How Do I Find a Reputable Law Firm

Most people will need to find a reputable law firm at one time or another. Whether for a real estate deal, divorce, child custody or support, bankruptcy, etc., the process of finding the right lawyer begins with research. Before you do anything else, assess your legal needs. Lawyers, like doctors, have specialties. You need a firm that specializes in your particular issues. Take advantage of those offering free initial consultations. Ask questions and assess the attorney’s personality and communication skills. Before you hire anyone, take the time to verify their qualifications with your local bar association. If it feels like a match, and everything checks out, you can move forward with confidence.

First, assess your legal needs. Lawyers, like doctors, have specialties. Choose one who specializes  in your particular issues.

Can I Talk to a Lawyer Online for Free?

Looking for an answer to a legal question? Legal-Yogi, as well as other online sites offer basic, free services. Consumers can ask legal questions and seek answers from attorneys in their extensive networks. However, free services do have limitations. As a result, consumers can only ask simple legal questions. Legal-Yogi provides an opportunity for you to speak with an expert to assess your legal needs.

How Does Free Online Help Work?

Legal-Yogi can help you find an attorney. We can connect you with lawyers in your area who can provide basic answers to legal questions on a variety of topics. These include family law, employment law, and criminal law, and real estate law, and bankruptcy, among others. Some topics require more than a quick answer, but this service gives you a place to start. You can then decide whether to pursue more in-depth legal advice. If so, you can choose from your local network of lawyers and schedule your free, initial consultation.

How Can I Verify a Lawyer?

To verify that a lawyer is licensed to practice in your jurisdiction, contact the regulatory agency in your state. A call to the state bar association can tell you a) whether the lawyer is licensed, and b) if there is pending or previous disciplinary action against them. Confirming a lawyer’s credentials ensures the information they provide you is accurate within your jurisdiction, as laws do vary.

How Do I Hire a Lawyer Online?

Various online websites provide consumers the opportunity to locate and hire lawyers in many cities throughout the country. Some even include reviews and ratings—quite helpful for consumers seeking legal advice. Their interactive services often connect you with someone right away. Legal-Yogi has a simple contact form you fill out and submit to receive a return call.

Tips for Choosing the Right Law Firm

The following 14 tips can save you frustration and provide guidance as you search for your first attorney or law firm.

You must first define your specific legal issue. Find a lawyer who specializes in the area in which you need legal help. In the initial phase of your search, you might consult with a corporate lawyer or a trusted financial advisor for advice or recommendations. However, once you begin your actual research, look for those with experience with your issue. While your corporate lawyer can make recommendations, unless your legal problem involves some aspect of corporate law, you will need a specialist.

Ask questions.How long has the lawyer been in practice? How many cases has the lawyer litigated within the specialty and geographic area? What is the lawyer’s success ratio of cases presented before the court?

2. Questions to ask any attorney.

  • How long has the lawyer been in practice?
  • How many cases has the lawyer litigated within the specialty and geographic area?
  • What is the lawyer’s success ratio of cases presented before the court?

3. Visit the lawyer/firm’s website.

You want insight into the depth and breadth of the firm’s practice. Visit their website to learn about the type of cases they litigate and the extent of their business. Many sites contain free, valuable legal information and resources.

4. Choose an attorney with good communication skills.

Communication is an integral part of your attorney’s job. Your lawyer must be able to communicate with all parties in their cases, whether clients or adversaries. Choose a lawyer who communicates with you effectively, in a down-to-earth fashion. Avoid someone who uses jargon and legal terms and will not take the time to explain. Think about these six qualities before you decide. These are all signs of a good law firm/attorney.

  • Does the lawyer speak in plain language you can understand without confusing legal terminology?
  • Can they anticipate your questions and provide answers before you ask?
  • Does your lawyer keep you updated on developments in your case without you having to ask?
  • Is your attorney organized?
  • Does he exhibit good judgment in his methods of communication?
  • When an action requires your attention, will your attorney explain all your options and the legal and practical advantages and disadvantages of each?

