There are dozens of situations that can arise throughout our lives that require the expertise of a lawyer. When that time comes, where do you start your search and what should you ask potential attorneys? Here are a handful of tips to help streamline the process of locating the right legal professional for your circumstances.
Clarify Your Needs
The first step is determining what kind of attorney you need. Are you getting divorced? Starting a business? Were you injured in a car accident? Each of these life events may call for different legal expertise. Some lawyers specialize in a particular area, while others have experience in many types of law.
Ask the Right Questions
Once you find an attorney who practices in the appropriate area, dig a little deeper to see if he or she is the right fit for you. There are several helpful questions you can ask to get the information you need, such as:
- How long has the attorney been practicing in this particular field?
- Have they ever worked on a case similar to yours? If so, what was the outcome?
- Are there any alternative resolutions available for your case, such as arbitration or mediation?
Many lawyers will offer a free initial consultation to get more information about your situation. Before you settle on representation, get an estimate of the final cost for your case.
What if you can't afford an attorney?
If you're accused of a crime and need a defense attorney, one will be appointed to you. The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees you the constitutional right to be represented by an attorney at trial.