The process of finding vetted lawyers can be a challenge. A good lawyer is an asset, especially when you’re going through a difficult legal situation like filing for bankruptcy, a divorce or starting a new business. While it’s important to find an attorney with the right experience, there are a number of other qualities you should look for. The best attorney for you will be one who is empathetic to your situation, has the right amount of experience and isn’t too expensive.
A good way to start the vetting process is to ask your family and friends for recommendations. If someone in your network has gone through a similar legal issue, they may be able to recommend a lawyer who would fit you well. Social media can also be a good tool to use to expand your network of potential attorneys. Posting a question online can help you connect with people who might have strong recommendations for your specific case.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential attorneys find vetted lawyers, schedule an interview with them. During this meeting, pay close attention to how they interact with you and whether or not they seem genuinely interested in your case. Also note how they respond to your questions, their level of detail and whether or not they take the time to explain things in a way that you can understand them. Then, ask about their fees and how they bill for their services. Some attorneys charge a flat fee for a particular project while others have an hourly rate.
Another thing to consider is their reputation among other attorneys. You can do this by researching their name on the state bar’s website or using a service that specializes in researching lawyers’ backgrounds. Typically, a higher star rating on sites such as Avvo or Martindale-Hubbell is a good sign. These services usually verify an attorney’s credentials, find discrepancies in their background and check their history of ethical complaints against them.
In addition, a high-rating on these services means that a lot of lawyers have found the attorney favorable in their opinion. However, you should not necessarily use these sites to determine an attorney’s level of expertise, as they are often pay-to-play rankings and do not adequately account for the specifics of your case.
In order to assess an attorney’s expertise, it can be helpful to ask them about the types of cases they have handled in the past and to ask them for examples of their work. You can also research their level of experience by searching the state bar’s database for any cases that they have filed in the past. You should also try to find out if they have any prior experience with your specific type of case, such as high net worth divorce, military divorce or unique LGBT issues. You can also find out if they have any professional memberships or organizations in your field, such as the American Bar Association, which could help you determine an expert’s reliability.