Choosing the right lawyer can often seem like a daunting task in today’s world of scammers and frauds; television and the media often instill in us a stereotype of ruthless lawyers who only care about money and prestige. And while there are some who fall into that category, the majority of men and women practicing as lawyers are solid professionals who want to do their job well and honestly care about the services they’re performing.
There are numerous excellent lawyers around; you just have to make sure you get the one that’s right for you. All lawyers are not equal and do not specialize in the same tasks; many take on roles in specialty fields of law, such as personal injury law and finance law. It is up to you to determine what kind of lawyer you need; luckily there is a wealth of resources on the web for people who need to figure out what kind of lawyer they need.
Remember, you wouldn’t hire a divorce attorney to help you with tax problems, and you certainly wouldn’t hire a tax attorney to help you with a divorce case. Thus it is imperative to determine what kind of case you have and find a lawyer accordingly.
After you’ve figured out what type of lawyer you need, it’s time to find one. Ask everyone you know if they have any recommendations. If they don’t, do what research you can online and find someone who meets your needs. Before you contact them, look at their credentials. Call the bar association or visit their website to determine if the person really has a license and how clean of a record they have. Find out how many cases they’ve won or lost, how many have been thrown out, and any other details that might help you decide.
When you contact your lawyer, request references from pervious patients before you make an appointment; this is a great way to determine if the lawyer is good and takes care of their clients. Many lawyers offer free consultations, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of the opportunity to check them out. While you’re there, you can also ask for a list of client references.
After you choose your lawyer, you will sit down with them and discuss fees. Most lawyers, regardless of specialty, will request a retainer just for hiring their services. On top of the retainer you may be charged hourly or on contingency. Contingency simply refers to the percentage of money a lawyer may earn if you win your case; in some situations they may take as much as 40%.
Retaining the right lawyer makes all the difference in your case; it could be the difference between winning and losing. If you have a good, expert attorney defending you who is a specialist in the area in which you need representation, you’re on the right path.
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