There are times in everyone’s life when they need legal help. You may be involved in a car accident, have a dispute with your bank or need legal assistance fighting back against nursing home abuse.
Often, you can find attorneys near you through a law firm directory. These attorney directories can provide you with information about their history, client reviews, bar data and disciplinary records.
Find a Lawyer
There are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing a legal professional. First, make sure they are licensed to practice law in your state and that they have experience handling a case like yours. You can find out this information by running an attorney search on a trusted database, or asking for referrals from people you trust.
You should also consider their specializations. If you have a standard legal situation, like estate planning or writing contracts, you can probably work with a general practice lawyer. However, if you have a more complex matter, like filing for bankruptcy or dealing with an injury claim, you’ll need an attorney who specializes in those areas of law.
One way to find an attorney who specializes in your legal issue is by calling a legal aid hotline. The director of this organization will be able to provide you with information about lawyers in your area who specialize in your case.
Get a Free Consultation
Many lawyers offer free consultations to potential clients. They do this for several reasons. First, they want to get new business and meet people that may have cases they could represent. Second, they want to determine whether a case is worth their time and effort. If they spend a lot of time on a case and it doesn’t produce much income, they aren’t going to want to continue doing that.
During the free consultation, the attorney or legal team will ask you questions about your accident and injuries. They will also probably ask about your life, family, and financial situation to help them make a determination about whether they would be able to work with you.
You should be prepared to answer these questions. You should also bring any relevant documents, such as warranties, expenses, medical records, and correspondence with the company or person you are trying to sue. Also, don’t forget to bring a pen and paper to take notes.
Ask for Referrals
Referrals are the most consistent source of new business for lawyers. However, many attorneys are afraid to ask for them because they fear putting their relationships at risk. This is understandable. Fortunately, the right approach can make asking for referrals easy and comfortable.
A lawyer can ask for a referral in a variety of ways, including by phone or in person. However, in either case, the lawyer must be clear about what they’re looking for. A lawyer must also be clear about what they’re able to offer the person who is being referred to them.
For example, if an individual has a complex family law issue, the attorney can ask for a referral to a divorce lawyer who has experience in this area. This type of referral can avoid wasting valuable time and resources. In addition, it can save the individual money.
Check Their Fees
The type of fee arrangement you and your lawyer choose will have a major impact on how much you will ultimately pay. Some lawyers charge an hourly rate while others work on a contingency basis. Whether an attorney bills by the hour or on a contingency basis, she will usually send you an itemized bill on a regular basis.
The amount that attorneys charge is affected by a number of factors, including the cost of living in the area and their level of experience and professional credentials. Some lawyers also charge more than others to perform specific tasks, such as conducting legal research or making court appearances.
When disputes arise about fees, how the matter is resolved depends on the attorney’s fee agreement and state law. Some states offer a special dispute resolution program for fee disputes that cannot be resolved through informal talks. The fee arbitration programs are designed to provide a quicker, lower cost, fair way for clients and attorneys to resolve disputes.