Finding a good attorney isn’t hard, but it does require a bit of time and patience. You just need to know where to look and what to look for. Here are a few tips to help you find a lawyer.
1. Ask Friends and Family for Attorney Recommendations.
Ask your friends and family if they know any good lawyers, especially if they have dealt with a similar legal problem. According to a Harris Poll, nearly half (46 percent) of all respondents said that they would ask a friend, family member, or colleague for a lawyer referral. But before you take a recommendation from a loved one, make sure to ask what they used their lawyer for. A lawyer who did a great job drafting a will for your grandma might great for helping you write a prenup, but not so much for dealing with your DUI. You want to find a lawyer who’s experienced in the field of law you’re dealing with, as well as one that comes with a good reputation.
2. Use Online Resources to Find the Right Lawyer.
If your family and friends don’t have any leads, there’s always the internet. Almost half of the Harris Poll respondents said they were very or somewhat likely to look online at websites where consumers post legal questions for attorneys to answer, and another 44 percent said they’d probably check out the attorney’s own website, too. In another survey, 47 percent said they were very to somewhat likely to look at websites that rated attorneys. In other words, if you want to find an lawyer, consider checking message boards, rating websites, and the websites of attorneys. But take these ratings and reviews with a grain of salt. Any glowingly positive reviews – or starkly negative ones – may be exaggerations or completely fake.
3. Find a Lawyer Who Specializes In Your Type of Case.
If you’re dealing with a specific type of lawsuit, you should try to find a lawyer who specializes in that particular field of law. Go to the American Bar Association website, and use their resources to find an attorney, verify licenses, and access free legal resources. You can also head to the websites of legal specialty groups such as:
- American College of Real Estate Lawyers,
- American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
- National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
- National Association of Consumer Advocates
- National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
4. Use an Attorney Network to Find a Lawyer.
Legal protection plans often offer a network of qualified attorneys in your area, listed by their specialty. These lawyers are ones who have agreed to handle cases for their members. Members pay the legal protection plan a set monthly or yearly fee, and in exchange, their legal fees are paid for directly by the plan for covered issues. Because legal insurance plans only work with top notch attorneys, you can be sure you’re choosing from a list of people who can help you resolve your problem.
Once you think you’ve found a lawyer, schedule a consultation with him or her. Don’t worry about the legal fees, as the vast majority of consultations are free. Be sure to bring any and all documents pertaining to your case with you, so that the lawyer can understand your case as best as possible.