How to choose a lawyer?
For most people, hiring a lawyer is a new and strange experience. How can you tell if the lawyer is right for you?
First, meet the lawyer in person. By meeting in person you’ll get a better sense of what kind of person the lawyer is, and vice versa. The relationship between lawyer and client is an important professional relationship.
Ask the lawyer about their experience in the area of law your case falls into. Few lawyers these days have a general practice; most practice in a few select areas.
Only hire a lawyer you really believe knows more about the law and the legal system than you do. Otherwise, why pay them for their advice?
Only hire a lawyer who you feel will give you objective advice. A lawyer should be trying to achieve the best possible result for you, but this doesn’t mean always agreeing with what you think. If the lawyer isn’t being judgmental, they’re probably not doing their job.
Lawyers come in all shapes and sizes. There is no one type of lawyer, and they show the full range of character traits and flaws. Hire the type you feel most comfortable with.
Many studies have shown that the most effective lawyers are those who appear to firm, reasonable, and fair. The same studies have shown that overly aggressive lawyers, who take extreme positions, and behave rudely, generally do not achieve good results for their clients. If you think you need a shark, remember a shark will eat anything it can sink its’ teeth into and must be fed constantly. This type of lawyer often proves to be psychologically and financially costly.
Finally, find a lawyer who not only appears to know what they’re talking about, but who can explain it to you. The case is yours, not the lawyer’s, and you’ll be asked to make the important decisions, based on the advice your lawyer will give you. So, you’ll have to be properly informed and advised. You should never agree to a position you don’t understand.
This article is for general information only, and should not be relied on as legal advice in any particular case. Consult a lawyer for advice on your case.
By Patrick McMurchy