5. Choose an attorney who acts in a professional manner.

A good lawyer behaves professionally. While personality and presentation are important, job performance and proficient handling of clients’ needs is just as critical. You should expect the following professionalism from your attorney:A good lawyer behaves professionally. While personality and presentation are important, job performance and proficient handling of clients’ needs is just as critical. You should expect the following professionalism from your attorney:

  • Works diligently to put your best interests first
  • Uses your resources to work efficiently without additional, unnecessary expense
  • Provides timely responses to your telephone calls or other communication
  • Is on time and well-prepared for all meetings
  • Conducts follow-ups in a timely and appropriate manner
  • Informs you of any alternative procedures for resolving disputes.
  • Treats everyone respectfully.
  • Is well-groomed and projects an image of success for the firm
  • Is careful to behave appropriately in any situation
  • Follows all applicable laws and acts in an ethical manner
  • Avoids even the slightest appearance of impropriety.

6. The attorney’s approach and style should match your own.

Every attorney has a different style and approach in the way they represent clients. Building a rapport with your lawyer is essential. You will be spending a lot of time as you build your case and sharing quite a bit of information and ideas. It’s important for your attorney’s approach, style, and personality to match yours. While this seems subjective and perhaps unnecessary, you should feel comfortable working with your attorney. When your personalities clash, or a style and approach does not meet your expectations, you will be neither at ease nor confident.

7. The attorney should be familiar with your geographic area.

Whether you choose a national or local attorney/firm depends on the nature and scope of your issue. In most cases, family law, bankruptcy, real estate or workers’ compensation claims are handled on a local level. However, in cases involving federal law, wages, or labor law, national firms may be a better choice. Digital technology and the ease of transportation make it possible to work with a firm from anywhere in the country.

Hiring someone familiar with your geographic area works best for cases involving local procedures and laws. Your attorney will be more familiar with local statutes, and face-to-face communication will be easier. While teleconferences and e-mail may work some of the time, a local office facilitates visits to the location of your problem should that become necessary.

Ask the attorney for references. Do not rely only on these references. Do more research.

8. Get references before you hire the attorney.

Once you have shortlisted your possible choices, ask them for references from past clients. Do not rely only on these references. Most lawyers will provide references they know will give a good report. More research is better. Several online resources provide access to background information on different attorneys. Your local bar association can give you more specific information regarding current and past consumer complaints and disciplinary actions against attorneys.

9. Be aware of who is handling your case.

When dealing with a large law firm, several people may work on various aspects of your case. In contrast, with a small firm you will likely deal directly with the attorney you hire. To keep abreast of progress, verify with your original attorney who is ultimately responsible.

Even the best, multi-talented lawyer cannot to do everything and knows how to delegate. To have time to spend working with clients, lawyers often leave the research, copying, and other mundane aspects of the caseload to legal assistants and support staff.

An attorney who employs an associate, paralegal, administrative assistant, case manager or other support staff will have more time to work with you when you need help. Ask who else in the firm might also work on your case. Having employees to complete routine tasks may save you money because of their lower billable rate.

10. Investigate the depth of the support network and resources provided by the attorney/firm.

The complexity of your case may determine the size of the law firm you select. For more complex issues, larger firms with more associates and support staff may have greater capacity to ensure timely resolution. A business client with nationwide offices may find it beneficial to choose a firm with offices around the country. A larger firm may also collectively have a much greater depth of experience than a smaller firm.

A larger firm may have a wider variety of resources than a smaller firm. They may access a cost-effective information retrieval system that saves you and their firm time and money. You save in the cost of research and phone calls. As an added advantage, some larger firms provide extensive, information-rich websites with newsletters and other educational materials.

