What to look for in a lawyer
When you need a lawyer, there’s a good chance you’re going through a stressful period. For example, if you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you may need a no win no fee personal injury lawyer. Or if your business is looking to acquire another company, you’ll need a corporate lawyer.
This means you’ll need the services of the best in order to get the outcome you’re looking for. And despite different specialists having different knowledge and abilities, there are certain characteristics good lawyers share.
So regardless of what your needs are, you’ll be able to find the right legal professional for you based on the following criteria:
How much experience does your chosen lawyer have? This is typically one of the most important factors you should consider when evaluating who to appoint. A lawyer who specialises in one field is going to be more experienced than one who works on numerous cases in different areas. Their training and previous cases will all come together to benefit you.
Experience is the best educator. This means that a newly qualified lawyer isn’t going to have the same level of knowledge as someone who’s been practising for a decade or longer. It’s a good idea to check with the law firm you’re considering who the lawyer they’ll appoint to your case is going to be. If you’re given the choice, an experienced lawyer is always advised.
You don’t have to carry out too much research to find out if your chosen solicitor has a strong record. There are plenty of sites that provide information on lawyers, from the Legal 500 to the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
You’re able to search for regulatory and disciplinary decisions about a firm or individual lawyer, making it simple to find and evaluate their record. Often, a quick Google will also provide you with plenty of information, including review sites. Another client’s opinion is worth a huge amount, so don’t discount this source of advice.
Lawyers can speak in another language a lot of the time. We’ve even put a name to this language they’re fluent in: legalese. If you find a lawyer who can help you understand what they’re referring to when they show you jargon-filled documents, you’re probably onto a winner.
Equally, if you’re dealing with someone who doesn’t bother to find out if you understand what they mean, they’re probably not going to make the rest of the process very pleasant. It’s probably worth looking elsewhere.
You may also end up basing a decision on a feeling you get when meeting with a potential lawyer. Although this isn’t quantifiable, it could be a strong indicator of who you should choose. After all, you may end up spending a lot of time with your lawyer as you prepare your case. This means it should be someone you get along with.
Your lawyer should treat you with respect and understanding, while acting with integrity and honesty. If you see this in your chosen lawyer, you’re likely to have a good working relationship. This will help you feel at ease during what can often be a stressful and disconcerting time.
Picking the right lawyer can feel like a challenging process, but when you know what you’re looking for and what you’re judging prospective firms on, it becomes far more straightforward.
Use these pointers as a basis for narrowing down your shortlist and you’ll be one step closer to finding the right lawyer for you.