Making Your Choice Of Law Firms
Wherever you look, you are bound to find one or two law firm. They come in many sizes, from the small sole proprietorships to the larger firms who employ hundreds of lawyers and thousands of employees. If you find yourself in need of legal services that can only be provided by lawyers, you won't have trouble finding potential law firms to represent you.
When you suddenly find yourself in need of the services of a lawyer or a law firm, how do you go about choosing which firm to approach? Do you close your eyes and randomly make your choice? Or maybe you are not averse to listening what your family and friends have to say and go with their suggestions. Or is it that you personally know an attorney whom you could hire? Or are you one of those who cannot rest unless they know they have looked at things from every possible angle, researching the law firms in depth?
What is the right way of doing it? I enumerated some steps earlier; doing them all would be the most ideal way of going about choosing one. First, be as random as you like in looking for law firms. Check out the yellow pages and look for law firms in your area or your state. An internet search will also yield many results. List down the names of these firms.
Next, you should narrow down that list by doing some research. This is where the suggestions, opinions and recommendations of your family members and friends would come in. Since public opinion would also help, go outside your circles and ask around. There are many things you could learn from people you don't know.
On the internet, these law firms have their own websites that you can visit and browse. Here, you will have an idea of the area of the law the firm specializes in. Are they primarily handling divorce cases or are they mostly composed of DUI lawyers? Do they specialize in criminal cases or personal injury cases? The list will be refined if you exclude all those law firms who specialize in cases that are not really what you are looking for. You will also find some testimonials by former and current clients in most of these websites.
You will also be able to find out how good these lawyers are by the awards, accolades and affiliations commonly listed in one part of their website. You can also look into the personal qualifications and credentials of the lawyers who are currently working in the firm. They are, after all, the ones who you will expect to work with closely. You probably even care about which law school or undergrad university they went to.
The track performance record and success rate of the law firm will also be a good deciding factor. Most cases are public record, so you can look into those and see how the firm fares in the cases they handle, particularly those that are similar to your own circumstances. Your preference would obviously be for the law firm that has shown a better performance than the others.
Once you have a shortlist, you may want to personally inquire on their billing and charging policies. Many lawyers charge an hourly fee. However, there are many law firms that offer payment plans that would suit the budget of most clients. Go for the reasonable one that will not put too much of a dent on your budget. Go to these law firms yourself and make the inquiries so you will have a taste of what it would be like to deal with them face to face.