When faced with a legal problem, many people have no idea about how to begin looking for an attorney.
Attorneys–and the law–can seem unfamiliar and intimidating. But if you first understand a few things about attorneys and the ways they can help you, then the process is easier.
The following are three steps that will help you to find the attorney that is right for you and your situation.
Step 1 : What is your Problem or issue ?
Many doctors are specialists in different areas, like this most attorneys focus their legal practice on one or a few broad areas of law.
This is good for clients because it means you will get an attorney who has the experience and knowledge to give you good advice and do your work efficiently.
You can search your attorney by figuring out which legal practice area your problem or issue belongs to.
Some common legal practice areas include:
Estate planning : Estate planning,such as wills, trusts, and issues involving the elderly.
Business law : Business law including business formation, contacts, and business disputes
Intellectual property: Intellectual trademarks, copyrights and patents
Family law, which includes divorce and adoptions
Labor and employment law : Labour and employment law or anything related to the relationship between employers and employees.
Real estate law : It includes property sales, leases and disputes
Example,if you decide you need an estate planning attorney, then you might want someone having experience in setting up estate plans involving family business.
If you are hiring a business attorney, you might benefit from the other insights of someone who works with other clients in your industry.
Step 2 :Transactional Attorney or Litigator ?
On TV, attorneys are always going to court. But actually many attorneys never put their foot inside a courtroom.
These attorneys are known as“transactional”attorneys.
They prepare documents, negotiate deals, and help their clients to avoid problems.
A transactional attorney can draft a contract,prepare a will and trust, set up a business,or review a lease.
Litigators are the courtroom attorneys. They helps their clients to resolve disputes through settlement, arbitration,or a lawsuit.
You might hire a litigator for a personal injury lawsuit,a business dispute,or an age discrimination calm.
Nowadays there are both transactional attorneys and litigators,but most individual attorneys tend to do one or the other, depending on their skills and temperament. At the time of looking for an attorney,be aware of whether you need a transactional attorney or a litigator.
Step 3: Searching for and Screening Attorneys
Once you understand what type of attorney you need, you can begin searching for someone.
Most city and county bar associations have online directories and/or attorney referral service.
You can also ask your friends or business associates for recommendations, or you can search internet for the practice area you need in your locality.
If you have a transactional issue that doesn’t require highly specialised advice–say you need a basic will or want to form a business or register a trademark then review some attorney websites, find some attorneys who look like a good match, and schedule a consultation with them.
Most of the attorneys do these for free, and it is a very good way to get a better understanding of your legal issue and the type of help you will need.
At the consultation,see if the attorney has knowledge about your problem and find out how they would approach it . Also get an estimate of the total cost to handle your case and the attorney’s fees.
Step 4: Decide Whether to Hire an Attorney, and Which one.
After your consultations, you may decide to hire one of the attorneys whom you spoke with, or you may discover that you are not ready to hire anyone yet .
At last you may have gotten enough information about how to resolve a dispute on your own, or you may decide whether it would be more cost–effective to use an online legal service provider.
Selecting the right lawyer for your needs may seem like an intidating or nervous process.
My suggestion is that the process of finding the right lawyer for a case should be more rigorous, so that you can select an attorney who is right for you and your situation.