Those who find themselves with a legal dispute, whether a medical malpractice issue, divorce, or business conflict, may wonder how they can find a good attorney. Afterall, once you hire this legal professional you may need to work with them for months or even years to resolve your dispute. Plus, you want to make sure the attorney you hire will advocate for your interests and has a good chance of winning the case.
So how can you better ensure the lawyer you hire will meet all these expectations? The American Bar Association (ABA), a group of legal professionals from throughout the country, recommends starting with your personal network of family, friends, and professional acquaintances. Ask anyone you know that has had a legal issue who they used and whether or not they were happy with the experience. If so, check out the lawyer’s website. Look at their specialty and what type of cases they take. If the lawyer appears to meet your needs, see if you can set up an initial meeting. During that meeting, do not be afraid to be blunt. Ask about their experience within the area of law that you are looking for, pricing, and how long they expect the case to take.
If word of mouth does not lead to any promising leads, other options can include reviewing ads from newspaper, television, the internet, or mailings as well as referral services.
What if my lawyer turns out to be a dud?
If you do not get along with your lawyer, you can seek counsel elsewhere. You do not need to stay with that attorney. If, however, you believe your attorney was negligent, acted in a manner that breached your contract or violated the ABA’s Rules of Professional Conduct your attorney may have done more than just disappoint you — they may have committed legal malpractice.
If this is the situation, you could hold the attorney accountable through a legal malpractice case. This can lead to compensation to help cover the cost you spent on the case and potentially even monetary awards to help cover what you should have won in your original case.