We’ve all heard about them and their notorious reputations and if you are in a situation where you’ve got to seek out an attorney, then you need to know what to look for and how to avoid the bad attorneys. The relationship between you and your lawyer should be collaborative. You need to find a lawyer who is positive, communicative, and prompt.
If you are looking for a criminal lawyer, you are going to have to meet them before you decide who to work with. Criminal lawyers can either be dedicated philanthropists or bogged-down, lazy lawyers who were too tired to seek out their own client base, and, instead, just decided to work as court-appointed lawyers. Some may be tired of working in the justice system, frustrated with its imperfection. You want someone who’s going to take on your case with gusto and optimism.
First, talk to people you know. The best way to get a good attorney is to find someone who has already worked with a good attorney. We’ll give you information on how to find one on your own too, but for the best results find someone you trust and ask them about a good attorney in your area. If you can get a reference from a client that will be the best for telling advice.
Next, get on the internet search for some criminal defense lawyers in your area and schedule free consultations along with the list of local lawyers recommended by your community. You’ll be able to meet with them and see how engaged they are to work with you and your case. If they seem lazy, move on to the next one!
Lastly, during each consultation make sure they are knowledgeable and experienced about the area of the law you are working with. They should be specialized in criminal defense. Ask them about where they went to school, how long they have been practicing law. Get to know them somewhat personally before you go into business with them. You’ll feel better, like you can trust them. Talk about their rates and see how they respond to questions about the law and how you can minimize attorney fees. If they seem to be willing to work with you then this is a good sign.
In civil law it’s different, more money is involved because personal injury lawyers generally make pretty good money on settlements and the more settlements and cases they make, the more money for them. So stigmas against personal injury lawyers generally are pretty negative.
However, personal injury lawyers will also receive no compensation if you don’t win your case. So many of these lawyers are also really great people trying to work hard to ensure the justice system is doing it’s job and putting their neck on the line to do it.
The first thing to check is how big is a firm. Are you meeting with the lawyer or a representative? If it’s lost it’s personal feel to it, then you might be seen as less than a person and more as a case or a means to make money. You want to work with a lawyer who is going to have a connection to your case and work with your specific problems.
Second, make sure they are present and willing to listen to you, even if your case isn’t that lucrative. Be sure and ask them if their rates will affect the amount of compensation you receive for your injuries or damages in the suit. Monitor how they respond to this question and make your own value judgement. Ask them any personal question so you might have a better connection or understanding of how they work in the future.
Lastly, you need to understand if they have the experience you need for your specific case. Ask them if they have ever taken on a case like yours before. Research their website to see what type of cases they highlight and ask for a track record of any similar cases.
This is the main point. You need to be thorough and aggressive when seeking out a lawyer to represent you. Find someone you connect with and take your time finding that person. It could be the difference between a jail sentence or an expungement. Full compensation or no compensation.