Judicial Decision Making — How To Choose The Right Lawyer In 6 Legal Steps

So you’re looking for a lawyer, but you have 11 million licensed options to choose from in the United States.

How do you make an informed choice from a pool of options that large?

Legal matters are complicated, but finding excellent legal representation doesn’t have to be.

The first step is to start narrowing down your options. Here are a few helpful things to consider:

1.Location, Location, Location

This may seem obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. Not only are you likely to need your lawyer to potentially appear in person at some point, but they also need to be familiar with your local and state laws, so it’s a good idea to find representation that’s close to home.

2. Experience Counts

Sure, everybody has to start somewhere, but let the beginner lawyers start with somebody else’s legal needs. You want a lawyer, or better yet a whole firm, with a substantial amount of experience under their belt to offer you the best possible representation.

3. Personalized Attention

It may seem like a busy lawyer is a good lawyer, but if they can’t make time to talk to you, how much time do they really have to represent you? Don’t settle for a lawyer who’s always giving you the run-around, or having you talk to their assistants.

4. Availability

It would be nice if everything happened during business hours, but sometimes the world doesn’t work that way. When you have a pressing issue and you need answers right now, getting your lawyer’s voicemail and a message to call back on Monday is not going to help your situation.

Photo by Mikhail Pavstyuk on Unsplash

While no lawyer can personally be available 24/7/365, a good legal firm will always have at least one lawyer available to deal with time-sensitive issues as they arise.

5. Reviews

What does shopping for a lawyer have in common with shopping for a hairstylist?

Reviews.

If a lawyer is good at their job and treats their clients well, that will be reflected in their reviews. We live in a digital age with instant access to information about their past performance. Make use of it!

6. Specialization

Just like you wouldn’t hire a dentist to fix your car — if you’re looking for a criminal defense lawyer, don’t hire a divorce lawyer. Divorces may be messy, but they usually don’t stray into criminal matters.

A good law firm will have a number of lawyers, likely with a number of specialties. Find the firm that suits your needs, and they can help you pick the right lawyer for your case.

Using these 6 criteria it should be possible to narrow your pool of candidates significantly. If you need more information about how to find the best possible legal representation for your unique situation, try this article for some other helpful tips.

Photo by Tingey Injury Law Firm on Unsplash

Whatever your legal needs, make sure you choose carefully. A competent lawyer can keep you out of trouble and provide you with a lot of benefits. A bad lawyer… well, don’t pick a bad lawyer.

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