What Criteria Should You Use To Find The Right Legal Counsel?
by Abdul Aziz Mondal Legal 16 May 2023
When you need legal representation to defend yourself or your business against a lawsuit, it is extremely important that you choose the right counsel. As you are deciding who you should retain, consider some of these key factors to identify someone who will be able to represent your interests effectively, protect your legal rights, and generate positive results.
Of all of the criteria that should figure into your search parameters, experience is one of the most important. In particular, the counsel who you engage should specialize in the area of the law that you need help with.
For example, you would not want to hire a lawyer to defend you in a personal injury case if that person’s primary practice area centers on totally unrelated areas of the law such as estate planning or criminal defense. Instead, you should choose someone whose practice largely concentrates on personal injury. Likewise, you will need to engage a lawyer who has trial advocacy experience instead of a lawyer who does mostly transactional work.
Each facet of the law is very different from one another. Lawyers with expertise in specific areas are knowledgeable about applicable statutory law, evidentiary matters, and procedural regulations that are relevant to your claim. An experienced practitioner is also going to be familiar with the types of defense strategies that an opposing party’s attorney may use to counter certain claims.
To ensure that you are selecting a skilled and successful advocate, you cannot rely wholly on a firm or solo practitioner’s marketing materials alone to assess their capabilities. The very best attorneys who have the most experience in their practice area are likely to hold a high level of esteem within their professional community. Service awards or honorary designations tend to be a reliable testament to an attorney’s track record.
Look at directories that rank attorneys using equitable, impartial selection methodologies rather than focusing on local directories where firms can buy listings in. Refer to Robert McKenna attorney honors in America’s Top 100 Civil Defense Litigators. This type of recognition speaks to a civil defense attorney’s professional experience and ethics.
Checking out a lawyer’s involvement in a professional association can also shed light on strengths or weaknesses. A state or city bar association may also have information about local practitioners available to the public.
You may find materials about lawyers’ involvement with an association and their contributions to reform initiatives or pro bono endeavors. You might also be able to locate records concerning any prior disciplinary action that a state’s board of bar overseers has taken against an attorney for alleged violations of professional conduct responsibility.
Client References And Reviews
In addition to directories that feature attorneys with professional honors and accolades, you should also consult popular third-party directories that have reviews from an attorney’s past clients. Getting insights about what individuals’ experiences were like and reading about whether they were satisfied with the outcome of a representation can assist you in making a well-informed evaluation.
When you have your initial consultation with an attorney, you should immediately start thinking about how well you are able to understand one another. Is the attorney listening to you or continually interrupting you? Are you getting practical answers to your questions? Is an attorney asking you meaningful questions?
It is crucial that your attorney can be on the same page when you communicate. You should get a strong sense that the person who will represent you has a clear understanding of your objectives and is able to convey the steps that he or she is going to take to help you achieve them.
One of the most common criticisms that people have about a negative experience in legal representation is that their attorneys did not communicate with them effectively or responsively. The best lawyers tend to have busy workloads, but they also have the right resources in place to manage their time efficiently. Basically, attorneys must give each representation that they take on the right level of attention to advance their client’s interests.
Ultimately, choosing the right attorney could be determinative of the outcome of a claim against you. Bringing in knowledgeable, experienced counsel can make a difficult situation much easier to navigate.