A few years ago my car started to have problems and the mechanic told me he needed to replace my crankshaft sensor. Up to that point, I didn’t even know what that was, and I’d never considered myself in the market for a new one. Hiring an attorney is often the same way: You’ve spent most of your life without thinking about one, but now all of a sudden you need to find the best lawyer around as soon as possible.
When you go to the produce department to purchase an exotic fruit you’ve never had before, you need to learn what to look for and how to tell a good one from a mediocre one. The same is true for hiring a lawyer, and here are three easy steps to help you find the best lawyer in your area.
Great lawyers are not secret agents who hide behind the scenes. The best ones make names for themselves, so find out who has a strong reputation. Go to Avvo.com to see who has a strong rating in your practice area.
Alternatively, you can look up attorneys you are considering to represent you and see how their reputations hold up online. Avvo incorporates reviews, both in numerical scores and in written comments. Read what the reviewers had to say and consider if that is someone you would want to represent you.
The best lawyer will always have a track record of success. Attorneys are eager to publicize their successful cases because they want those results to help attract future clients.
Look up an attorney you are considering in a search engine. Check Lawyers Weekly for their name, and make sure you include any middle initials so you don’t get John K. Smith confused with John H. Smith.
Skilled attorneys are not one-hit wonders. Superb personal injury lawyers will have more than a dozen high settlement cases under their names.
Nothing is as reliable as asking a friend or family member about the attorneys that they hired. Ask around. If your cousin had a good experience with attorney Jillian T. Rainmaker, do some research on her and consider contacting her office.
It’s also not a bad idea to hire a friend who is also an attorney, just as long as you’re comfortable having frank conversations with someone you know about your own medical, financial and personal matters.
It doesn’t matter what order you take these steps in, just as long as you are methodic about it. Picking a lawyer is not like ordering a pizza, so don’t just go to the nearest location from your home.