Just like choosing a contractor or an accountant, approach choosing an attorney wisely. Not only will you be providing them with confidential information, but you will also be entrusting them to give you legitimate legal advice and guide you through a situation you otherwise would not be able to navigate on your own. Here are some factors you need to consider when searching for a lawyer.
Long Or Short Term
Before beginning to look online, or asking friends, family or colleagues for referrals, address your own needs first. Think about why you need an attorney, whether you have a legal issue that cannot be solved on your own and if so, whether another professional might be able to help. After identifying the need for legal assistance, decide whether you need a lawyer short term or long term. This depends on the work you would like to get done. For example, think about whether you need a lawyer to advise just on a few legal situations. If that is the case, it may only need a short term hire or a consultation. However, if you are looking for a person to handle a lot of legal affairs indefinitely, getting a long term attorney who is probably the best course of action.
Area Of Law
Lawyers specialize in certain areas of the law, since it is a vast field of study, just like medicine. Some attorneys cover real estate law, while some others pursue family, intellectual property, business, a criminal defense lawyer, employment, accident/injury, immigration, bankruptcy, civil, rights law. Attorneys can be open to a wide range of situations, in which case they are referred to as general practice attorneys. Smaller communities see more general practitioners because there is limited legal help in the area. If the situation is specific to a business, then you might want to choose someone who has experience in corporate law. On the other hand, if you wish to help settle a friend’s or family member’s estate, the person to consult would be an estate planning lawyer.
While hiring someone to offer advice or to perform a service, you need to ensure that they know what they are doing. You might need to ask for referrals from people who previously worked with them and check for referral services online who can provide you with a certified lawyer suited to your needs. Personal connections or recommendations can also be promising, like family or friends who have worked with a specific attorney.
Since the laws in a country vary from state to state, you need to look for someone in the area who is familiar with the legal requirements of the region. If you live in a rural area with little to no resources, you can make use of other methods, like phone or email, to discuss smaller issues. With bigger legal matters, or for the long term, find someone close so that you can develop a trusted, face-to-face relationship.