Having experience with your case type can be incredibly important, especially depending on how nuanced your situation is. Say you're needing to file a paternity action. This process can become complicated, and quickly, so having a lawyer who has extensive experience in paternity action filings would be essential to a smooth process. Diversity in that experience – more cases under their belt – means that the attorney has seen your type of situation from multiple angles and can provide invaluable insight that will ultimately speed up the process and possibly save you money down the line.
This is a big question and ultimately a personal one. Several key factors matter when considering an attorney for your legal needs. What we've found is this: it needs to be the right fit for all involved.
Experience with your case type
What your budget allows
In a perfect world, budgets wouldn't matter. But we realize this is real life, and balance must be found. You may find an attorney with all the experience in the world, but if their costs exceed what you can afford, you'll need to keep looking. We recommend calling a firm and getting their retainer fees upfront before you consult. That way you're not wasting their time – or yours – in a consultation where the relationship won't move forward either way.
Recognized in their field
Experience is one thing – but what is their success rate when it comes to their clients? Are they recognized in their field for your type of case, and are they highly regarded? Seek out referrals, look for reviews online, and find out their primary practice area. Basically, do your research. It's important to know who you'll be working with and how their reputation holds up.
Your Communication Needs
Consider your case, the general “neediness” your situation calls for, and how much communication you feel you'll require. This isn't a good or bad thing – different cases call for different levels of need. But if you're choosing a firm that takes on a lot of clients, you'll want to ask your potential attorney how much time they can devote to your case. You may even ask what their typical response time is (do they respond on weekends, after hours – do they have a 24-hour response time?) so that you can set your expectations, and they can set theirs.
What should you watch for?
In your initial consultation, pay attention to the general vibe. Take notice of how they communicate with you, their personality, and overall demeanor. Always be leery of any kind of “pandering,” selling, or telling you what you want to hear. You want an attorney who is authentic and honest about what they can offer, how they can help you, and whether your case is in their wheelhouse.
To set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call 405-360-8036.