Unless you are frequently in court, one often does not have the name of a good lawyer on hand when one needs it. Finding the right lawyer to handle your case can, therefore, be extremely daunting and taxing. Whatever your situation, whether you have suffered personal injury, are being sued, or are accused of a crime, or simply need someone to review a contract, know how and where to look for a lawyer is very important.
Making this challenge even more daunting is the fact that there is a huge “supply” of lawyers out there, with over a million lawyers in the United States alone. Finding the right lawyer for you when there are so many to choose from is so difficult that many people do not know where to begin. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
The first thing you have to do is understand what your needs are and the kinds of lawyers that handle cases dealing with your issues. You may choose to hire a generalist lawyer, who will have knowledge of several different fields, or, a specialist, who will focus on a narrowly defined circle of competence. You need to know what kind of lawyer you need.
Narrow Down the Search
The second step is to narrow down your possibilities by focusing only on those lawyers who have experience and expertise in the area of your concern. So, if you have suffered some personal injury, an accident at work due to someone’s negligence, you will want to consult a personal injury lawyer with a proven record of success.
Speak to Your Social Circle
A very common and simple way to find a good lawyer is to start by asking family, friends and colleagues. They may, unbeknownst to you, have dealt with similar issues in the past or know of people who have, or just know a good lawyer you can use. Do not assume they know best, just treat these recommendations as starting points for your discovery and keep in mind that the lawyer you want must understand your area of concern very well.
The Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory
The Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory, available online or through your local library, is one of the most comprehensive legal directories of lawyers worldwide, you can find and has over a million listings. You can use it as a tool to narrow your search down to lawyers within your locale who specialize in your area of concern, saving you a great deal of time.
Similarly, the American Bar Association has a secondary directory as well as other resources, to help you find law firms and lawyers in the US, whether they be personal injury lawyers or intellectual property lawyers.
Learn from Consultations
Many top lawyers offer free consultations to first-time clients. This will allow you to scour for lawyers and try and understand how they work, how they can help your case, find answers to any lingering questions, and determine how much everything will cost as well as how long the process will go on for, before you decide what lawyer to go for.
Finding the lawyer who is right for your needs can be hard, but it need not be impossible. Use as many resources as you can, as well as personal recommendations and consultations with law firms, so you can find the lawyer that is right for you.