11. Choose a lawyer who is passionate about client needs.

A good lawyer knows his competition and works efficiently to ensure all clients’ needs are met in a legal, ethical, and helpful manner. Your attorney should be passionate in handling your case needs and finding the best solution to your problem in legal and ethical manner.

Always look for a lawyer with a passion for the law. Family law is complex—with cases often fraught with emotion and drama. You need an advocate willing to fight to the finish line.

A good lawyer knows his competition and works efficiently to ensure all clients’ needs are met in a legal, ethical, and helpful manner. Your attorney should be passionate in handling your case needs and finding the best solution to your problem in legal and ethical manner.

Always look for a lawyer with a passion for the law. Family law is complex—with cases often fraught with emotion and drama. You need an advocate willing to fight to the finish line.

12. Remember to ask about fees.

Make a list of questions to take to your free initial consultation. When discussing your legal needs, ask about the fee structure and the cost of representation. While most attorneys bill by the hour, some bill on contingency or retainer, or use alternative methods.

Additional fees for handling your case may vary. Ask if there is a fee for travel time in addition to the regular hourly fee, should that need arise.

Make a list of questions to take to your free initial consultation. When discussing your legal needs, ask about the fee structure and the cost of representation. While most attorneys bill by the hour, some bill on contingency or retainer, or use alternative methods.

Additional fees for handling your case may vary. Ask if there is a fee for travel time in addition to the regular hourly fee, should that need arise.

13. Does the lawyer seem honest and ethical?

Most lawyers are honest and ethical. A lawyer who earns clients’ trust will be in constant demand. Hire one who will take your case from start to finish without resorting to unscrupulous methods to win. An honest lawyer will likely avoid taking a case with poor odds of winning, because it wastes your time and money.

14. Is the lawyer a creative problem solver?

In addition to knowledge of the law, your lawyer must be able to think creatively. Does your lawyer know how to develop honest but effective legal strategies, identify potential problems, and reach positive case closure? This ability helps keeps costs manageable for both you and your lawyer. Avoiding potential problems up front means spending less time resolving your case, resulting in less cost to you.

Your lawyer should know the ins and outs of family law, including divorce, child support, child custody and visitation, to name just a few.

How to Choose a Reputable Family Law Attorney

In addition to the above points, a reputable family law attorney must know the ins and outs of family law. This specialty encompasses multiple areas: divorce, child support, child custody and visitation, just to name a few. When looking to hire a family law specialist, ask these questions of each candidate.

How Well Does the Lawyer Know Family Law?

Family lawyers make a dedicated study of the laws and statutes governing the range of family law situations. Because laws constantly change, they must keep abreast of documents, publications, precedents, and settled cases relating to their practices.

All states require lawyers to complete continuing legal education classes. As a result, they keep informed of current laws, as well as changes and new laws. Through these courses, they learn updated strategies for resolving even the most complex issues.

Do not discount a lawyer who cannot immediately answer your question. A lawyer who says, “I don’t know, but I will find out for you,” is making an effort to protect your best interests. Taking the time to research answers for you is preferable to steering you in the wrong direction.

Does the lawyer work well with others and delegate tasks?

Even the best, multi-talented lawyer understands the importance of delegating. To have time to spend working with clients, they often leave the research, copying, and other mundane aspects of the caseload to legal assistants and support staff.

Delegating certain tasks means that while your attorney is in court, someone remains in the office to provide legal assistance to other clients. Choose an attorney who employs an associate, paralegal, administrative assistant, case manager or other support staff. Your attorney will have more time to work with you when you need help. Having employees to complete routine tasks may save you money because of their lower billable rate.

Even the best, multi-talented lawyer understands the importance of delegating. To have time to spend working with clients, they often leave the research, copying, and other mundane aspects of the caseload to legal assistants and support staff.

