There are a million different reasons why someone might need to look into hiring a lawyer. It does not take a criminal to find trouble with the law. Life happens, and sometimes it leads to more complicated matters.
Depending on the charges you are facing, it may be a wise move to seek find the most appropriate legal assistance. Take a moment to read through a few helpful tips for finding the best lawyer for your case.
Where to start looking
You have decided the situation is important enough to hire legal counsel, but where do you start? The phone book does not have the same feel as it did before the internet, and the internet is a sea of endless information. It can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
Do not freak out. Try asking around for personal references. If you feel comfortable enough, try asking around your professional community for business references. Sometimes, your local Chamber of Commerce is a good place to begin the search for a good lawyer.
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Try digging into the online directories
A few online directories are specifically designed to help people find just the right lawyer for their troubles. Martindale-Hubbell and Nolo.com are two of the best resources to utilize. The database of lawyers shows in-depth profiles of almost every lawyer in the United States and Canada.
Other lawyers sometimes use the digital databases to seek out talent in other places. It also includes thorough peer reviews that may help you decide who might be the best fit for your case.
Conduct face to face interviews
Once you have gathered a healthy amount of information and narrowed down the search to just a few candidates, it helps conduct face-to-face interviews. Here is a shortlist of possible questions you may want to ask during the meeting.
- Does he/she have experience dealing with this specific legal issue?
- Does he/she have any special skills?
- What are his/her fees, specifically?
- Are there additional fees like filing and copy fees?
- Does the firm have a written fee agreement?
- How often will he/she communicate or inform you on developments in the case?
What if you are broke
If the issue is financial and there is not enough money to hire a lawyer, there are still a few options. Everyone, no matter their charge, is entitled to legal counsel. The judge overseeing your case can appoint you a public defender. Just understand that the legal system is heavily driven by money, and a public defender will not always try very hard to help.
Try researching pro bono lawyers. If your case is interesting enough, some lawyers will represent you for free. There is also the option of contingency legal representation, where the payment is contingent upon the case’s outcome.