Finding a great attorney can be a difficult task. Many factors need to be taken into account before this choice can be made. The person that is chosen to represent you not only is invaluable for dispensing legal information, but also offers strategic advice and has the ability to apply sophisticated technical skills to the legal issues at hand. Ideally one should seek to find an individual to serve as more of a “legal coach.” Such a person would help to educate you to the maximum extent in regards to your specific legal situation and would offer the ability to take over as your legal council only when it is deemed necessary.
There are several things to be considered when deciding to select an individual as your legal representative and there are a variety of avenues that you can explore before you make your final decision. One of the most tried and true ways of receiving information has been around as long as civilization itself…word of mouth. Personal referrals are an excellent source of information. Speaking with family, friends, co-workers, or other acquaintances is one way of gaining insight on specific individuals that could potentially qualify to represent you legally. Asking someone who has recently retained services for a similar situation from an attorney offers much insight.
Some may choose to refrain from obtaining information from personal referrals, as they feel that the legal issues in question are private. If this is the case, there are several different ways in which to obtain legal representation. Business referrals are another way to find out information about legal council that is available. Businesses that provide services to key members of the legal arena are current on the proceedings of law related incidents and occurrences. Local businesses have frequent contact with lawyers, which represent them on a multitude of issues.
Gathering information on the internet is also a way to locate potential advocates for your case. Using online legal directories gives you the opportunity to research legal representatives and what specific characteristics they have to offer. Nolo’s Lawyer Directory (lawyers.nolo.com) is one site that offers a comprehensive profile for each attorney in its database. This information runs the gamut on a variety of topics for each lawyer. It covers everything from the attorney’s experience, education, and fees to his/her general philosophy on practicing law. This website also ensures that the legal representation in question has a valid license and is in good standing with his/her bar association.
If personal and business referrals and the internet are not substantial resources, you can always engage in requesting professional lawyer referral services. The Lawyer Referral Services Program (LRS) enables you to contact state bar certified lawyers in your area. LRS can be contacted online. When doing so, you should make sure to ask for which specific qualifications the referral service expects in order to list an attorney and how carefully the attorneys are screened.
Directors of your state or local chamber of commerce are another useful source of information. They are in touch with the happenings of the local community and have access to a wealth of information in regards to business lawyers and their proceedings. A director of a nonprofit group interested in your particular subject matter of your lawsuit would also be a good frame of reference to consider. For example, if your case for concern involved issues related to public reforms of surrounding property, it would be wise to consult with a local environmental group and ask for its advice.
Contacting a law librarian is another way in which to receive information on the available legal representation or current laws and community procedures. They can help identify authors in your state who have written books or articles on a particular subject that you can use to your advantage when doing research. Considering a specialist in lieu of a general practitioner is also an option. Selecting someone that is experienced in your specific issue could only aid in your defense.
Organizations such as male and female support groups can also be a beneficial resource to consider. They are good resources in regards to obtaining information on good divorce attorneys or attorneys specializing in family law. As is often difficult to find a decent divorce attorney, the insight of members in such organizations is truly beneficial.
Overall, when seeking and selecting legal representation, you have to consider a variety of factors and characteristics of the individual and/or firm in question. Ultimately, you need to choose an attorney with whom you feel a certain degree of comfort. Establishing a relationship with the individual who will potentially be representing you or your business legally is key. Upon interviewing a legal candidate, paying special attention to personal chemistry is crucial. Speaking with this person should evoke feelings of confidence and trust.
Other characteristics that should be apparent include the attorney’s willingness to work with you. One you entrust to represent you should be willing to help you acquire a good working knowledge of the legal procedures and principles that will be needed in order to deal with your particular situation. In addition, your legal council should speak with you in terms that you can understand. Communication is of the utmost importance. If there is not a complete understanding of legalese, make sure you ask a lot of questions. Communication and understanding between you and your legal advocate should also include contact information and accessibility, the expectancy of prompt and immediate action, and the clear handling of legal fees.
In order to establish an effective relationship with your attorney, a several areas need to be examined. Everything from education and experience to a personal rapport and an acceptable level of comfort should be considered. After all, the person whom you select is an advocate on your behalf. He/she is not only representing your case, he/she is representing you.