Research and Compare the Top Local Attorneys - Legal-Database.Com

With legal fees now running anywhere from $150 - $500 per hour, using the wrong lawyer can be an expensive proposition that will probably end badly in terms of cost and results. In the United States, there are approximately one million practicing attorneys. Like every other profession, there are good attorneys and there are attorneys who are not as effective.

You can help your cause by understanding what type lawyer you need. For example, the attorney you used to close your recent real estate transaction may not be the best attorney for representing you in a divorce action or a discrimination case. Of the country’s one million lawyers, less than 50,000 specialize in small business law. While there exist a good number of what might be termed “general practitioners,” most lawyers have made their mark by specializing in a specific area of law.

Identifying Your Legal Need

There are many different legal specialties from which you can choose. But, if you want the best results, choosing an attorney who specializes in your particular legal issue will yield the best results and may save you time and money in the long run. For many of us, our home is our single biggest investment. Why entrust the closing of this asset to an attorney who does not specialize in real estate law?

In such a litigious culture, you will probably have occasion to sue another person or corporation or defend yourself against a lawsuit at some time in your life. Either proposition can be expensive. But, losing a lawsuit is not only expensive but can have lasting personal and professional effects.

One of the most sensitive legal issues of our time is divorce. There are many lawyers who earn their keep practicing divorce law. Divorce can be a bitter experience but it will be even less tasteful if your attorney is not an experience litigator. A good divorce lawyer can cost anywhere from $200 to $400 per hour but experienced divorce layers can cut down on the time and court time during the settlement.

Resources to Find the Best Lawyer

Recognizing the importance of locating the best attorney for our particular legal challenge in your area, a handful of online and offline resources have emerged to assist clients. Online resource centers usually list the lawyers by practice and geographical area.

This is a great place to start your search. You can supplement this resource by seeking referrals from attorneys you use for other matters and by talking with friends. Your business lawyer may well know a good real estate attorney or vice versa.

However, never overlook the importance of the chemistry between lawyer and client. As experienced as an attorney may be in defending clients in sexual harassment cases does not mean you will share a good chemistry. Every legal challenge is different and unique in its own right. What you do not want in a serious legal challenge is an attorney who is not a good listener or who thinks every case is a cookie cutter. Clients want attorneys who understand their personal situation and adapt their strategy to the client’s personal circumstances.

It is a mistake to put too much emphasis on personal referrals or recommendations. Nobody has more at risk in a legal situation than you. It is imperative that you perform extensive due diligence, interview several lawyers from a central list and find the right combination of expertise, experience and chemistry.

Whittling Down Your Options

The local Chamber of Commerce can usually provide a list of lawyers who practice certain specialties. At the same time, your loan officer, or bank can usually provide information about lawyers who could help with a business problem, acquisition or funding issue. These are good resources but in the end, your ability to identify what you need and your legal goals is just as important.

When you have built a solid list of legal candidates qualified to represent you, you must develop a list of questions that will assist you in making the right selection. Never be afraid to discuss cost. How much will the lawyer charge for the services he or she renders?

But, it is equally important to understand the lawyer’s experience. Have they had similar cases.? What were the results? Was the lawyer pleased with the eventual decision? Did the case go to trial or was it resolved as part of a settlement? Does the lawyer recommend trying to settle the case?

These are important questions that can give you insight into the type lawyer you are hiring. Think through all the scenarios and ask the right questions before retaining the services of any lawyer for any situation.