What is a Local Attorney?
A local attorney is an attorney who works in the area where your case arose. For example, if you live in New York City and were injured in a car accident, a local attorney would be one who works and practices in New York City.
Laws often vary between municipalities, cities, and states. This applies to both civil and criminal laws. There may be nuances or rules in a certain area that a lawyer who is not from that area would not know.
This may also apply to rules in different courts. Each judge runs their own courtrooms in their own unique ways, all in accordance with the laws, of course. However, there may be some procedural preferences a judge has that a local attorney would know, such as if a judge usually begins their docket calls early.
Being a lawyer is as much of an art as it is a science of following the laws. How you present yourself to a judge or jury can influence how your argument is received. There are many cultural and social differences in different areas of the United States.
For example, an attorney from New York City who is trying a case in Atlanta, Georgia may not behave with the Southern social interactions that locals would, such as smiling and saying hello to others as you pass in the hallway. This may even apply in cities within the same state, such as a small town versus a larger city.
What Do Local Attorneys Do?
Local attorneys are licensed to practice in the state where they do business. Some attorneys are licensed in multiple states and may practice in those states, especially if they reside near the border of two states. They will, however, be familiar with the laws and courtrooms surrounding their practice location.
Local attorneys are licensed to handle any civil or criminal case. It is important to note that prosecutors are employees of a government entity, which is the only entity that can bring charges against a defendant.Local attorneys may practice cases in areas of law including:
- Personal injury law;
- Employment law;
- Family law;
- Business and Finance law;
- Immigration law;
- Real estate law;
- Landlord / tenant law;
- Criminal defense law; and
- Other areas of law.
There are numerous subcategories of each of those broad categories discussed above. If you are searching for a local attorney, LegalMatch.com provides an excellent lawyer matching service that allows you to present your case to local attorneys in your area for free.
Why is it Important to Have a Local Lawyer?
Having a local lawyer can plan an important role in the success of your claim. Odds are, if you have a claim and hire a local attorney, if they cannot assist you, they know someone who can. They may also have local connections to other business entities, such as accountants, that you may find useful.
A local lawyer will know the local courts, how they operate, and the preferences of the judges who preside over them. Although judges are bound by the law, they are also human beings with preferences. For example, some judges may prefer to start cases 15 minutes before they are actually scheduled in order to be efficient. A lawyer who is not aware of this preference may irritate the court before the trial even begins.
Local lawyers will also be aware of local laws and regulations and any nuances that are included. There may also be little known laws in the area that only local lawyers know.
If you are a criminal defendant facing criminal charges, hiring a local attorney can be helpful. A local attorney will be familiar with the prosecution, the courts, and the process in the area. Additionally, they may be more likely to be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution since they will be familiar with one another.
How Do I Know if a Local Lawyer is Right for Me?
Choosing an attorney is a very personal process. It is unique to you and your needs. It is important to choose the best attorney for you and your case.
It is important to find a local lawyer with whom you feel comfortable and who will protect your rights. You will need to be comfortable communicating with your lawyer, as they will be informed about the private details of your life.
It may be helpful to try and obtain recommendations of local lawyers from individuals whose opinions you trust. It is important to remember, however, that the lawyer who was right for your friend may not be the right fit for you.
There are numerous methods of finding lawyers that suit your needs. In most jurisdictions, attorneys offer free consultations. This will allow you to meet with multiple attorneys at no cost prior to hiring one to determine who is the best fit for your case.