Choosing a lawyer when you or your business have been injured by another individual or company can feel like driving a car in a new city without GPS. You don’t know where to turn or what to look for. It can feel almost impossible, especially if you don’t know any lawyers. Many people ask friends or business acquaintances for recommendations, which can be a good start. Others turn to the internet to begin a confusing and daunting search. Either way, the consequences of choosing the wrong lawyer can be catastrophic. So, what do you need to know? What qualifications are you looking for? How do you know who to trust? How do you know the lawyers are good at their job? Here are some important things you need to consider when looking for the right lawyer to represent you.
Does the lawyer have experience? To be precise, this question should be worded: Does the lawyer have the right kind of experience? Look on the law firm website. Do they list your type of problem on their practice area page? What areas of the law are emphasized? Do they have a page that covers the issues involved with your kind of case? Do the lawyers’ profiles talk about working on your kind of case? This is important. The law is very complicated and it isn’t possible for a single lawyer to be able to handle every type of case well. Most lawyers concentrate in specific areas of the law. If a lawyer does mainly banking, for example, then she may not be the right choice for a personal injury case, and vice versa. If you have an environmental case, you will need an environmental lawyer. If you have a business litigation problem, choose a business litigation lawyer, and so on. In addition, check out whether the lawyer is a defense lawyer or a plaintiffs’ lawyer. And finally, ask the lawyer directly if he or she has experience handling your kind of case.
What kind of qualifications does the lawyer have? Start with his or her education. Research the law school he or she attended. Is it well regarded? Does the lawyer have other relevant education? An accounting degree, for example, can be very useful if you have a case with lots of business financials involved. Has the lawyer taught law school; written books, articles or blogs on a certain area of the law; or created videos on specific legal topics? All of these things help to prove that a lawyer is qualified to handle your case.