According to research from the American Bar Association, the number of active U.S. lawyers is on the rise. Over the last decade, their numbers have increased by 14.5% across the board, though that rate varies from state to state.
In other words, if you’re in the process of hiring a lawyer, you may have your work cut out for you! Whether you need help handling a minor car accident lawsuit or you’re struggling with a complex medical case, it’s crucial to have someone you can trust on your side. But how do you know you’re partnering with the right person?
If this situation sounds familiar, we’ve got you covered: here are six practical legal tips to help you hire the right attorney.
1. Search by Area of Specialty
First things first: look for a qualified attorney or law firm specializing in the area of law you need. From family law and real estate law to traffic and divorce attorneys, there’s a huge spectrum to consider. Many attorneys, like this lawyer, will also have several areas of expertise, which can be particularly helpful if your areas of need overlap.
2. Ask Your Network for Recommendations
One of the best methods of hiring an attorney you can trust is by asking your network for recommendations. Seek out references from friends and family members who have had a satisfying experience with a lawyer in the area of specialty you need.
3. Do Your Research
If you don’t get any solid recommendations from your network, or if you want to create a shortlist of multiple options to choose from, you’ll want to do some additional research. A quick online search for attorneys in your area can help you find options to choose from, though you’ll need to do some further sleuthing in the next steps. You can also check out lawyer search databases or reach out to your state bar for their attorney directory.
4. Consider Expertise and Reputation
Once you have a shortlist, it’s time to start narrowing your options down. A good way to do this is by checking the details of each attorney’s expertise and reputation by looking at their website and at third-party review sites. Try to get a sense of their success rates, their years of experience, and their client satisfaction rates.
5. Ask About Billing Procedures
While you don’t want to simply hire the lawyer with the lowest fees, there’s no denying that cost will be a factor. Reach out to the attorney’s team for an explanation of their fee structure, and ask for a written summary for your own records.
6. Ask for a Consultation
Once you’ve narrowed down your shortlist, it’s time to go in for a consultation with any attorneys you’re seriously considering. This is a great time to ask any key questions about your case or the lawyer’s proposed approach. You’ll also want to decide whether they’re a good personality match for you: if it takes a while to settle your case, you may be working together for months or even years!
Take Care When Hiring a Lawyer
It’s no understatement to say that the process of hiring a lawyer can make or break your case. If you partner with the right attorney or law firm, you’ll be in a better position to receive expert legal advice and help, allowing you to find the tactics that can earn you the compensation you need. Be sure to do your due diligence as you make the decision!
Looking for more of the essential tips you need in life? Be sure to check out our other posts for additional insights.