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When it comes to legal representation, finding a lawyer isn't a problem. Choosing a lawyer, however, is.
With a glut of attorneys out there, it's difficult to determine who you should interview, as well as which criteria to even apply when narrowing down your choices.
Though there are dozens of reasons to hire a specific attorney, we consider the following five things essential when choosing a lawyer.
1. Reputation. If the legal community doesn't respect your attorney, it's going to impact your case. Ask for references, check the attorney's disciplinary record on the state bar website, and ask attorney friends if they know the name.
2. Area of specialty. When choosing a lawyer, it's essential that you find someone who has experience in your specific type of case, whether it be acrimonious divorces, car accidents, or real estate disputes.
3. Price. Lawyers are required to discuss fees up front with potential clients. Determine whether the fee arrangement is reasonable and in line with others in the areas. Also decide if it fits within your financial constraints.
4. Time. If an attorney has a large load, your case may fall by the wayside or be handed off to legal assistants and paralegals. An attorney should have time to make your case one of her top priorities instead of just a moneymaker.
5. Comfort. Finding a lawyer you're comfortable with may not be the easiest thing in the world, but it's definitely important. You need to feel free to voice your concerns and share your story. A lack of candid communication can destroy your case.
In the end, choosing a lawyer is really about diligence and research. As long as you are prepared, you will find the right one.