We are in a very litigious world and selection of lawyers is no longer easy. Litigation processes have become more elaborate, cases have become more complex and attorneys come with all sorts of interests, particular skill sets, and specialties, to name but a few. If you want a proper resolution of your legal case, you can’t afford to choose the wrong attorney. Here are a few lawyer selection tips that will ensure that you choose the right lawyer for your legal matter.
• Start with personal recommendations
Personal recommendations are a good starting point, but over-relying on these recommendations is a big mistake since legal cases are never exactly the same. A lawyer who handled your aunt’s sexual harassment case successfully does not necessarily make him or her good for your case. You need to look for more information on the lawyer before you make your final decision.
• Do a background check.
Having got recommendations from friends and relatives, it is important to look for more information on the recommended lawyers. You can get this information from other lawyers, employers or even the schools that the lawyers attended.
• Look for objective information
You need to look for objective information on the lawyer in professional membership bodies. There are several lawyers’ professional membership bodies, and they are reliable sources of information on the registered lawyers. Obviously, a lawyer who is not a member of a professional body is not as good as one who is a member. This is because these professional bodies normally have stringent guidelines and codes of conduct that their members have to adhere to so that they can practice law within their jurisdiction without problems.
• Perform a face-to-face interview
Book for an in-person consultation with the preferred lawyer to look for other attributes that make them better or worse. Here, check for listening skills of the lawyer, their overall understanding of your specific problem and confidence. How long will the lawyer take to return calls? Has he handled cases like yours? Does he have any references from previous clients? These are a few questions that will give you an idea of how good or bad the candidate is for your legal matter.
• Discuss money matters
It should be possible for the chosen lawyer to give an estimate of the overall cost of the whole litigation process of the case from the outset so that the client can plan appropriately. Hidden or additional costs should also come out very clearly so that adjustments can be made to the budget if there is the need. It is also important to know how the attorney charges for his or her services. Is it a per hour basis, fee retainer of contingency fee basis?
Indeed, choosing the best lawyer entails more than picking the first name on a search engine results page. Remember that lawyers do not just dispense legal information. They also apply sophisticated skills on legal matters and offer strategic advice. By so doing, they are act as legal “coaches” throughout a legal case. This calls for a rigorous selection process for lawyers.