Most of us never expect to need an attorney but many of us will. In the United States, at least 1.5 million people file for bankruptcy each year. When they use a bankruptcy lawyer, they have a much higher success rate with their filings. For chapter 7 filings, working with a bankruptcy attorney can raise the success rate to 95%. But how do you find the right lawyer? Whether you are looking for divorce lawyers, bankruptcy lawyers or personal injury lawyers, there are steps you can take to make sure you get the right one for your case and situation.
6 Tips for Finding the Right Lawyer for You:
- Talk to your friends and family. You can usually bet that the personal referrals you get from the people who are close to you for goods and services can usually be trusted. If you are going through a divorce, for instance, you probably know at least one person who has gone through the same thing. Ask them about how they found their divorce lawyers. What did they think of them? Can they offer any thoughts about their experiences? It is important to note that for many personal cases such as these, one person’s experience with a lawyer may be very different than another person’s with the same attorney so you still need to talk to different divorce lawyers, for instance, before you hire one to handle yours.
- Talk to professional associations. You can contact the American Bar Association or others to get a referral for the kind of lawyer that you need. You can also look for lawyer referral services for attorneys that handle any kind of law.
- Get the right kind of lawyer for your case. Divorce lawyers cannot handle personal injury law cases and vice versa. Like physicians, attorneys specialize in specific kinds of law. You want to make sure you hire a lawyer you need to make sure they have a lot of experience dealing with your kind of case. Ask them, if they deal with several kinds of law, how much time they spend dealing with cases like yours. In personal injury tort cases, only 2% actually make it to a court room so you need to make sure you have an attorney who is a good negotiator and knows the ins and outs of the kind of law your case requires.
- Take advantage of the free first consultation. All law practices offer a free first consultation so that you can get to know the law firm and see if they are the right one for you. Take advantage of this time to ask all of your questions you have. Take this time, if you can to shop around and talk to at least a few different law firms. Ask about their success rates with your kind of cases and how they will handle your case. The free consultation is a normal way they all do their business so do not feel obligated to go with a law firm because you spent a lot of time asking questions.
- Make sure you are comfortable with the lawyer you choose. Whether you are talking to divorce lawyers, bankruptcy lawyers or personal injury lawyers, you are going to have to share some very personal parts of your life. While your lawyer may not become your best friend, you need to at least feel comfortable enough to share these personal details. If you cannot do that, the experience will be bad and you will not end up getting the result you are happy with for your kind of case.
- Ask about the fee structure. Different law firms approach the fee structure differently. Ask how they charge and for what. Ask about research costs, if applicable. Some require a certain amount up front but will work with you to come to an agreement that will work for your financial situation. But before you hire a lawyer, you need to be sure you are on the same page with the way you will be charged.
Finding the right lawyer for your case may seem like a daunting task but if you do your research, you will be happy with the law firm you select.