Men and women can get into all kinds of troubling situations that lead them to consider hiring a lawyer. Some individuals are charged with criminal activity and need a defense lawyer. Some experience such significant financial struggles that they finally decide bankruptcy is the only option. Others get caught having an affair and not are dealing with a volatile divorce. The process of selecting an attorney can seem overwhelming when these situations are occurring. Nevertheless, it’s important to choose one that the person feels comfortable with and confident about.
Level of Experience
The first step in narrowing down the options can be done by searching for lawyers who have substantial experience with cases of this nature. This is usually communicated to potential clients on the attorney’s website.
Feeling comfortable with the attorney is particularly important when the legal professional and the client may be working closely together for some time. A bankruptcy case often can be wrapped up fairly quickly with limited contact between the two. However, a complicated divorce and a criminal defense case will require more ongoing communication. In both situations, the case might eventually proceed to court.
The Attorney’s Fee Structure
Often, the person’s budget narrows down the options significantly. Many attorneys charge by the hour and may require an upfront payment known as a retainer fee. A primary exception is the personal injury lawyer, who typically works on a contingency basis. That means this attorney receives payment once the client receives a settlement or court award. Bankruptcy and foreclosures lawyers generally also make their fees affordable and may offer payment arrangements for clients.
Location and Firm Size
It’s sensible to hire an attorney in the local or regional area. The size of the firm also should be considered. Many attorneys are solo practitioners and technically are not part of a firm. Some practice in small organizations with just a few lawyers. Others work in large practices with several named partners and other attorneys with a broad range of experience. Each option has advantages and disadvantages that the prospective client may want to do a bit of research on.