Even though we live in an era where you can find almost anything you need in a few clicks, finding a great lawyer requires more effort. There are certain points everyone should consider if they need to have a legal representative. Fortunately for you, selecting the right lawyer won’t be a troublesome task if you follow our points.
Understand your needs
Your quest for the right lawyer starts with your assessment of your needs. You need to identify your legal issue and understand it so you’ll know how to determine who will work best. Of course, if you need help on this matter, you can discuss your issue with a general lawyer or someone you trust so they’ll help you identify your legal needs. You can also search for lawyers who offer a free quote, so they’ll help you in identifying the area of expertise you’ll need.
Next, you need a lawyer with experience. Even if you need legal representation to simply negotiate a better contract on your behalf, you’ll still need a practising lawyer. In case a practising lawyer is at the beginning of their career, they have taken all the exams and got their practising certificate. Since experience can play a critical role in any legal matter, assess the lawyer’s experience upon meeting them for the first time.
You can learn a lot about businesses by checking their reviews on Google or their website. Of course, you should read these with an open mind and with critical thinking because one bad review doesn’t mean that the lawyer is inadequate. On the same note, all good reviews can’t guarantee you’ll have the same experience, but they are a nice indicator that a lawyer or a law firm is professional, experienced and a good choice. All in all, these reviews can help you identify those you wish to contact for a quote or a consultation and those who won’t be worth the time.
Ask a friend
A word of mouth referral is also a great way to get access to skilled lawyers. If your friend or another business had a recent experience with a law firm, it might be worth inquiring about it. Go ask a friend for a recommendation. If you have a friend who s a practising lawyer, ask them to recommend a colleague. Even if your friend practices a different area of law, they will know which lawyer is known for their track record and competence. Sometimes lawyers are selective when taking new clients so dropping the name of another lawyer who recommended them might be a way to get past the gatekeeper. Either way, ask your friends if they know someone you can trust with your legal needs or if they’ve heard of a lawyer you plan to work with.
The area of expertise
If a construction company has to find a legal representative, they won’t go to a divorce lawyer. Or, if a person needs someone for their estate planning, they won’t go to a lawyer that practices finance and banking laws. They will go to a legal representative who can represent them with legal matters regarding their type of business. Similarly, if you need a criminal defence lawyer in Australia, you will go to a legal representative like the Australian Criminal Defence who knows the ins and out of the Australian legal system. It boils down to this – you need a lawyer with the right area of expertise and knowledge.
Their approach and communication skills
Excellent communication skills are needed in any type of partnership, not to mention between a lawyer and their client. You need to openly discuss your legal issue, seek legal advice and have a lawyer respond professionally on the other side. The entire communication should be open, healthy, efficient and professional. Anything different than that might not work for you. Also, take into account the time it takes for a law firm or a lawyer to respond to your inquiry. This is also a great indicator of their attitude towards their clients.
Are you a good fit?
Trust your gut instinct upon your first meeting with a lawyer. If you feel like they didn’t give you a professional level of attention and your time, go to someone else. Ask yourself a simple question – are you a good fit? Is this a professional relationship that will flourish or you’ll feel like your wasting away your time end resources?
Lastly, you need to take into account their legal representation fees. Is this something your budget can sustain? Depending on your needs and the complexity of your case, is this partnership worth your investment? Take all of this into account when deciding which lawyer to hire. Include their track record into the equation to make the decision.
Next time you need a lawyer, make a mental note of our points so you’ll know what to look for. This guide will help you make the right decision and find a lawyer you’ll trust and build a professional relationship with.
Mike is an Australian business consulting specialist. He’s working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several websites.