Many people assume that they’ll go through life without ever needing to call on the services of a lawyer, but if there’s one thing that we all learn as the years go by, it’s that life is unpredictable, and you never quite know what will happen next.
Even if you’re a perfectly law-abiding citizen who acts sensibly and follows the rules, you could still find yourself in a myriad of situations in which a lawyer is necessary. You might get involved in one of the six million auto accidents that occur each year, for example, or have an injury at work.
When one of these situations arises, it’s important to know how to act and how to find the best lawyer for you. There are more than a million active lawyers in the US today, so you have to choose with care. The following tips should help you make the right choice.
Check Out Reviews and Testimonials
In this day and age, most people are in the habit of checking online for reviews before buying any products or services. If you want to get a new car, for instance, you’ll probably look at professional reviews and user testimonials of different makes and models before deciding which one to buy, and the same basic process can be applied to finding an attorney too.
You can check out a range of law firm reviews to see which attorneys in your area or state have the best ratings. Reviews can help to provide a lot of insight into how effective and efficient each law firm is, as well as giving you more information on how they work and how successful they tend to be, as the best firms will have lots of positive user reviews and opinions.
Find the Most Experienced and Highest Rated Firms
In general, when you’re looking for a lawyer and you want to get the best possible chance of success, it’s recommended to try and find a firm with a lot of experience and plenty of ratings and awards from leading bodies in the legal world, like Martindale-Hubbell, for example, which assigns ratings ranging from A to C to different firms across the US.
The best firms tend to have special ‘AV’ ratings, which indicates that they have some of the finest attorneys in America on board, and the top firms can also be honored with appearances in ‘Top 10’ or ‘Top 100’ lists by leading organizations like the American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys, National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and American Society of Legal Advocates.
A Specialist in Your Field
There are a lot of different fields of law, from criminal law which concerns cases in which crimes have been committed to family law, which is all about matters like divorce, adoption, and so on. Lawyers tend to specialize in just a small number of these fields, giving them expert knowledge of their chosen specialty, rather than general knowledge of every kind of law out there.
When you’re looking for a lawyer for a specific case, it’s important to try and find one who is an expert in the relevant field for you. If you got a DUI, for example, you’ll want to find a lawyer who has experience with DUI law and can help you get the best result, rather than turning to an expert in business law who won’t know much about handling DUI cases at all.
One of the most important things to know about legal firms in America is that many of them will offer free consultations for anyone who might be interested in working with them. These consultations effectively function like interviews, in which you can ask questions and find out more about your own prospective legal team before deciding to hire them or move on to another firm.
Make the most of these consultations. Prepare some questions beforehand and look online for lists of important questions to ask if you aren’t sure where to start. It’s vital to use the consultation to find out as much as you possibly can, including how much the legal fees will be, how your lawyer plans on keeping in contact with you, and even how likely they think they are to win your case.
If you’ve never had to hire a lawyer before, it can be quite a daunting prospect to suddenly find yourself looking for one. However, try to remain calm and focused on the process. If you do the necessary research, have patience, and use consultations well, you can find the ideal firm to work with.