Choosing the Right Attorney
Throughout the course of your legal problems, you will have to make some difficult decisions. For example, if you were involved in an auto accident then you would have to choose between bringing criminal damages or pressing charges with a plaintiff case. Or say you have a small business that was involved in a deal, then you'd have to decide whether to sign it or let it pass. There is no clear-cut answer in many of these cases, and getting the right lawyer is crucial to you. We will explore the basic steps you can take to choose a good attorney.
The top criterion has to do with a lawyer’s legal ability. A good lawyer lays the law down for you, presents you with options, explains the consequences of each decision you make and gives you help on the best course of action. In this day and age of complicated legal matters, many lawyers are becoming more specialized and you stand to get better information from someone with a practice focused in a particular area of the law than a generalist who deals with a vast spectrum of legal issues. Buildingunderstanding is also very important: Your relationship with your lawyer can make or break your case. You need a lawyer who gives you reliable advice and guidance you can trust, someone with enough perspective to step back from an issue and look at it from all perspectives.
Client-lawyer relationships are very weak within a pre-paid legal plan. Because of the “preventive” nature of most plans, your contact with your lawyer will be restricted on many occasions. You barely get to talk to your lawyer face-to-face, as most of the consultation is done over the phone- and even when you get to talk to them, it’s hard to build rapport when your office consultations are limited to a dozen hours a year.
Hence, I advise you only to get an attorney when essential.
If you find your attorney from referrals or on the Internet or from referrals, set up interviews with them. Most don’t mind receiving inquiries about what they do and how able there are. Ask detailed questions: How many years have they been in practice? How content are their previous clients? How many legal problems of interest to you have they taken recently? Additionally, verify their State Bar Association standing. It's important to find an attorney who is knowledgable in the specific legal field you need help with. But, it is also essential to find an attorney you feel confortable working with and one who will be easy to stay in contact with.