When deciding who to hire for legal advice, the internet is often the best source for finding an attorney. An attorney directory provides data on all members of the bar, allowing the individual to find those with the experience and expertise they need for their particular legal case. There are hundreds of law firms and law offices listed in an online attorney directory. Each directory includes an independent appraisal of the lawyer’s performance as well as feedback from previous clients.
While it was once only possible to receive legal advice through the use of law firms and offices, today almost every legal practitioner has an online presence through an attorney directory. In addition, each member’s contact information and referral sources are displayed prominently. Unlike the traditional yellow pages or print versions of local legal forms, an online attorney directory will provide an easy means for the general public to obtain a wealth of information in a quick time. Additionally, these online legal forms are generally free.
While not all attorneys are members of all states’ Bar Associations, nearly every legal professional is registered with the ABA. Therefore, almost every lawyer who is listed in these attorney directories maintained by the state bar is either an ABA member or has taken the additional step of taking the bar exam. In addition, the majority of these legal forms are offered free by the Bar. Thus, the ability to research and locate these online legal forms is readily available to any potential clients.
The primary way an attorney’s name is entered into an online legal directory is by checking the person’s status as an attorney. Most states require attorneys to maintain good standing; therefore, almost any attorney who is listed in such directories maintains good standing with the bar. While a person does not have to meet the bar in order to be listed in such a directory, it is always beneficial for prospective clients to search and locate a legal practitioner who is a member of a well respected bar association.
Additionally, a listing in one of these directories will not guarantee that an attorney is a member of the state bar. It is recommended that a prospective client request copies of documents relating to disciplinary actions taken against the attorney. Additionally, it is important that the person be aware that the documents relating to the discipline matter would not be available to the general public.
In addition to a person’s state bar number, there is also an indicator of good standing provided by the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA). In most cases, a person must have been a member for at least one year in order to be considered NALA certified. The certification process requires that an attorney pass written and oral examinations. Once the required exams have been passed, it is then possible to receive a certificate of good standing.
For those who are unfamiliar with these directories, it is advisable that they become a member. All of the information that is listed is readily available to the general public. Additionally, these directories allow attorneys to post their contact information. This allows interested individuals to communicate with them. In some cases, directories allow lawyers to post their web sites.
In order to understand whether or not a lawyer has a good standing with the bar, a review of the ABA’s website is necessary. In particular, the website will list all active lawyers in each state. Additionally, it will list all disciplinary actions that have been taken against the attorney. These include formal complaints as well as disbarred attorneys. In addition, a site such as this can help a person become a potential client of a lawyer.