There are many reasons you may need a lawyer other than to help you when you are in trouble with the law. For organizations and businesses, it is important that they have a lawyer or better yet a team of lawyers in case of a rainy day. This is ultimately important for the company’s reputation and performance. On a personal level, most people hire a lawyer when the issue at hand is of substantial significance to them.
With this in mind, how do people find lawyers? Most set out to find friends, family or neighbors who have lawyers in their circles. The idea of getting lawyers from referrals is actually a good place to begin your search. However since, needs and preferences vary from one individual to the next, recommendations are not always as helpful.
The following are some helpful tips that can guide you in your selection of an attorney.
Being that there is no one-size-fits-all lawyer, interviewing the lawyers you have been referred to is the best way to identify which one meets your specific needs. The initial consultation which normally lasts an hour or less is free for most attorneys. There are a couple of things you may want to find out including their experience and success with your type of matter, their fees (also additional fees), how often you will be billed, and if they can provide references.
Do not over rely on the rate per hour to judge the quality of a lawyer. Higher fees do not necessarily equate to higher qualifications. On the other hand, low fees do not indicate incompetence or inexperience. Most people unconsciously assume that this is the case. After an interview, you would be better placed to decide if an attorney is right for you or not.
Do a background check
A recommended maritime accident attorney says: when looking into a lawyer’s credibility, make sure you separate actual achievements from claimed credentials and accomplishments. A good place to start is by looking for additional education, qualifications and accreditation’s. It is very unlikely that they will turn out to be a highly qualified and educated failure. Another way is to ask a fellow lawyer. The legal world is very competitive and lawyers therefore tend to know about each other. Fellow attorneys may be able to give you valuable information like their practice habits, reputation and overall competence. You may not find this information online or in a book.
Know your budget
The aim is to find quality legal services at an affordable price. Knowing how much you are willing to spend will make it easier to find something that is in your price range. Regardless of being presumed expensive, a lawyer can help you find affordable options dependent on your needs and budget. For example, they could offer you one of their junior associates to work on your case for you at a lower rate. Most reputable lawyers have junior colleagues working under their tutelage. They do most of the senior lawyers’ research work and are highly competent.