When you have a legal issue, you want to find the best legal representation to handle your case. Hiring an attorney helps to protect your rights and responsibilities. To make sure you choose the right attorney, you should consider several factors, including:
- How much the attorney costs: can you afford their legal services?
- How you pay the attorney: hourly, one-time fee, or a percentage of your settlement if you win the case.
- Does the attorney have a license to practice in the state of your legal issue?
- Does the attorney have experience handling cases like your legal issue?
- What is the attorney’s rate of success when dealing with your type of case?
It is important that the attorney you hire have the legal knowledge and experience to handle your case.
Checking for Ethical Violations
Another important step is to check whether the attorney has infractions on his or her professional record. An infraction is a violation of a law of set of rules. Attorneys have an obligation to behave in professional and ethical manner. Each state has its own guidelines and regulations that for attorneys licensed to practice law in their states must follow.
To find out if your attorney has a history of disciplinary infractions you can go to the websites for your State Bar Association or State Disciplinary Board. Many states offer a search of their state bar attorneys which can show you their license number, mailing address, place of work, education, and if they have any infractions on their record. Other states will give you a place where you can submit a request for information either by mail or by email.
Reviews from Other Clients, Past and Present
Consumer reviews are great ways to research an attorney you may want to hire. Consumer reviews are reports and responses from customers about a product or service. Such reviews from former clients or other individuals about an attorney may help you understand what you may experience as a client of that attorney. You can find consumer reviews in several ways, including:
- Legal or consumer websites;
- Word of mouth from people in the community
- The bar association in the state want to hire an attorney; or
- A web search of the attorney and/or the law firm the where the attorney works.
Where Can You Start to Look for the Right Lawyer?
But sometimes, going out and trying to find a lawyer, as well as positive reviews can be time consuming and difficult. But at LegalMatch, you can find former client reviews about our lawyers. We also pre-screens the attorneys who become members of their site to ensure that they are in good standing with their bar associations. While doing the leg-work can be worth the effort, sometimes you can let us do all of the heavy lifting.