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When You Need a Lawyer

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When Should I Consult a Lawyer?

If you are facing a legal issue, it is always a good idea to consulting with a lawyer. Although it is occasionally possible to resolve legal issues on your own, there are many situations that definitely require a lawyer. For example, you should definitely contact a lawyer when:

  • You have been arrested
  • You have been charged with a crime
  • You have not yet been charged with a crime, but think you might be indicted soon
  • You are being sued
  • You wish to file a lawsuit
  • You wish to obtain a divorce, or you have been served with divorce papers
  • You are involved in a child custody dispute
  • You are undergoing a major change in your financial status, such as buying or selling valuable property, or filing for bankruptcy

Why Do I Need a Lawyer?

There are many legal issues that require the assistance of a lawyer and you may not be able to resolve yourself. If the lawyer evaluates your case and decides that you have a valuable claim, he will explain your options and what necessary steps you need to take to make sure that your rights and claims are protected.

Examples when a lawyer may NOT be necessary:

  • You are entering a contract. If you have read the contract thoroughly, and understand its terms, you probably don’t need to consult with a lawyer before you sign it.  However, if you are at all unclear about what a contract says, you should have a lawyer go over it and explain what it means before you agree to anything.
  • You have to appear in small claims court. In many jurisdictions, lawyers are not allowed in small claims court, and parties are expected to represent themselves. The procedure in small claims court is usually simple and streamlined, making it accessible to laypersons.
  • You understand the case and can explain the case on your own to a judge.
  • You understand legal terminology and can read, understand, and prepare all the papers that you receive from court.

There are other situations in which legal help may be useful, but you do not necessarily need a lawyer. For example, if you only require legal information. While only lawyers are competent to give legal advice, anyone who is knowledgeable about the law is technically competent to give legal information.

How Do I Choose the Right Lawyer?

Choosing the right lawyer for your case is a critical factor. It is highly recommended to speak to several attorneys about your case before you sign a retainer agreement.

Most lawyers offer free consultations where you can ask questions about the lawyer’s education, expertise, and whether he has handled similar cases. When meeting with a lawyer, be sure to bring all relevant paperwork connected with your case.
It should be noted that the higher fee that the lawyer charges does not mean that the lawyer is more experienced than lawyers with lower fees.

To connect quickly connect lawyers in your area, post your case online right now through the LegalMatch system.

Photo of page author Kourosh Akhbari

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 10-12-2017 10:01 AM PDT

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