You’ve decided that you need an attorney. Maybe you can remember a jingle from TV. Maybe you can call that aunt who had that lawsuit several years ago for a referral. But you decided to look online about how to make a good decision.
This likely means that you are looking for a lawyer that not only is good, but that is right for you. Here are some of the factors that you should consider as you start to research attorneys online.
What’s Your Need?
Before you start looking for a lawyer clearly articulate why you need a lawyer. Then, look for that kind of lawyer. Do you want to get help with medical bills because someone injured you? Look for a personal injury lawyer. Need help with filing for Disability? Look for a Social Security Lawyer.
Unless you are looking to build a relationship with a general practitioner who can help you with many different issues over a long-period of time, you want to find a lawyer who specializes in the specific thing for which you need a lawyer.
Get a List of Good Lawyers
Once you’ve identified what kind of lawyer you are looking for, you’ll want to get a list of potential lawyers that meet that need. There are several ways to accomplish this:
- Ask other lawyers – if you know any attorneys in other specialties ask them for who they know.
- Consult your state’s Board of Legal Specialization to find an attorney who is Board Certified in their field.
- Use trustworthy directories – the gold standard for online directories is the Martindale – Hubbell Law Directory. The Martindale Directory is what other lawyers often use when looking for attorneys outside their area or specialty.
- Use referrals – Those who’ve had good experiences with previous attorneys and know you are often in the best position to refer you to someone who you will work well with.
Narrow Your List
Once you’ve put together a list of attorneys to consider, start learning more about them. The Martindale-Hubbell Directory includes peer reviews, but many other sites will include reviews as well. Go to their website or call their offices and learn about different factors such as:
- Experience and Record
In general you want an attorney who will communicate clearly with you, who you understand the billing practices for, and feel the fees are reasonable,and who has had success with your type of case before.
The size of the firm can depend on your personality and needs. But in general you’ll want a firm with a department that focuses on your type of case. You’ll want your lawyer to have the resources and help they need to give you the best outcome, but without getting lost in a sea of clients.
You’ll also want to check with your state’s bar organization to make sure there are no disciplinary issues you should be aware of.
Before you decide on an attorney meet them in person. Go in prepared with a list of questions. Look at the office. Make sure you feel comfortable. You may be spending a fair amount of time there with these people.
But while you want to be comfortable, also be careful of picking an attorney who is too similar to you. If you are coming in mad and passionate, you may want an attorney who is more measured. The two of you will be a team, after all.
If you are looking for an attorney, we hope you will consider the Packard Law Firm. We specialize in disability and personal injury law as well as complex litigation. If you have needs in these areas look at our website and give us a call. We are committed to helping individuals and families make the best legal decisions for them. Reach out to us today and see if we will be a good fit.