Whether you’re facing a legal crisis or just trying to start your business, you may need to hire the services of a good law firm. With so many lawyers available to help you, it can be hard to choose the right one, though. Here are five important factors to consider when choosing your law firm.
No. 1: Go with a well-established law firm
You should always choose an established law firm over one that is new. An experienced and reputable firm will generally have more resources than a newer firm. This means they can provide you with better service, at a lower cost. They also have years of experience in their field which makes them more knowledgeable and able to provide sound legal advice and deliver excellent services. Newer firms do not necessarily mean poor quality of services, it is just something you want to take into consideration when choosing your lawyer.
No. 2: Check that the office has good online reviews
If you want an attorney that takes your case seriously, you want someone with experience that other clients are willing to recommend. Make sure you check online reviews before meeting with them. In most states, attorneys must display their average client rating on their website so it’s easy for potential clients to see. I know that if I have 3 out of 5 stars or lower, I’m going in with low expectations and ready for anything.
No. 3: Get references from people you trust
Researching potential attorneys is like researching any other professional: You want to see what their past customers have to say about them. Word of mouth is critical in finding an attorney you can trust, so don’t be afraid to ask your family and friends if they have any recommendations. Be sure you interview at least two or three attorneys before making your decision—and when you meet with each candidate, make sure you go over every detail of your case.
No. 4: Ask whether they handle your type of case
All law firms have different specialties. Be sure that your prospective firm is experienced in handling cases similar to yours. If you’re looking for help with an auto accident, for example, it won’t make sense to hire a firm that specializes in patent law or personal injury. On its website and during your first meeting, ask whether they handle clients with similar issues—and if they don’t, get suggestions on which law firms might fit your needs.
No. 5: Meet with more than one lawyer in person
Once you’ve narrowed down you’re shortlisted of potential lawyers, ask them if they have time for an in-person meeting. This is perhaps one of the most important steps in deciding whether or not they’re right for you. If possible, try and book at least two meetings with each lawyer before making a decision. You may be surprised by how different each meeting is, and can find yourself feeling more comfortable with one lawyer over another.