What Steps to Take to Find a Good Lawyer to Help You With Your Legal Case
There is a saying in law school that says ‘He who represents himself, has a fool for a client.’ Even if your legal situation is not complex or involve lots of money, you should not want to attempt to handle the entire matter without a lawyer. After all, lawyers do more than dispense legal information and charge large fees. They offer strategic advice and apply sophisticated technical skills to legal problems. Ideally, you’ll be able to find a lawyer who is willing to be your legal “coach” and will educate you to the maximum extent possible.
How to Find the Right Lawyer
Finding a good lawyer or the right lawyer near you is easier said than done. Locating a good lawyer near you who can efficiently help with your particular problem may not be easy. Don’t expect to locate a good lawyer by simply looking in the phone book or reading an advertisement. There’s not enough information in these sources to help you make a valid judgment. Do your research! There’s a lot on the line. Doing a search for the ‘best lawyer‘ is a no-no for Florida lawyers and no lawyer can say he or she is the best. Run far away from that.
A better approach is to talk to people in your community who have experienced the same or similar problem you face. If you talk to half a dozen people who have had a similar legal problem, chances are you’ll come away with several good leads.
But don’t make a decision about an attorney solely on the basis of someone else’s recommendation. Different people will have different responses to a lawyer’s style and personality; do not make up your mind about hiring a lawyer until you’ve met and interviewed the lawyer, discussed your case, and decided that you feel comfortable working with him or her. You need to be comfortable with the lawyer you are hiring.
Many sites, like Yelp and Avvo, offer a way to connect with local lawyers based on your location and the type of legal case you have. You can also read Google reviews on the attorney and the Google reviews on the firm. We highly recommend all of our potential clients to check out what our previous clients think of us and what our other fellow lawyers think of us.
What Do Online Profiles Tell You About the Lawyer
Reading an online profile provides a unique and comprehensive profile for each attorney with information that will help you select the right attorney. The profiles tell you about the lawyer’s experience, education, and fees, and perhaps most importantly, the lawyer’s general philosophy of practicing law.
What About Lawyer Referral Services
Lawyer referral services are another source of information. However, be wary of lawyer referral services that only send to one clinic. You know, the ones with catchy jingles and radio commercials. Those clinics are actually indirectly own the lawyer referral service that the lawyers pay to join. Look at lawyer referral services that are free, like the Hillsborough County Bar Referral Service, or those that send to more than 10 different doctor-owned clinics, like La Liga Latina. There is a wide variation in the quality of lawyer referral services, however, even though they are required to be approved by the state bar association. Some lawyer referral services carefully screen attorneys and list only those attorneys with particular qualifications and a certain amount of past experience, while other services will list any attorney in good standing with the state bar who maintains liability insurance. Before you choose a lawyer referral service, ask what its qualifications are for including an attorney and how careful lawyers are screened. We can proudly say that we are on both the Hillsborough County Bar Referral Service and La Liga Latina.
Any Type of Attorney to Avoid?
Most lawyers specialize in certain areas, and even a so-called “general practitioner” may not know that much about the particular area of your concern. Avoid attorneys that handle seven areas of the law. Trust me, they do none of them well. They only dabble and make a living taking the low hanging fruit. Go to a specialist.
It pays to work with a lawyer who already knows the field. That way you can take advantage of the fact that the lawyer is already far up the learning curve. Sometimes specialists charge a little more, but if their specialized information is truly valuable, it can be money well spent.
For example, our firm only handles auto accident claims and criminal defense. We would not try to handle a divorce case or immigration case. We will recommend other competent attorneys who we know can handle the case and the case well.
Should You Interview the Prospective Lawyer?
When you get the names of several good prospects, the next step is to talk to each personally. If you outline your needs in advance, many lawyers will be willing to meet you for a half-hour or so at no charge so that you can size them up and make an informed decision.
What About the Personality of My Lawyer?
Pay particular attention to the interaction between you and your attorney. No matter how experienced and well-recommended a lawyer is, you need to feel comfortable with the lawyer you hire. Seek a lawyer whose personality is compatible with your own. Look also for experience, personal rapport, and accessibility.
If you have been injured in a Tampa car accident, call Tampa Injury Lawyer Martin Hernandez at 813.755.9500. Results and experience matter.