlando works hard and pledges to fight every inch of the way to get you the judgment and settlement you deserve.