Searching the Internet for a lawyer can be overwhelming. There are tens of thousands of law offices in the United States, and many of them have websites claiming to be the best or most experienced law firm in their city or legal specialty. Whether you were the victim of a car accident or you got injured at work and are pursuing workers compensation, needing to file a lawsuit is already stressful enough; the search for the right lawyer shouldn’t add to that stress. Here are some tips to make finding the best lawyer in your city easier.
Consult Your Network
In addition to using web, radio, and print advertising, attorneys often gain new clients through tried and true word-of-mouth marketing. Ask someone you trust, whether that’s a friend, family member, neighbor, or coworker, if they know of a good lawyer. Even if they have not had a similar experience to you, they could still recommend a good attorney who will be able to help with your case. Better yet, if you are friends with or related to a lawyer, they can be an excellent resource as well. You do not automatically have to hire them just because you know them, but chances are they can recommend another attorney in their professional network who can help you.
Your employer might offer legal services as part of your benefits package, so check with them to see if this is an option for you. Many companies offer EAPs (employee assistance programs) that include discounted or even free legal services such as initial consultations.
Narrow Down Your Search by Specialty
There is a vast array of legal areas that attorneys can choose to specialize in. While a referral from someone you trust is certainly helpful when searching for the best law firm in your city, it might not be relevant if your friend’s legal needs were completely different than your own. For instance, the lawyer your friend worked with while establishing his small business in Washington might not be an expert at the kind of personal injury lawsuit you are filing. An attorney like Craig Swapp, who specializes in car accident and personal injury law in Washington, would be the best choice for your particular case.
Some states allow lawyers to be certified as specialists in a particular legal field, and certain specialties even have their own certification programs. The yellow pages or a local referral service could be beneficial for you to check out, as they sometimes sort attorneys based on their area of specialty.
You could also search for your particular state or county’s bar association, which would have a database of law firms in your area.
Other Factors to Consider
You will have to communicate with your attorney a great deal over the course of your case proceedings, so picking someone who is a good personality match to you is key. Your attorney has to be someone you feel like you can trust enough to tell all the details of your case to. Many lawyers offer a free initial consultation, which you can use as an opportunity to see what they would be like to work with and if you think they will be a good fit.
At this initial meeting, ask them lots of questions about your case as well as their previous experience and track record for winning cases. You should also inquire about their fees and what their communication style is like – are they quick to return phone calls and emails? How much of a priority will your case be to them? Finally, seemingly small details like how convenient their office location is for you to get to can also make a big difference, especially if you end up working with them on your case over the course of several months or even a year.