How to Find a Great Lawyer on a Budget
A great lawyer is not just someone who offers you legal advice, but someone who understands the ins and out of the law. Someone who will go the extra mile to fight for your needs. But how do you find this type of lawyer? There are thousands of lawyers to choose from so it’s important to be well prepared.
Here are a variety of methods you can use to find the best lawyer who can handle your case for a fair price.
Word-of-mouth referrals fromfamily, neighbors, friends, or business acquaintances are the best way to find a great attorney. These people have no vested interest financially or otherwise in recommending a specific lawyer. Also, they’ll inform you of any positives or negatives they experienced while dealing with the particular attorney.
Even if they recommend an attorney who specializes in an area outside your need, he or she might point you in the right direction.
Although you might be tempted to hire a relative or friend for your particular case, this may not be your best move. Sometimes they may not be the perfect people to address your legal issues.
Local Bar Associations
The Local Bar Association is another great way to find an attorney in your area. Many city and county bar associations will provide you with referral services.
Attorneys have to meet certain competency requirements before they can join these organizations and receive referrals. Also, bar associations link people to attorneys who focus on the most appropriate area of law.
The American Bar Association has a database which helps individuals searching for legal help.
Consult Other Lawyers
Do you know a lawyer? Have you interacted with a law firm before?
If that’s the case, then you can always ask for a referral. Lawyers are always willing to recommend you to other lawyers who can meet your needs, especially if your needs are not in line with their current areas of expertise.
Lawyers have vast connections within the local legal community. Also, they’re aware of the other lawyer’s reputation in specific fields. So if you reach out to them, they can steer you in the right direction.
But remember, most lawyers often receive referral fees whenever they refer a case to another lawyer. This can greatly influence their decision as to whom they might recommend.
Use Internet Resources
You can always rely on your number one search tool: the net. Just search online for the different attorneys and see if they offer the services you require in the locality. And don’t stop there; the internet is full of information that might be valuable in your decision on who to hire. You can find more details about the different attorneys from their client reviews to case history.
Furthermore, many bar associations will allow you to look into a lawyer’s history via their online portal. Also, you can vet the lawyers through reputable directories, including Avvo, LegalMatch.com, and FindLaw.
Finding Lawyers Online
Lawyers vary depending on various factors, including their area of expertise, experience, and courtroom success. So it’s wise to do your research diligently to find a lawyer who’s perfect for your legal situation, but keep your budget in mind as well.
When you do your homework right, you’ll not only find the right lawyer but also prevent the problems associated with selectin and unprofessional attorney.
Select at least 2 or 3 lawyers and research about their every detail about them before making your final decision.
One very important detail to confirm before making your final decision is what fee structure the lawyer will charge. Some lawyers charge a flat fee per hour. If your lawyer charges $75 per hour and spend 10 hours working on your case, then you will be billed $750.
Other lawyers operate on a contingency basis. This means that the lawyer will only charge you if he or she is able to win your case. It is common for lawyers working on a contingency basis to charge a percentage of the settlement for their services.
A third way that lawyers charge their clients is a retainer. With a retainer agreement you pay in advance for future services from the lawyer.
Make sure to discuss the particular fee arrangement with your lawyer before signing any agreements. This will make sure you are on the same page with your lawyer and prevent any surprise bills or fees from appearing down the road. A high quality lawyer will be able to walk you through their fee schedule in simple terms so that it is easy for you to understand.