America has 5% of the global population and 70% of the world’s lawyers. On average, law schools grant 43,588 J.D.s per year, up 11.5 % since 2000, and the U.S. has one attorney for every 200 residents.
So, you may be wondering how to hire a lawyer for your legal requirements, in a country where there is a record number of practicing attorneys.
The type of lawyer you require depends on the nature of your legal case. The majority of lawyers specialize in one or two areas of law, such as employment law, family law, criminal law, personal injury law, bankruptcy, or civil litigation.
As a result, hiring a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer in the practice area where you require their services is critical. Continue reading to learn the tips that will assist you in finding a lawyer who meets your needs.
Ask for Recommendations
A good way to find a reliable attorney is by asking persons you trust for recommendations. Begin with your friends and family– ask if they’ve had a fruitful experience with any attorney in the area you’re looking for help.
You might already have a good relationship with lawyers working in different specialties. If so, they can be a good source for reliable recommendations.
For instance, your business lawyer might not help with a personal injury case but can refer you to a good personal injury lawyer. Use the recommendations to develop a shortlist of up to five lawyers.
Then, ensure you investigate further before hiring one.
Do an Online Research
Begin doing some online research about the lawyers you already have on your list. Check their Google reviews and a few lawyer review sites.
Also, go through the attorneys’ websites and social media – check on the reviews sections. Remember, you can’t always please everyone, so don’t put too much weight into one or two bad reviews.
But, when you begin to see a pattern, remove that lawyer from your list.
A law firm can have up to 3,000 lawyers. If you want to do a hostile company take over, consider engaging a big law firm.
But, if you want a lawyer to negotiate a lease for your new office, a small-sized law firm can help you. You don’t want a large firm letting its younger, inexperienced lawyers learn through your case.
After finishing your research and having the top three lawyers on your list, it’s time to start scheduling consultations. Most lawyers agree to meet up with clients for a free consultation.
Notice whether the lawyer answering your call is polite and accommodating. After arriving at their office, notice if the environment is convenient and if you feel comfortable in the space.
After sitting down with the lawyer, it’s important to have a list of questions prepared. The list of questions will ensure you make the most of your time, and you won’t forget vital details.
Here’s a checklist of questions to ask an attorney:
- How long have they been practicing?
- Do they specialize in a case like yours?
- Who will handle your case?
- Do they feel you have a strong case?
- How often do they take cases to court?
- How much do they think your case is worth?
- How and when will you have to pay?
Look for an honest and upfront lawyer when answering your questions. Take notes to later compare the top three lawyers on your list.
Assess the Fees and Costs
Even though price matters, never hire a lawyer based on cost alone. They must thoroughly explain their attorney fees and provide you with a written summary.
But, do not feel like you are “being cheap,” you deserve to understand what you’re paying for and its cost.
Review Payment Arrangements
There are various ways your lawyer might bill you. Some of the options you can expect from any typical law firm include:
Hourly Rate – they set the fee per hour. So, the final cost depends on the number of hours they will work on your case.
Flat Fee – this is a set amount for services. Flat fees are common for simple tasks like filling a non-contested divorce or writing a will.
Contingency Fee – the lawyer will receive a certain percentage of your award after winning your case.
Retainer – you pay the retainer fee upfront. Attorneys often use the retainer fee to pay fees and expenses for handling your case.
Ensure you understand how your lawyer bills. That way, you can know how much and when you can expect to pay.
Always Listen to Your Gut
After reviewing the information and meeting with each lawyer, evaluate each experience and decide. Depending on your experience, you will know when to find a lawyer.
Though you will use logic for most of the evaluation process, listening to your gut is vital. You might have a great feeling about a lawyer you met.
If you trust and believe in them, that’s a great indication that you’re making the right choice. The same will go for a negative feeling.
Even though you don’t understand it, if you feel like something doesn’t seem right, it’s time to move on to another lawyer.
You Now Know How to Hire a Lawyer
Finding the best lawyer is a daunting task. The above tips will help you know how to hire a lawyer for your legal case. You will feel relaxed knowing that you’ve made the right lawyer choice.
Do you need to hire a lawyer for your case? At the Law Office of Arturo Martinez, PC, we use our skills, experience, and dedication to protect our clients’ legal rights. We will help you restore your life to normal by winning your case.
Contact us now to have the best lawyer on your side.