Are you one of the 1.4 million Americans arrested each year for their first DUI offense? Or maybe you’re looking for a lawyer to see you through an upcoming divorce.
No matter the reason, virtually all Americans will have to hire a lawyer at least once in their lifetime. And unless you have access to an attorney network or prepaid legal services, then you’ll need to choose one of the 759,800 working lawyers in the United States. To put that in perspective, that’s enough lawyers to hire an attorney for every man, woman, and child living in Fort Worth, Texas today.
So how do you find a lawyer to represent you?
Phone A Friend…
According to a Harris Poll, 46% of U.S. citizens go to friends, family, or colleagues for an attorney referral. It’s important to find a lawyer that specializes in the area of law you need assistance with, while also finding a legal pro who matches your personality. By asking for personal recommendations, you can find the perfect lawyer for your needs.
Do I have access to an attorney network?
In the same way that some companies offer health and dental benefits to employees, some businesses are now offering legal coverage as well. Attorney network services operate similarly to an insurance network for doctors. The company and its employees pay insurance to cover legal fees in case of an emergency. Group legal insurance is becoming more common, particularly in the state of Texas.
Of course, it might be too late to join an attorney network after you’ve been served with those divorce papers. Only existing members of a prepaid legal service could access the services of participating attorneys.
Can I Find A Lawyer Online?
Short answer: yes.
According to that same Harris Poll survey, 49% of Americans said they were “somewhat likely” to consult forums where citizens can ask attorneys for legal advice. And of those polled, 47% said they were “very” or “somewhat likely” to check a lawyer’s ratings online first, while 44% said they would check a lawyer’s website before reaching out to them.
Of course, not every legal group has gone online yet. The American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Survey found that by 2010 only half of the lawyers in solo practices had websites, although about 80% of legal groups were online.
If you’re going to be fighting the law anytime in 2015, then don’t hesitate to find legal representation before you go to court. And remember, if you’ve been charged with a crime, the U.S. constitution grants you the right to an attorney as an American citizen!