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Your search for the 'right' lawyer ends here. Choose the case category and your location to find expert lawyers matching your requirements. You'll be able to narrow down your search further based on consultation charges, locality and years of experience.
How to find a great lawyer?
What do lawyers do, exactly?
Lawyers (also called attorneys or counsel) serve as advocates for people and organizations. They represent clients both to the court and to opposing parties. Lawyers can represent clients in criminal cases, where a law has been broken, and in civil cases, in which one party is suing another.
What can a lawyer do for me?
First, a lawyer will advise you as to whether or not you actually need legal help. It’s not always obvious whether an issue is a legal matter or something that can be resolved without involving the court system. A lawyer will help you answer these initial questions.
Once you’ve decided to hire a lawyer, then they have the power to represent you to the court and to opposing parties. Your lawyer is your most important ally in any legal matter. They provide advice on how to proceed with your legal issue, and prepare important documents for you.
If your issue involves going to court, your lawyer will accompany you, and can speak for you. If your legal matter involves mediation or arbitration, your lawyer will negotiate with the opposing party on your behalf.
Many lawyers tend to focus only on one area, or several related areas of law. In your search for the right lawyer, you should look for a lawyer who understands and has experience in the specific area of law for your issue. For example, a divorce lawyer may not be able to help you if you are considering declaring bankruptcy for your business, but a bankruptcy lawyer who understands bankruptcy and business law would be a perfect match. Reputable lawyers will be upfront about their experience and specific focus, but it will save you some time by narrowing your search beforehand.
Is practice size and type something I should consider when I’m looking for a lawyer?
Practice size is definitely something you should take into account. Some firms consist of only one lawyer, while some firms retain hundreds. There are many different types of law firms, some of which focus on very specific issues, while others may be more general. For instance, a large corporate firm may not help if you only need a lawyer to review a contract or a few documents, but may be the right choice if you are filing a personal injury suit against a large company. If your legal issue involves only small sums of money, or a few documents, a small firm may be more cost-effective. The size of a practice may also determine how quickly you will be able to actually speak to your potential lawyer; larger offices may require you to schedule your initial consultation through a lawyer’s assistant or secretary.
Should location be a major factor in my search for a lawyer?
Location is an important factor in looking for a lawyer to represent you. Since your issue will likely depend on state or local laws and regulations, you will want an attorney who understands the regulations for your location. On the practical side, you will also want a lawyer who has an office that is convenient for you to travel to. Some lawyers are willing to travel to meet you, but may also charge for travel time. It’s usually a good idea to find a lawyer located in your geographical area. Besides legal knowledge of state and local laws, lawyers also have practical local knowledge. Lawyers in specific cities or towns will also have connections to helpful agencies in that city, which will expedite the process of resolving your issue.
What are other clients saying about them?
One of the best ways to know if an attorney is right for you are reviews. Read what previous clients have said about specific attorneys and their experiences. Once you choose an attorney to contact, read all the reviews about that particular lawyer to get an idea of how they may handle your case and interact with you.
What types of payment do lawyers usually accept?
Most lawyers accept standard payment methods, such as cash, cheque, and credit cards. Sometimes the method of payment will involve part of the amount of a settlement, so be sure to discuss payment options with your lawyer before signing a fee agreement. Most lawyers are also willing to set up a payment plan, if necessary.
What is a fee agreement?
A fee agreement, or representation agreement, is a payment agreement between a lawyer and a client. It can consist of several pages, or simply one page outlining the agreement. This document covers key issues such as how much you will be expected to pay for services rendered, how the lawyer will be paid, the timeline of payment, and which lawyer (if a multi-lawyer firm) will work on the case. Be sure to read the fee agreement carefully before signing it, so you know exactly what is expected of you and your lawyer.