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Friday, August 25, 2017

6 Tips For Finding An Attorney That Is Right For You

The task of finding a good attorney can make you feel like Goldilocks. One attorney may charge too much, while another just gives you the creeps. But eventually, you will find an attorney that is “just right.” Below are six tips to help you shorten the search process.

1. Ask Around For Recommendations

Depending on what sort of legal help you need, you probably know someone who has hired a lawyer for similar work in the past. If you are comfortable doing so, ask your family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors which attorneys they worked with in the past and whether they liked them. Find out what they liked or didn’t like about any attorneys you are considering working with.

2. Look For The Right Experience & Expertise

The only caveat to the advice above is that a great family law attorney may not be a great estate planner or criminal lawyer. Make sure any lawyer you are thinking about hiring has experience doing the sort of work that you need them to do. You don’t want to be the one they bill for the time they spend teaching themselves a new area of law.

3. Don’t Settle

Most attorneys offer an initial consultation free of charge. Take advantage of this, and don’t feel like you are obligated to work with any of the attorneys you sit down with. Meet with several attorneys so you can compare them to one another.  

3. Ask Questions

During an initial consultation, the attorney you meet with is going to be asking you a lot of questions. Sometimes it get a bit overwhelming.

One of the best ways to turn this around and remind yourself that it is up to you what attorney you hire is to ask each attorney you meet with a few questions about your case or about what working will them will be like. For example, you could ask how you will be updated on the case as it progresses.

If the attorney brushes your questions off, or answers you in legalese that you can’t understand, you can bet that that is exactly how they treat their clients. On the other hand, if the attorney makes an effort to make sure you are comfortable with and understand everything that is going on, that is a good sign.

4. Find Out Who You Will Actually Be Working With

Some attorneys will do an initial consultation meeting, then delegate the case to another attorney at the firm, or even a paralegal. Find out if the attorney you are meeting with is going to be the one handling the case, or whether someone else will be the point person. If the case will be handed off to someone else, ask to meet that person. A good way to figure out who will be handling the case is to ask who you should contact if you have questions.

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Talk About Money

The number one thing you want to know but are probably afraid to ask is how much hiring an attorney is going to cost. Don’t be afraid to ask an attorney about money. After all, you wouldn’t hire a contractor to work on your house without getting an estimate, why would you hire someone to work on your life without getting one?

Keep these tips in mind and you will find an attorney that, as Goldilocks would say, is “just right.”

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