Delegating certain tasks means that while your attorney is in court, someone remains in the office to provide legal assistance to other clients. Choose an attorney who employs an associate, paralegal, administrative assistant, case manager or other support staff. Your attorney will have more time to work with you when you need help. Having employees to complete routine tasks may save you money because of their lower billable rate.

Is the lawyer available to devote enough time to your case?

While your lawyer may have a heavy caseload, you need to make sure they will have enough time to devote to your case. Family law has many complex issues, many of which are time sensitive. Your lawyer must be able to process all paperwork and filings on your behalf in a timely manner. In addition, they must also have the time to enter any necessary negotiation.

In family law, some issues will require immediate action by your attorney. For example, in cases of divorce, aggressions such as domestic violence toward you or your children, showing up at your workplace to cause trouble, or even spousal kidnapping of children require your attorney to act quickly on your behalf.

How much does the lawyer charge?

Most people understand that legal representation is expensive. You need an attorney with knowledge and experience in family law. A good lawyer will create a strategy that keeps billable hours to a minimum. Many lawyers utilize software that allows their clients to follow their cases without the need for many phone calls. As a result, you reduce your costs.

Large law firms generally charge more than smaller firms. The same pertains to the area. It may make sense to hire a lawyer close to your home or work. However, by hiring someone a little farther away you may find a lawyer with lower fees. Remember, lawyers charge for everything including:

  • Phone calls
  • Meetings
  • Letters
  • Copying
  • Faxing
  • Mailing
  • Research
  • Negotiation with other lawyers

Try to find an experienced and knowledgeable lawyer whose fees are reasonable for your budget. A large firm with a luxurious office may not work for you, but a smaller firm with a comfortable office may be exactly what you need.

Legal-Yogi can help you find the right family law attorney.

Legal-Yogi helps you find the right family law attorney for your specific case. Our substantial network of professionals extends throughout the country. Simply fill out and submit the contact form on our website to speak with an expert. They’ll assess your needs and refer you to family law attorneys in your area most appropriate for your situation.

Choosing the Right Divorce Lawyer

The right divorce attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.

The right divorce lawyer can make all the difference in your outcome. The general steps to finding a reputable lawyer apply to finding a divorce specialist. Research and confirm a lawyer’s qualifications. Filing for divorce is difficult enough without the added disadvantage of an attorney who lacks the knowledge or experience to litigate your case effectively and achieve your goals.

Verify the Credentials

Before you choose a divorce lawyer, verify their credentials.

  • Are they licensed in your jurisdiction?
  • Is the license current?
  • Do they have enough experience?

Positive answers to these critical questions ensure the lawyer you choose possesses the credentials necessary to handle your divorce. Failing to conduct any investigation before hiring your divorce lawyer may result in disaster.

Experience Matters

Before you hire a divorce lawyer, find out about their experience and expertise in divorce law. Divorce lawyers are a subgroup in the specialty of family law. While a general practice lawyer may litigate some divorce cases, a family law attorney has far more experience and knowledge of divorce law and procedures. Recommendations from a friend or co-worker may help, but they do not eliminate the need for research and investigation. Experience comes at a price, so take into account fee structure the lawyer’s fee structure.

Conducting Your Initial Investigation

In the initial phase of your investigation, look for these four markers:

  • Credentials are current, including license, certifications, awards, and education
  • Sufficient experience and expertise in divorce proceedings to anticipate possible complications
  • Personal recommendations from friends or co-workers
  • Fee structure comparable to other attorneys in your area.

Your research pays of when you employ the best person to represent you.

Both Parties Need Representation

For the person on the “receiving” end of the divorce, hiring an experienced divorce lawyer makes increases your chances to receive a reasonable and equitable settlement. Thus, both parties need to find the best representation. Choose an attorney with extensive experience in all aspects of a divorce case, including child support, child custody, alimony, and property division.

Legal-Yogi’s experts can save you time and lower your stress by helping you find the right attorney from among our extensive network of legal professionals. Simply fill out the form on this website and someone will respond quickly.

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