If you're thinking about hiring a lawyer to help with your divorce, draft your will, or assist with any other legal issues, you may be wondering how to find the right lawyer. You may want to start by talking with friends, relatives, and colleagues to see if they have a lawyer to recommend. Beyond that, keep the following tips in mind.
1. Look at Their Areas of Practice
Before hiring a lawyer, you need to make sure that they are experienced in the area where you need help. For instance, if a lawyer specializes in estate planning, you don't necessarily want to hire them to help with a criminal law case.
When meeting with different lawyers or looking at their websites, make sure they have experience or training in the areas you need. Talk directly with them about their experience to make sure they are a good fit for your needs.
2. Make Sure They Can Meet Your Needs
You should also make sure the lawyer you hire can meet any unique needs you may have. For instance, if you speak Spanish, then you probably want a lawyer who speaks Spanish. Similarly, if you prefer to work out your issues through mediation rather than going to trial, you need a lawyer who offers mediation services.
3. Consider a Boutique Law Firm
Law firms come in all different sizes, and your unique situation may dictate the size of law firm you need. A boutique law firm typically consists of two to ten lawyers along with support staff, and this size of law firm is perfect for many situations.
In general, large law firms tend to charge more than small law firms. Additionally, a boutique law firm gives you the personal touch of a solo firm with the resources of a larger firm. When you work with a law firm that has more than one lawyer, the lawyers consult with each other, and that can help your case.
Additionally, boutique firms have support staff who can do the research and file the paperwork for your case. That helps to speed up the process.
4. Schedule a Consultation
To get a sense of whether or not a certain lawyer is right for you, consider scheduling a consultation. During this initial meeting, ask questions about the lawyer's success rate with similar cases in the past. Also, talk about pricing.
Pricing can vary a lot between different firms and types of practices. In some cases, you may pay a flat fee for a service, but in other cases, you may pay an hourly rate. Some cases, such as with personal injury law, the lawyer may work on a contingency basis, where they only take a fee if you win a settlement.
5. Keep the X Factor in Mind
The X factor is the intangible element of hiring a lawyer. As you talk with different lawyers, pay attention to how you feel. You may be working with this person over a significant period of time, and you need to feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and concerns with them.
In addition to paying attention to your own comfort levels, also consider how your prospective lawyer is going to appear to the other legal team during a mediation or to the judge in a trial. You want a confident and well-spoken lawyer to represent you.
At Cofield Law Firm, we pride ourselves on a family tradition of excellence. Our areas of practice include personal injury, workers compensation, wills and probate, family law, real estate, and mediation. Contact us today to learn if our services are right for you.