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A Guide to Picking An Attorney
In our modern society, legal issues arise practically every day. Given this fact, you need to know how to pick an attorney for your situation.
A Guide to Picking An Attorney
If you live in America, you are going to run into some type of a legal issue that must be addressed. Hopefully, the issue is something minor such as dealing with home purchase, but there will be many situations in which it is wise to retain an attorney. The question for most people, however, is how to pick an attorney from the thousands available? There are a number of important issues to consider when picking an attorney. Two, however, are the most important.
The first thing to focus on is finding an attorney that practices in the area you are having an issue. This may sound obvious, but many people make this mistake. If you have an issue involving problems with the sale of your home, you want to pick an attorney that focuses his or her practice entirely on real estate. Picking a business attorney or general practice attorney is a poor choice because they do not know the ins and outs of the area of law. Each area of law is complex. New case rulings are issued daily, so keeping up on breaking developments requires an attorney to really just focus on one area of law.
The second issue is experience. You want an attorney with plenty of it. Why? An attorney with a lot of experience in a particular field has a reputation. In handling a legal matter, attorneys always evaluate the lawyer on the other side. If you have an experienced attorney, your opponent knows it is going to be a rough case and will be more likely to give you the result you want. This reputation and experience issue also extends to the court room where judges give more experienced lawyers the benefit of the doubt.
When it comes time to picking an attorney, you want to speak with at least three. The initial consultation should always be free. During the consultation, ask the attorney how long they have been practicing, if they have ever had a complaint registered with the bar association [regulates attorney licensing] against them, and if they have ever handled a case such as yours and the result.
On the practical side, ask them who in the office will work on your case. Many people are surprised to learn that the attorney they retain will actually have paralegals, law clerks and associates doing much of the grunt work on legal issues. This leads to problems when a client wants to talk to the senior attorney, but primarily receives communications from the associate [junior attorney] or paralegal. In short, ask the attorney how the case will be handled within the office and make sure you are comfortable with the answer. If you are not, move on.
The issue of how to pick an attorney is a common one. When in doubt, look for expertise, experience and a comfortable communication situation.
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