6 Important Things To Look For When Choosing A Lawyer

by Jarrett

Introduction

It’s not easy choosing the right lawyer. Looking for the best fit is like looking for the best puzzle piece to go into the slot. Just because there’s an ‘attorney-at-law’ attached to the name of the individual doesn’t necessarily mean that he is the best lawyer to represent you in your legal battles. Finding the right attorney is never easy. However, there are certain things you can look for to help you zero-in on the right one.

1. Expertise

This is perhaps the single most important criteria that you need to look for when choosing a lawyer. It is imperative to choose one who has expertise in the field of law that has exclusive jurisdiction over your case. For example, you cannot trust a lawyer who wrote your will to be able to help you also in filing a legal complaint for personal injury. Likewise, you cannot expect a lawyer who is especially skilled in fixing real estate issues to be of help when your legal woes are more related to an injury claim.

Unfortunately, most small-time lawyers pretty much handle everything and anything. They may be considered as generalists. And while you may find their services to be within range of your expectations, you’d definitely have a much better chance of winning a more favorable outcome for your case if you choose a lawyer who is an expert in a particular field.

2. Reputation

Like any profession, the best lawyers in town will always be preceded by their reputation. They are especially well-known and all for the good and right reasons. They get the job done in the most expeditious way possible, taking into full consideration their client’s best interests. People look up to them for their expertise. For that, they may not be readily available since almost everyone will be looking to hire his services.

You can always ask around. Ask your friends if they have been in a similar situation before and ask for any recommendations. Local attorney’s organizations can also be a great place to start as they often keep track of their members’ ‘accomplishments’.

3. Experience

There are many things that they don’t teach in law school that lawyers only get to come face to face when they are given the opportunity to represent their clients. You can call it bias, but that is the truth. While new lawyers can provide a breath of fresh air in any courtroom with their own firebrand lawyering skills, they are still considered raw when it comes to the inner workings of the legal system.

Your best chances of winning a case or even landing a favorable decision is to get a lawyer who has an extensive experience handling similar cases that you’re currently in. Experience helps lawyers learn more about the intricate art of negotiation, the valuing of a settlement, the picking of a sympathetic jury, and persuading judges so that they will make rulings in favor of their clients. They don’t teach these in law school, but experience does.

4. Integrity

People have this notion that lawyers are the most dishonest and untruthful professionals on the planet. While it is clear that there are some lawyers who fit this description quite perfectly, the majority of lawyers are dedicated, hardworking, and honest.

If one has to look at the nature of the job of a lawyer, he can fully understand why it may seem as if he doesn’t give a care with morality. After all, there are laws that need to be adhered to. Lawyers use their extensive knowledge of the law to help protect their clients. Their primary duty is to their client, winning their case or perhaps even ensuring a more favorable outcome in situations where their client is the defendant. In other words, when you’re talking about a lawyer with integrity, you’re essentially talking about a professional you can trust.

5. Rapport

Interpersonal relationships are crucial to the success of a lawyer’s profession. After all, he is representing the interests of his clients. It is for this reason that a good lawyer should be able to build rapport with his clients. Unfortunately, you cannot rely on references alone to make the judgment. You’d have to talk with the lawyer himself to check whether you will be able to work with relative ease with him or her.

It’s like meeting someone. There are those whom we meet that we can readily open up to. There are also those individuals that somehow repel us, that no matter how long we may have known the person already, it’s still not enough to put our trust in him. This is the same thing with lawyers. You have to choose one whom you are comfortable talking with. Does he make you feel at ease? Does he explain everything to you in layman’s terms that you’d be able to understand a lot easier? Or does he use highly technical terms that only confuse you? Always choose a lawyer who can make you feel at ease whenever talking about your case.

6. Compassion

Some attorneys take up law because it is a prestigious job. However, there are also lawyers who are genuinely concerned about the delivery of justice. There is only one way you can differentiate the two types of lawyers: Interview them.

The attorney who considers his practice as a job will often be reciting a litany of technicalities and other stuff that can otherwise give you a headache. The lawyer who looks at his profession more as a calling often spends more time listening to his clients and not the other way around. He shows empathy, but not sympathy. He knows how you feel, but is not emotionally affected by it so he can retain utmost objectivity in your case. This is the kind of lawyer that you’d want to represent you.

Conclusion

Sure, finding the lawyer that is perfect for the job isn’t easy. But if you keep in mind these 6 crucial things, finding the right attorney can be done with little effort.

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