10 Qualities to Look For When Hiring a Lawyer
When you get in trouble, don’t hire your cousin Vinnie to defend you instead of hiring a lawyer! Take the time and look for legal council who who have these 10 qualities – you won’t be sorry!
There are more than 1 million lawyers working all across the country at this time
.As a result, you won’t have any trouble hiring a lawyer the next time you need someone to assist you with a legal situation.
But unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find a good lawyer who will have all of the qualities you’ll need to be victorious in the courtroom. In fact, there are so many lawyers out there that you might have trouble weeding through the bad ones to find the best one for your case.
If you’re looking for a lawyer at the moment, the best way to locate one is by looking for lawyers with a certain set of characteristics.
Here are the 10 characteristics of a good lawyer.
1. Extensive Experience
The very first thing you want to look for when hiring a lawyer is their experience.
How long have they been practicing law? Did they just open their practice this year, or have they been in the game for more than 25 years now?
You might not necessarily need someone with an extensive amount of experience if you have a relatively routine legal need. But you also don’t want to go with someone who doesn’t have the experience it takes to fight and win a case in court.
You should begin by asking a lawyer how much experience they have overall. Then, you should narrow it down and ask how much experience they have handling the specific kind of case you need them to deal with.
This should let you know whether or not a lawyer is right for you. If they have absolutely no experience with what you need them to do, you can feel free to move on and find someone else.
2. Specific Areas of Expertise
Most lawyers specialize in dealing with one specific area of expertise.
Some lawyers spend their days handling car accident cases. Others, like USAttorneys, have a better handle on things like estate planning.
You wouldn’t hire a plumber to come in and rewire the electricity in your home simply because he works in a trade. Likewise, you wouldn’t hire an electrician to come in and fix a clogged toilet for the same reason.
You should find a lawyer that spends most of their time devoted to the specific area that you need help with.
When you combine experience with expertise, you get the best of both worlds. A lawyer who has both of these characteristics will give you a distinct advantage when you step into a courtroom.
3. Good Location
You’re probably going to be spending a lot of time working with your lawyer in their office. At the very least, you’re going to have to make a couple trips there to meet with them and go over your case.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to find a lawyer that is located close to either your home or your work. Otherwise, you could end up spending hours and hours driving to and from your lawyer’s office.
While the lawyer doesn’t necessarily need to be located around the corner from your house, they should be located somewhere in your city.
This will make it easier for you to connect with them. It will also ensure that they have some connections in your town that could ultimately benefit you later.
4. Numerous Connections
Speaking of connections, all good lawyers have relationships with important people in their communities.
Over the years, lawyers will usually develop relationships with prosecutors, judges, and even other lawyers that could help you in a big way.
Let’s say that your lawyer knows the prosecutor that has charged you with a crime. While the lawyer might not be able to get you off completely, they could reason with the prosecutor and convince them to reduce the charges against you.
This is something that your lawyer probably won’t be able to do if they work in another city or just haven’t formed great connections with others. You’ll be able to leverage their relationships and use them to your advantage.
5. Solid Reputation
Prior to hiring a lawyer, you should make sure they have a solid reputation within the law community in your city.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone has to love and adore them. A lawyer might actually have a lot of enemies because they’re so good at their job.
However, you should steer clear of shady lawyers who are known to use unethical practices to get results for their clients. The last thing you want to do is hire someone who is going to make you look bad in court through the actions they take.
You should also stay away from lawyers who are known to rip off their clients. You want someone who is going to be on your side throughout the legal proceedings, not someone who is just trying to make a buck off you.
Figure out what kind of reputation a lawyer has in your city before you bring them on board.
6. Great References
If you want to find a great lawyer, one of the simplest ways to do it is by asking for references from other people.
In some cases, that might mean asking friends, family members, work colleagues, and even neighbors if they can recommend a lawyer. In others, it might mean scouring online reviews to see which lawyers in your area get the best grades from their clients.
A lawyer should have people lined up willing to testify on their behalf as far as the great job they do. If you can’t seem to find anyone to say good things about a particular lawyer, it’s probably because others haven’t had a great experience working with them.
7. Excellent Communicator
Lawyers are, as you can probably imagine, very busy at almost all times. It’s almost impossible for them to work part-time. They’re constantly running in and out of courtrooms and meetings with clients.
But despite this, you want a lawyer who is willing to make time for you when you need to talk by phone or email.
There are far too many lawyers who leave their clients hanging and don’t communicate well with them at all. They refuse to pick up their calls and leave emails unanswered for days on end.
If you’ve been trying to touch base with a lawyer and struggled to track them down, it’s likely a sign of things to come if you start working with them. You want someone who will find time to talk to you as opposed to someone who is always too busy.
8. Extreme Confidence
There is an extremely thin line between cockiness and confidence when it comes to lawyers. Many lawyers have a big ego that causes them to border on being overly cocky as opposed to confident.
You want your lawyer to be confident in their abilities. You also want there to be a good reason for that confidence.
A confident lawyer knows their stuff and has done the proper research to help you win a case. They also have the experience and expertise to back up the confidence they display.
You should learn to tell the difference between cockiness and confidence and find a lawyer who fits into the second category. Your lawyer’s confidence will make you feel good about your legal chances and give you more confidence in the outcome of your case.
9. Affordably Priced
When you make the decision to hire a lawyer, you shouldn’t base that decision solely on price.
Far too many people make the mistake of hiring a lawyer because of the low cost that comes along with them. They end up paying the price for it in court!
You should find a lawyer that is affordably priced and that can offer you all of the services you need. While it’s not a bad idea to do some price shopping when looking for a lawyer, you also don’t want to get too hung up on price and end up with a lawyer who can’t give you all the help you need.
10. Immense Success
This might just be the most important characteristic of a good lawyer.
When hiring a lawyer, you want someone who has a proven track record. They should specialize in getting real results for their clients once they step into the courtroom
There aren’t any lawyers who are undefeated. But at the very least, you want one who will provide you with a good chance of claiming victory in court.
Otherwise, what are you actually paying for? You’ll end up wasting a bunch of money on your lawyer and losing your case in spite of it.
Hiring a Lawyer Doesn’t Have to Be a Difficult Process
Some people are under the assumption that hiring a lawyer will take forever and cause an unnecessary amount of stress.
This simply isn’t true. As long as you’re willing to be patient and find a lawyer with the characteristics listed here, you shouldn’t have any problem locating a lawyer equipped to handle your specific case.
Check out our blog for more information on hiring the right lawyer for the job.