How to Hire a Lawyer?
Are you in the midst of an impending legal battle? Have you been accused of a civil or criminal offense? Are you looking to start a business that’s by-the-books? If so, you’re going to need to enlist the professional services of an attorney. But doing so is easier said than done, particularly when there is an oversupply of lawyers in the market.
Part of the challenge lies in the fact that it’s not simply about finding a lawyer, it’s about finding the proper lawyer for the legal services you need. Attorneys don’t just handle lawsuits, they also provide professional legal advice, help you prevent liabilities, organize your legal documents, and facilitate negotiations and contracts. The client, your attorney will serve as your legal representation throughout your case. As such, it’s important you go about the hiring process methodically so that you find the best fit for your situation.
Want to know how to hire a lawyer? We’ve got you covered.
How to Hire a Lawyer?
When hiring a lawyer, it’s essential that you are just as picky, if not more so, than you would be when selecting any other type of professional such as a money manager, architect, masseuse, hairstylist, or interior designer. Naturally, you don’t automatically say yes to the first name that pops up on Google. Instead, you undergo a rigorous vetting process in order to find the optimal match for your legal matters.
If your freedom or financial well-being are in question, it’s even more imperative that you’re discretionary about who you choose to work with. So, take the following steps to ensure that you hire the best lawyer for your situation.
- Step 1: Identify your needs – From the outset, it’s crucial that you know exactly what you need from a lawyer and why you need them. Are you filing an injury claim? Do you need legal assistance on family law? Frankly, sometimes you don’t need a lawyer. It might save you time and money if you realize that remediation could be accomplished without the need for arbitration. However, if you do need a lawyer, you should take the time to detail the following:
- The particulars of your case
- The type of lawyer you’d want
- The size of the law firm you’d like to work with
- Your budget
- What your goals are
- Your questions and concerns
If you do your prep work, you’ll be prepared for interviews and have an easier time winnowing through potential candidates.
- Step 2: Decide whether you want a general practitioner or a specialist – These days, more lawyers are focusing on specialization as opposed to being broad-spectrum attorneys. This is particularly true for boutique law firms. Ideally, you’ll want to engage the services of an attorney who is an expert on your exact needs.
- Step 3: Conduct a thorough search – You’ll want to interview at least 2 to 3 lawyers to be able to compare and contrast their services, fit, fees, and opinions on the merits of your case. Ways to search for lawyers include:
- Google search
- Referrals from friends and/or colleagues
- Online attorney hubs such as Legal Match
- Step 4: Do a quick background check – Although there are rating services you can use to look up potential candidates, their accuracy remains in question. However, you should at least do a check on your state bar website directory to verify that they are licensed to practice law in your state. You should also be able to get some summary details on lawsuits or cases they’ve been involved in.
- Step 5: Ask the right questions – The interview process is the crux of it all. It’s your opportunity to gauge their fit, interest, personality, character, and expertise. There are a number of important questions to ask a lawyer before you start working with them. As mentioned, it’s helpful to have several questions prepared that are intended to shed light on their suitability. Questions you might ask include:
- What is your specialization?
- What is your previous experience in similar cases?
- How many court cases have you been involved in and what were the results?
- Does my case have merits?
- Can we avoid court?
- Will it likely end up in a settlement?
- What are my liabilities if we lose?
- What is the expected timeframe?
- Who else will be working on my case?
- What are your fees and how do you bill?
- What do you bring to the table that another law firm does not offer?
Pay attention to their responses. Read between the lines and use this as an opportunity to gauge their candor, personality, and character. You want someone who’ll speak truthfully and not simply tell you what you want to hear.
- Step 6: Weigh Your Options – It’s important that you do not rush the process. If you interview three lawyers and don’t feel like any of them are ideal matches, don’t settle. Continue your search until you land the right one.
Hiring a Lawyer
At Briggs Law Corporation, we encourage you to undergo a rigorous hiring process. Naturally, certain lawyers or firms are better suited or positioned for particular cases. The only way for you to discover that is by investigating all possible options. Don’t hire the first lawyer you meet; instead, hire the optimal lawyer.
The team at BLC has spent more than two decades practicing small business, environmental, and governmental-accountability law. We’d be happy to review the details of your case and meet with you to see how we could best assist. We provide one-on-one legal advice for each and every client that decides to work with us. Reach out today and our professional staff will set up an interview at the earliest possible date!
“This blog article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for client- and fact-specific legal advice from a qualified attorney.”
Bovarnick, R. Forbes. How to Hire a Lawyer. (2008). https://www.forbes.com/2008/10/08/hiring-legal-help-ent-law-cx_rb_1008bovarnickhire.html#51ce39218d9a
LaMance, K. Legal Match. 20 Essential legal Tips to Know Before You Hire a Lawyer. https://www.legalmatch.com/downloads/Legal-Tips-eBook.pdf
The State Bar of California. Attorney Search. http://members.calbar.ca.gov/fal/LicenseeSearch/QuickSearch?ResultType=0&SearchType=0&SoundsLike=False