Finding a lawyer in any state can be an overwhelming task. Compounded with an already stressful legal situation, it is important for individuals to select an attorney who will work hard for them. It is important to always remember an individual can change attorneys if they find they need to.
A consultation with an experienced attorney can put an individual on the right path for their case and give them peace of mind. However, if an individual does not personally know an attorney, they may be lost on how to begin the process.
Remember, an individual is not alone. Many times, if an individual contacts an attorney who does not work on their specific type of case, that attorney will know one who does. There are also many referral services available that help make finding the right lawyer easier and less overwhelming.
Each state will have their own state bar and referral services available. Some referral services are available nationwide.
Many individuals may be reluctant to start the attorney search process because they are afraid they will spend a lot of money and receive little results. It may be helpful to think of choosing an attorney in a similar manner as choosing a doctor. An individual should find an attorney they are comfortable interacting with and if they wish to do so, they can always get a second opinion.
What Are Local Attorney Referral Services?
If an individual is seeking legal assistance in Colorado, the Colorado Bar Association is an excellent place to begin the search. Many state bar associations provide referral services that allow an individual to provide a brief summary of the case and the type of assistance they are seeking. The bar association will then provide attorney names who practice in the area of law that is most applicable to the case.
The Colorado Bar Association has a “Find-a-lawyer” program offered on their website. This program asks the individual to provide the type of law that applies to their case as well as the county in which they are located. The program will then provide a list of Colorado attorneys who fit the case requirements.
However, that broad search may not narrow down the list of attorney names an individual receives in return and they may still be overwhelmed. For example, there are hundreds of family law or personal injury attorneys in a given area.
Even if the individual’s case is more specific, such as intellectual property, they may still receive a list of 100 attorneys or more. In addition, no information will be provided regarding the cost of the initial consultation with the attorney, even if the individual selects an attorney from the list of referrals they receive.
There may be a targeted Colorado lawyer referral service in some areas that may be able to provide referral information. However, these services often serve a particular area and may only be able to provide recommendations for a select number of counties, not the entire state.
The Metropolitan Lawyer Referral Service in Colorado provides referral services for several counties, including the following areas:
- Boulder; and
When an individual calls this service, they will discuss the facts of the case. This is done during their initial screening process.
The second step is a 30 minute consultation that is free of charge with an attorney the service believes will meet the needs of the individual’s case. Although the consultation is free, there is a $50 fee for using the service.
The El Paso County Bar Association provides a lawyer referral service that includes El Paso County and Teller County. It costs $40 to use the service, including a free initial consultation. It is important to note that this service only provides referrals, it does not set up the initial consultation.
The Denver Bar Association will refer an individual to other referral services, such as the Metropolitan Lawyer Referral Service or the Colorado State Bar database. This Association will not make specific attorney referrals.
What Are Private Referral Services?
In addition to local county based lawyer referral services, there are many private lawyer referral services that an individual may choose from. These services are excellent as well. They match an individual’s concerns with attorneys who practice in the area and work in the specific areas of law that most closely relate to the case.
A large number of these services are available online, so they are accessible 24 hours a day. This is an advantage over those services that are only available during regular business hours, such as telephone referral services.
The majority of online referral services provide multiple referrals, allowing an individual to receive a reasonably sized list of attorneys to choose from. Some may include additional information about the lawyers on the list to make the individual’s choice a little easier. These types of services are often free to use. Some even have pre-negotiated lower rates for initial consultation fees with the attorneys they list.
How Should I Prepare for an Initial Consultation?
It is extremely important for an individual to prepare for their consultation beforehand in order to make the most of their time. Many initial consultations last between 30 minutes and 1 hour. This is a limited amount of time, so it is important to obtain the information needed and determine if the attorney is a good fit for the individual and their case.
The individual should bring any papers or other documents that they think may be important in the case to the initial consultation. They should also be prepared to provide the attorney with all background information regarding the case. Providing background information allows the attorney to get an accurate understanding of the case and provide the best advice possible.
An individual may also want to compile a list of questions they have about their case prior to the consultation. This allows them to ensure they do not forget an important question, as sometimes things may be forgotten when they are discussing multiple aspects of a case.
It is especially important to discuss the attorney’s fees at the start of the case. There may, of course, be factors later in the case that cause the costs to increase, but it is important the individual knows exactly what they are paying for. It is important to get the attorney’s rates in writing so that the individual knows exactly what to expect and what services they are paying for if they decide to work with that attorney.
It is important to remember that many of these initial consultations are absolutely free. There is nothing wrong with making initial consultation appointments with multiple attorneys to determine who is the best fit.
What Should I Know About Hiring a Lawyer?
As previously noted, an individual does not have to hire an attorney for their case simply because they had an initial consultation. An individual is free to seek an attorney with whom they are comfortable working. It is important to remember an individual does not have to hire the first attorney with whom they meet.
Once an individual hires an attorney, it is important to keep records of the work done on their case. They should keep any documents or materials they receive from their attorney in a safe place. This file can be a great resource for questions the individual may have as well as a great way to track the work an attorney is doing on their behalf.
Should I Hire a Colorado Lawyer?
Yes, it is extremely important to hire a Colorado lawyer for any case you may have in Colorado. The right Colorado lawyer can review your case, advise you on the best way to move forward, and represent you during any court proceedings, if necessary.
One of the best resources for finding a Colorado lawyer who specializes in your type of case is to use LegalMatch. LegalMatch is an excellent service that offers easy online matching with attorneys in your area who specialize in your type of case. There is no commitment required when using LegalMatch. Hiring an attorney may be the difference in winning and losing your case.