A Guide to Hiring an Attorney from Charles Emmett Harris
When it comes to hiring an attorney, it can be quite stressful to find the right one, even though you’re likely already in a difficult situation that actually requires an attorney. The truth is there are many lawyers and it can be quite difficult to figure out which one to hire.
Should you hire the attorney that has advertisements plastered all over the sidewalk or should you take more time to do a deeper search? Also, exactly what factors should you pay attention to? Charles Emmett Harris, an experienced attorney shares what you should consider when choosing an attorney.
1. Figure out the type of lawyer that you require
In law, there are many different specializations. Attorneys no longer practice all the different types of law. Basically, laws change quite rapidly and it is too difficult for a single attorney to be completely knowledgeable in all the different types of laws. Due to this, the vast majority of lawyers only focus on one or a couple of areas.
Keep in mind that lawyers can’t use the term, “specialize” in advertisements according to the Washington State Bar Association. However, in these ads, lawyers typically state the type of law that they focus on. You should always be cautious whenever you speak to a lawyer and they try to make huge promises or indicate that they can do law in any and every field.
This would clearly show that they don’t have the necessary skills in the particular type of law you require for your case. You should look for a lawyer that specifically practices the particular type of law that your case is about and they should have a lot of experience in that area.
2. Look at social media
The great thing about social media is that you can easily use these platforms to find lots of different lawyers before you call or message one. A couple excellent sites that you can use to find lawyers include:
When you search for lawyers on the above sites you’ll be able to see how many years of experience they have, the particular fields that they practice in, their qualifications and education, testimonials, endorsements etc.
3. Check out law firm websites
In these modern times, the vast majority of law firms would have a website. However, the type of content and the quality would differ from one site to the next. Do keep in mind that some law forms would have more general and insignificant information on their sites whereas other sites may be more helpful with quality content.
Even though you may be tempted by verdicts and huge settlements shown on a particular firm’s website, be sure to keep in mind that all cases differ and the circumstances surrounding your case as well as the experience and skill of the lawyer will determine the outcome. Always remember that no lawyer can 100% guarantee that you’ll have a particular outcome or receive a specific dollar amount.
So, when you’re reading through any lawyer’s information and biography, you should look at their credentials and professional history very closely. You should check if they are a member of professional associations and the relevance of those associations to your current case. Also check their position in the organization and if they were a leader or an ordinary member.
Be sure to see if they have ever published any papers on your particular area of law or if they have gotten any awards for outstanding work and service. A lawyer that is a leader and active member of a professional association will likely be up to date in their knowledge and have the best techniques to deal with your case. It also shows that they have an attitude of excellence and they will likely do everything they can do for you.
4. Speak to friends
You should talk to your friends and ask if they have any friends who happen to be lawyers or if they have hired lawyers before. You should get the contact information of these lawyers and be sure to ask about their experience and if they were satisfied with the lawyer. Be sure to also ask about their level of communication, professionalism and if they thoroughly explained everything to them.
Also inquire about if they treated them with care and respect and if they did their best to win their case. Once your friend was pleased with all of these things, then you likely have a good recommendation. Of course, you should also do your own research before hiring any recommended attorney.
5. Call the lawyer and do a mini-interview
A lot of law firms have websites with a contact form where you can easily get into contact with the firm. Many of them also include email links on their social media pages or even phone numbers that you can directly call. Now, keep in mind that the lawyer won’t be able to tell you how your case will turn out without thoroughly looking at all the information and evidence.
However, they should be able to discuss basic things when it comes to your case and the area of law that would impact you. They should also be able to tell you the process for your case and how they can handle and resolve it. Additionally, they should be able to let you know how they structure their fees.
Pay close attention to how the lawyer responds to all of these things on the phone and this will let you know if they are suitable for you or not. Also, make sure that you talk to and meet at least a couple of lawyers first before hiring one.