Virtually everyone needs a lawyer at some point in time. Bringing forth a lawsuit is not an easy endeavor, and it is always in one’s best interest to hire a qualified attorney to handle the case. However, hiring a lawyer can be a challenging task, as it is not always easy to know which legal professional is the best person for the job.
Multiple factors may influence a person’s decision when choosing a lawyer, and these include the attorney’s track record and level of experience, his or her fees, and the law firm’s overall success rate. Below are some tips on how to choose the best lawyer for the job:
Inquiring About Fees
When hiring a lawyer, one must give thought to the cost of the retainer. In certain cases, an attorney requests a retainer prior to committing to a specific client’s case. Such costs vary significantly from one law firm to another.
In some instances, such as in the case of personal injury lawsuits, no retainer is required. Such cases are usually taken on what is called a contingency basis. This is a specific payment arrangement in which the attorney’s fees are taken from the amount of money awarded to the plaintiff in the settlement. However, whether or not a retainer is required varies from one case to the next. For this reason, it is important to inquire about fees prior to making a final decision.
Establishing a Rapport
Because good communication is critical in order to establish a successful attorney-client relationship, it is essential for clients to choose legal professionals with whom they can create a positive rapport. If a person is not comfortable with a particular attorney or feels that effective communication with the lawyer or his or her staff is not possible, the client should move on to another firm.
The Importance of a Good Track Record
In the majority of instances, it is in the client’s best interest to select an attorney who has handled similar cases in the past or who specializes in the specific lawsuit the client is planning. For instance, if a person is suing someone for an injury sustained in a car accident or on someone else’s property, it is a good idea to choose a law firm that specializes in personal injury. Those who are suing for medical malpractice or for injuries caused by a defective product should choose a lawyer who has successfully argued similar cases in the past.
Obtaining Word-of-Mouth Referrals
Obtaining word-of-mouth referrals is also a wise course of action: it is safe to assume that an attorney who successfully handled a friend or colleague’s case will do the same for a new client. Prospective clients may even wish to obtain a referral from another legal professional. For example, if one has purchased a house in the past, it may be helpful to ask the attorney who handled the closing for the name of a lawyer who may be a good match for the person’s upcoming lawsuit.
Reading Online Reviews
Reading reviews online is very helpful when one is searching for a qualified attorney. This is because it is easy to see patterns with particular law firms regarding their success rates and general reputation.
Attempting to handle a lawsuit without assistance from a qualified attorney is usually not in the best interest of the client. Rather, one should plan on hiring a lawyer from a reputable and experienced law firm in order to ensure the most successful outcome possible.