The number of active attorneys has increased by 15.2% in the last decade. With so many different lawyers available, it can feel like a challenge to find the one you need. The wrong or right lawyer could make all the difference in your case.
When searching for an attorney, it’s important to learn how to check a lawyer reputation first. Thorough research can help you discover a lawyer you can trust. Ignoring these steps, however, could leave you stuck with a lawyer who lacks the experience you need.
Keep reading to discover the criteria you need before you choose a lawyer.
With these tips, you’ll feel reassured that the right person is on your side. Learn how to find lawyers in your area with these seven tips!
1. Ask Around
Before you learn how to check a lawyer’s reputation, you’ll need a list of lawyers to research. Start by speaking with friends, family members, and lawyers you’ve worked with in the past.
Talk to friends and family members you trust about your specific situation. Have any of them experienced something similar in the past? Did they work with a lawyer who specializes in that type of casework?
For example, let’s say you need a custody lawyer. Speak with a friend you know recently went through a divorce and custody battle. They can refer you to a lawyer who specializes in family law.
Before you choose a lawyer, it’s important to make sure they have a specialty. Lawyers with a special focus will remain up-to-date about related cases, laws, and procedures. That up-to-date knowledge could benefit your case.
As you speak with friends and family members, ask about their experience. Did they hit any roadblocks with their lawyer? Did they feel like they were taken care of, or pushed on the backburner?
The more you understand from their experience, the better you can imagine your own.
Did you hire a lawyer for another matter, such as a divorce or your will? Ask if they can suggest a lawyer with the specialty you need.
Lawyers have an insider’s perspective on their colleague’s reputation and skill set. They might also work at a law firm with a team dedicated to the specialty you need.
As you ask around, start building a list of lawyers to research. Then, you can use the rest of these tips to learn how to choose a lawyer based on their reputation.
2. Case Experience
Not every lawyer will have the specific experience you need. As you research your list of potential candidates, start by determining their specialty and experience. If they don’t have a specialty, there’s a chance their broad knowledge could cause a problem for your case.
Instead, look for someone with firsthand experience regarding your situation.
Then, determine how long they’ve worked as a licensed attorney. How long have they specialized? If they don’t have a specialty, ask which type of cases they take and win the most.
Then, ask if they’re up-to-date about procedures, recent cases, and laws that relate to your case. If not, look for someone who is more knowledgeable. The best lawyer will want to be the best.
They’ll prove their work by dedicating themselves to their specialty.
Choosing a lawyer who specializes in your situation will keep you at ease. You’ll have the reassurance that the best lawyer available is on your case. Otherwise, their lack of experience and knowledge could become an advantage for opposing counsel.
3. Track Record
If you want proof that a lawyer has a strong reputation, check their track record.
Which cases have they closed recently? Check for their wins, losses, and settlements. Their track record will tell you whether or not they’re a strong negotiator.
If you need a settlement lawyer, you’ll want someone who can negotiate on your behalf. Otherwise, they’ll fail to maximize your settlement. As you learn how to choose a lawyer, look for someone who can win the full value of your claim.
Think about what you need based on your case. If you need a custody lawyer, make sure it’s someone who can speak to your abilities as a parent. Looking at their track record will help you find a lawyer capable of accomplishing your goals.
4. Professional Standing
You want to make sure you have a licensed lawyer by your side. During your search, head online and visit your local bar association’s website. Make sure the lawyer you’re interested in is listed as a member.
While you’re there, see if the lawyer is a member of any other law associations. If they are, they might have extra knowledge, resources, or experience.
Next, see if they’ve maintained any leadership roles. If they have, they’ve likely earned the respect of their colleagues.
5. Previous Clients
You can also learn how to check a lawyer reputation by speaking with a lawyer’s previous clients. After all, 85% of people read 10 reviews before trusting a business. Checking for online reviews can help you determine whether or not a lawyer is trustworthy.
If a lawyer isn’t willing to provide you with references, they might have something to hide. Keep looking.
6. Courtroom Experience
Is your case likely to go to court? If so, make sure you choose a lawyer with courtroom experience.
If a lawyer lacks courtroom experience and refers settlements, there’s a chance they’re more concerned about their track record.
7. Interview Them Yourself
Before choosing a lawyer, make sure to interview them yourselves. Many lawyers provide first-time meetings at no charge.
As you speak with them, ask about their recent cases, experience, and education. Pay attention to how they speak. Do they communicate well or do you have to ask them for explanations?
You want to find a lawyer who is concise and has strong communication skills. They’ll need those skills to handle your case.
How to Check a Lawyer Reputation: 7 Tips for Finding the Best
Now that you know how to check a lawyer reputation, start your search! These seven tips will help you find a lawyer who is most qualified to handle your case. With these tips, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re choosing the right person to defend you.
Not ready to hire a custody lawyer yet? Review our marriage tips for ways to improve your relationship.