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Many people go all their lives without needing legal representation, but the unexpected does happen. How can you know you’re getting the best lawyer for your case and circumstance?
Keep in mind that the relationship will be strictly professional. Your legal representation is not your friend. You are hiring him or her to carry out a specific job. Don’t grab the telephone after a television advertisement and dial the first lawyer’s number you see. It’s even a good idea to avoid those ads in the phone book.
The best way to find a good lawyer is through word of mouth. Ask friends or relatives. If you’re too afraid to divulge any private matters with them, search the Internet for local law firms and read client reviews.
Make sure the lawyer you are interested in actually specializes in your needs. It’s a bad idea to set up an appointment with a divorce lawyer when you need a bankruptcy. You’ll want to bring a list of questions to your first interview, which is usually complimentary, and discuss fees and payment options. Ask if the firm uses legal assistants or paralegals and see if your lawyer will let them do a lot of the work in exchange for a reduced fee.
For those experiencing financial trouble, contact the local public defender’s office to inquire about representation.
Use your intuition. If you’re not impressed at your initial consultation, chances are you’ll never be. Since you both will be working together for a while, you want to hire a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable.