06
Feb2013

What to Look for When Choosing a Lawyer

Choosing a good lawyer is not an easy feat. It’s a different process than choosing a good family doctor or financial adviser.  When you need to find a lawyer, especially during a crisis, you don’t always have time on your side, and a bad lawyer can make the situation even worse. It’s important to consider that you are not alone in this process as many people have never needed a lawyer before. This blog will explore both things to consider and things to be cautious of when choosing an attorney.

Depending on the legal issue at hand, you might not know which type of lawyer is appropriate in your case. Common areas of legal practice include litigation, trial lawyers (courtroom lawyers) and criminal law. We recommend doing research on the web to find relevant attorneys in a close proximity to either where you live or where your legal matter occurred. From there, get a feel for the experience of the law firm and how professional they are in dealing with their cases.

We recommend asking your friends and family for a referral or whether they have heard of the attorney you’ve found on the web and are considering using. Referral sources are valuable because they typically are people that you trust. They can personally talk about their experience with the attorney and why they felt that way. It’s a good way to start the screening process so that you can determine the lawyer that matches your circumstance best.

Once you’ve narrowed your search down, try reaching out and having a preliminary discussion with the attorney about your case. Prior to the discussion, develop a basic set of questions to ask. You might ask be asking yourself some of the following questions, that you can translate into questions for the attorney. Is she/he competitive enough in my case? How many similar cases has he/she handled? How much effort will he/she put into my case? After talking to them frankly about your case, you should have a realistic expectation of their capabilities and qualifications.

Another important thing you need to determine and upfront is how much an attorney will cost. This can vary depending on the size and length of your case. We recommend doing your due diligence ahead of time to see what your options are. Most attorneys have their fee arrangements listed on their website. A common trend is that more and more law firms are moving toward alternative fee arrangements such as contingency fees.

Click the link to view our last blog post or check back next week for more business litigation tips. For more on business litigation, click here or call (312) 223-1699 to speak with one of our Chicago litigation attorneys.

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