Few things make you as nervous as knowing that there is a court date in your future – especially when you have not yet secured an attorney for yourself. Looking for an attorney can be an intimidating and overwhelming process, but it is important whoever you choose makes you feel comfortable and confident.
- Ask for referrals of lawyers who specialize in the types of cases you are dealing with. Lawyers are not one size fits all. They specialize in family law, criminal law, personal injury, estate planning … and the list goes on and on. Talk to your friends, look online, and call your local bar association to find local lawyers in your area that can assist and make a list.
- Go online and research each lawyer. Look at their website, social media pages, and their reviews to see how others rated them. (Avvo and Facebook are two good places to start!)
- Select the top two or three lawyers and call their offices to schedule a *consultation. Most offices, like Minerich Law, offer free consultations to most potential clients. (Click here to see how to prepare for your first meeting with a lawyer!)
- Meet with your potential lawyer and ask lots of questions. Be sure to find out the fee structure and ask how they have handled cases like yours in the past. Take all of the information you may have on the case to share with them so that there can be healthy discussion about your case and you can get a feel of how they would approach it in court.
- Think about how you feel about your interaction with the lawyer and the office. Are they responsive to your questions and phone calls, do they appear professional, do they talk to you in a manner that makes you feel comfortable? Do you feel respected?
- Determine who you can afford. As much as you want a good lawyer, you also need to make sure you are working with someone you can afford. Legal fees can add up fast, especially for a difficult case.
Going to court can be intimidating, but having the right lawyer by your side will make an enormous difference in how anxious you feel and may reflect in the final outcome of the case.