How do I find a good lawyer?
With so many lawyers out there, how should you go about finding a good one? How can you tell a strong lawyer from a weak one? You need solid legal advice, and you want the right attorney.
Do not, we repeat, DO NOT just open the phone book, close your eyes, and point to a name.
Here are some guideposts to help you.
A good lawyer is ethical.
You're probably laughing right now. Can the words "ethics" and "lawyer" exist in the same sentence? Actually, it is possible, and you should absolutely insist on it. But how can you tell if a lawyer is ethical? There are some pretty good indicators.
What types of cases does he take?
Lawyers have a choice about which cases they take. Look at her winning cases as well as the losing ones. No lawyer wants to lose a case, but an ethical lawyer will often be willing to take a case because it is the right thing to do and fight to the very end.
Look at whether the lawyer actually tries the cases he takes in court or whether he just gathers cases for others. Ask the attorney when he last went to trial. Ask him how often his cases settle and how often his cases make it to a jury.
Be sure that the lawyer specializes in your type of case. You really don't want a tax attorney to represent you in your personal injury case. An ethical attorney will only take cases in her area of expertise.
What types of clients does he represent?
Does he represent big corporations or everyday people? Does he fight for the underdog? Does he hold wrongdoers accountable for their behavior?
Is he honest?
Is she candid about the strengths and weaknesses of your case? A good lawyer will almost never tell her clients that the case is a "slam dunk." Those types of cases are extremely rare.
Moreover, is he honest about his own strengths and weaknesses as an attorney? A good lawyer will tell you if he's particularly good in one area, but that he may ask his partner to help out in another area. He knows that two heads are better than one, and he can be honest about it.
Is the lawyer truthful about his fees and costs? He should tell you what his services will cost, and there should not be any hidden fees.
What is the lawyer's reputation in the community?
Is he known for his honesty, his pro bono work, his strong relationships in the legal and general community?
Google the lawyer's name. See what comes up. Look for newspaper articles, websites and blogs.
Make sure the attorney is in good standing with the state. Any sort of disciplinary action is a red flag.
Ask around the community. Does the lawyer have a good name around town? Have any of your friends or acquaintances had experiences with him?
Check his references.
A good lawyer values you as a person.
Does he look you in the eye when he's talking with you?
Are you treated as a person or as just some client? Does the lawyer remember personal information about you, including your spouse's or children's names?
Do you actually get to meet with him personally, or are you always sent to talk with a secretary? A good lawyer will make time for you and will return your phone calls quickly.
Does he show that he understands that you have a unique situation that is quite unlike anyone else's?
Has he shown that he respects your time and obligations, or does he talk on and on? Remember, a good lawyer will listen at least as much as he speaks.
Trust your gut.
It all really comes down to trusting yourself.
Ask yourself: Do I like the guy? How does he treat his office staff? Do I trust this guy? Does it feel like he's trying to sell me the Brooklyn Bridge?
If you don't like how you feel at that first meeting, chances are that it's not going to get any better.
Listen to that little voice inside - odds are, you're exactly right.
How do I know if Moriarty Leyendecker is right for me?
Please browse our site and give us a call. We'd like to answer any questions you may have. Give your gut a chance to test our ethics and people skills.