The fact that you are reading this article proves that you could have found yourself in a legal situation requiring you to have an attorney. Finding a lawyer can be daunting if it is the first time you are doing it or have had bad experiences with an attorney.
While it is not easy to find one, it shouldn’t be all that complicated. Irrespective of the nature of the legal issue, the qualities of a good lawyer are almost the same across all fields of law.
This post highlights the qualities you need to look for when hiring an attorney for your case.
Years of Experience
Experience is among the most critical factors to consider when choosing a lawyer to fight your legal battle. While a freshly admitted to the bar attorney can represent you in your case, they may not have the necessary experience to secure the most favorable option.
If you are unsure about your preferred layer’s legal experience, you can look it up on their website.
If they have years of experience, they will display it with pride because it is a selling point for their practice. If they do not display years of experience, they probably don’t have many years to show.
Field of Specialization
Besides general experience, you will need to look for specialization. When setting up a law firm, most lawyers choose a field of specialization based on preferences and what makes economic sense to them.
Specialization allows an attorney to have deep insight into matters of the fields they specialize in, making them more suitable for representing clients in the same.
Say you have suffered an injury due to the negligence of another person. Working with a law firm like Abels & Annes, which specializes in personal injury lawsuits, can be your best chance at a desirable outcome.
A lawyer specializing in personal injury may not be the best choice for a criminal case. Most injury attorneys will not take a criminal case, but they could refer you to one.
Look Into Their Success Rate
The main reason you hire a lawyer is to have a favorable outcome for your case. While having any lawyer will almost always add some weight to your case, the aim should never be some weight but the best possible outcome.
The best way of knowing that an attorney will help you secure the most favorable outcomes is by looking at their success rate in past cases. For example, you will want a lawyer with a history of getting maximum compensation for their clients if you are pursuing compensation for injuries caused by another person.
It is also best to look at the success rate at trial. Not many injury lawyers will go to trial, so if you can find one that does and succeeds at it, that is an attorney to work with.
Law Firm Affiliation and Size of the Law Firm
Law firm sizes can vary widely. One could have only one lawyer, for example, solo practice, while another could have hundreds or even thousands of attorneys. While size may not be as crucial as the quality and experience of the lawyer handling your case, there are situations where you may want a bigger law firm.
For example, a big firm may be your best choice if you run a multimillion-dollar company and are in a legal tussle with another company where the stakes are high. A large law firm is preferable under these circumstances because it could have the resources necessary to handle such a case.
But if you only need a lawyer to represent you when signing a contract with another person or entity, the law firm’s size may not matter much.
The reputation of the law firm your attorney is affiliated with should also be worth considering. If a lawyer has a bad reputation among other legal professionals, having them in your case could compromise its outcome.
There is no standard legal services fee. So every lawyer sets their fee depending on several factors like niche, experience, and nature of the case.
While the quality of a lawyer should be of greater significance than cost when choosing an attorney, the truth is you can only work with a specific lawyer if you can afford them. The best approach would be to look at the highest quality of legal counsel you can get with your budget.
Different cases have different approaches to charging legal fees. For example, most injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, meaning the client gets to pay after they recover damages. Most lawyers will charge a flat fee for criminal or civil cases per hour for business transactions such as asset transfers.
It would be best not to aim too low because cheap can sometimes be expensive in the long run. Typically per hour, legal fees range from $100 to $500, but some lawyers can go as high as $1,000.
The role of a lawyer is to communicate with the client, the jury, the prosecutor, and the judge. Therefore finding an attorney that has good communication skills is critical. Besides communication, they have to be good listeners.
The best way of gauging a lawyer’s communication skills is by booking an appointment with them. Fortunately, most attorneys offer a first free consultation. During the free consultation session, you should pick out their interpersonal skills by paying attention to how they listen, the question they ask, how they reply to the questions you ask, etc.
The good thing is if they do not impress, you can always book a consultation with another one until you get the right fit for you.
Review and Testimonials
Most law firms have a review section where happy clients leave their sentiments. Disgruntled clients can leave their sentiments too. So it is worth checking out.
But law firms can be selective about the sentiments they allow on their website review pages, so you may want to check out their reviews on independent attorney review sites such as Avvo.com, lawyer.com, and legal match, among others.
Also, check their social media handles and what the audience says about them. You cannot expect that all past clients will be satisfied with the outcomes of their cases, so a few poor sentiments don’t always mean that the lawyer is not a good fit. However, if you find multiple bad sentiments, rule them out.