In selecting a lawyer, great care and deliberation are essential. Most lawyers are very well-qualified in the areas to which they devote their practice as they have been trained by law schools, their law firms, other individual lawyers with whom they have had associations, and continued legal education.
When trying to find a lawyer, often people looking for a lawyer ask family members, friends, co-workers, and business people or professionals (i.e., doctors, ministers, social workers, teachers, or bankers) for recommendations. Most local bar associations also provide lawyer referral services. You may also want to check your local telephone directory under “Attorney” or “Lawyer” as these ads usually list lawyers by area of concentration.
Before meeting with a lawyer, learn as much as you can about the legal matter you face. Having some basic knowledge of the case you are dealing with will help you decide which attorney will be best for you. During your initial consultation with a lawyer, you should be prepared for your visit. Write down the questions and concerns you want to cover with the attorney — ask questions about how the lawyer would handle your case and find out what you may be required to do. Bring with you any relevant paperwork, write down dates and times of events, the names and addresses of witnesses, and any other important facts so that the lawyer can be fully informed during your consultation and properly advise you.
The primary consideration in selecting a lawyer should be whether you feel comfortable with the lawyer selected and if you are confident that the lawyer is competent in his or her field of expertise. Much depends upon an individual’s judgment, and many times, a lawyer is hired on the basis of referrals from other individuals. You must feel very comfortable with the lawyer and must feel confident that the lawyer selected is one who can capably handle your needs. Some considerations that would be helpful to most individuals in selecting a lawyer include the lawyer’s credentials, experience, fee structures, and whether you and the lawyer have compatible personalities. The attorney’s gender might be important to you, or you may feel more comfortable with a small firm instead of a large one, or vice-versa.
Remember, finding the right lawyer for you and your case is an important personal decision. If you do your homework, you should feel confident about having excellent representation.