Apr
23

How to select an Attorney for Your Case

Whether you want monetary compensation or a solid defense, it’s worth the time and effort to be very selective in whom you choose to represent you.  Advertisements can tell you a lawyer exists, but they cannot tell you the skill of the lawyer.  So how, exactly, do you choose the best Kentucky lawyer, whose services fit within your budget?  Follow the steps below to help you find the best lawyer for your case.

 

(1) Identify Type

Every branch of law requires study and experience.  Graduating from law school does not create instant expertise in all forms of law.  You want someone who is an expert in what you need. So, think about what kind of lawyer will handle your case.

  • Have you been in a car accident?  Did you slip and fall?   Are you the victim of medical malpractice?  Any of these require the expertise of a personal injury lawyer.
  • A family law attorney, however, handles cases of divorce, child custody, child support and trusts or wills.

 

(2)  Gather References

Most likely, someone in your inner circle has hired a lawyer at some point.  Ask how their experience was and whether or not they got the results they wanted.  Personal references are a great starting point in getting a phone number or a website of a lawyer who is reputable.

(3)  Do Research

The Internet is a wonderful tool to gather information before you start making phone calls.  Just use a common search engine, like Google or Yahoo.  Type in the type of lawyer that you need and sift through the results.

  • Look at the firm’s website.  Can you easily find their email addresses and phone numbers?  Do they practice the type of law you are looking for?
  • Look for lawyers who offer a FREE CONSULTATION.  Many firms offer this option on their website. You can talk with the lawyer before you hire the firm.

(4) Make An Appointment

After researching firms, you need to set up your initial consultation.  Many firm’s websites offer this option online.  If they don’t, call during their business hours.  A reputable firm should be able to make your appointment for you right over the phone.  Often, a call back takes less than 24 hours.

(5) At The Consultation

When you meet with the lawyer, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Any lawyer who avoids answering your questions, rushes you to make a commitment or who can’t back up credentials, is a waste of your valuable time and money.

Go prepared, with a notebook, pen and list of questions.

Good questions to ask:

  • What is your experience in ___________ (type of law)?
  • How many cases have you handled in ______________?
  • How many cases have you handled that are like mine?
  • How long will my case take to resolve?
  • What are your rates for my type of case?
  • How often will I be billed?
  • What is the average figure to handle this type of case, such as mine?

Listen carefully, take notes.  Write down dates, fees and other pertinent information.  Ask for the details in writing.  Look around the office.  Is it clean?  Well organized?   It may seem obvious but look for credentials hanging on the walls.

The lawyer you choose should be a member of the state’s bar association. Peer reviews of many law firms can be found here, at Martin Hubbell, a great inside resource.

(6)  Confirm The Connection

You should connect with your representation.  After all, they’ll be spending a great deal of time getting to know you. If the attorney is unprofessional or makes you feel uncomfortable, walk away and find someone else.

You want an attorney who puts you at ease, is empathetic and who treats you like a person, not a case number.  Keep in mind:  Generally speaking, the larger the firm, the harder it will be to get someone on the phone, the more time you’ll spend waiting for a call back and the more expensive their services will be.  Follow these steps to find the representation that’s right for you.