How Do I Find a Lawyer?
By Reid Zeising, CEO & Founder, Cherokee Funding
Choosing the right attorney is key to getting you the best outcome for your case. So you want to make sure that you find a lawyer who is a great fit for your circumstances. However, finding a good lawyer can be challenging. This article will guide you on how to find the right lawyer for you.
Before you begin your search for a lawyer, you’ll want to identify key facts and issues that you think might be critical during the trial. That way you can inform your lawyer of the basic facts once you contact them. Also, you’ll want to learn some of the different methods of how to find a lawyer.
What Are Ways I Can Find a Lawyer?
There are several different approaches to finding a lawyer. Knowing some basics on can take the guesswork out of the search process. Here are a few different methods:
- State Bar: Your State Bar will have a referral service which refers potential clients to attorneys. After interviewing you, the referral service staff will match you with a lawyer who is experienced in the area of law of your case.
- Personal Referrals: You might be able to find a lawyer through a personal referral or a friend who has previously worked with an attorney.
- Advertisements: A good percentage of lawyers use TV, radio and billboards to advertise.
- Go to independent legal directories and legal referral websites: There are many that can help you find a lawyer based on your location and legal issue. These sites often have reviews by clients. Many independent sites provide attorney background information, a record of disciplinary actions, and details about fees.
- PersonalInjury.com: Find lawyers who specialize in personal injury by location. Includes client reviews, articles on relevant legal issues, news and other info related to personal injury.
- FindLaw: Find lawyers by location and expertise. Includes information on legal topics, blogs, and news.
- Avvo: Comprehensive listings of attorneys throughout the US along with client reviews and endorsements from other attorneys.
- AccidentAttorneys: Excellent resource for safety related information and attorneys who concentrate on helping accident victims receive full compensation for their injuries.
- LawHelp: Find free or low-cost legal aid programs for low- and moderate-income people by state. State pages provide legal help guides by subject. Some states let you post questions.
How Do I Find the Right Lawyer?
First, you will want to pick several lawyers who are experienced in the area of law of your case. Then, you will want to interview each of them to see if they are a fit for you and your circumstances. Most personal injury lawyers will answer questions free of charge either face to face or over the phone. Before you meet with any lawyer, make sure you know the right questions to ask.
What Questions Should I Ask?
You'll want to ask questions of any prospective lawyer to make certain they are a good match for you. The State Bar Association of Georgia advises people to ask the following questions before hiring a lawyer:
- Does the attorney specialize in your type of case, and have a track record handling cases similar to yours?
- Who will handle your case, an attorney or a paralegal? Who will be your contact person?
- Roughly how long will it take to resolve your legal matter?
- How will you be kept up to date about the progress of your case?
- What's the best way to communicate, and will you be billed for phone calls and e-mail correspondence with the attorney or other staff members?
- How will fees be calculated—hourly, flat fee, contingent? If it's hourly, will you be billed for portions of an hour?
- What expenses are you responsible for?
- How will you be kept up to date on the amount you owe, and how often will you be billed?
- Is an advance payment required, and if so, what happens to the payment if you terminate the case before it's resolved?
- Will you receive copies of all documents filed in your case?
How Do I Make My Final Decision?
After you have interviewed several lawyers, ask yourself the following questions:
- Will you be comfortable working with the lawyer?
- Does the lawyer have extensive experience in the area of law?
- Does the lawyer’s fee seem reasonable taking into account the complexity of your case?
- Do you understand the lawyer’s vision of your case?
- Do you think the lawyer is skilled enough to handle your case based on the questions you asked?
The answers to these questions will guide you to the best attorney.
What If I Need Financial Assistance Before My Case Settles?
It can take many months (even years) before you a see a penny of your award or settlement. If you’re concerned about paying your bills or you need medical treatment while you wait for trial, there are companies that can help. For example, at my company, Cherokee Funding, we offer cash advances, usually between 10 and 15 percent of your expected settlement. We also offer medical funding so you can get the medical treatment(s) you need. All of our fundings are non-recourse, which means you only repay it if you win your case. To learn more about your options, visit www.cherokeefunding.com or call 855-394-2274.