What should I look for in an attorney?

A reliable attorney is an invaluable resource when faced with litigation. That's why the decision should not be entered into lightly, as making the wrong selection can cost you a lot. The Balance recommends the following steps so you may rest assured the lawyer you choose is up to challenge. 

After identifying a potential attorney, schedule a consultation to determine whether it's a true match. While at the office, pay close attention to your surroundings. The office itself should be neat and well-organized, as this reflects how organized your legal team is in general. When interacting with the staff you should get a sense of competency and organization. Keep in mind that these are the people who will be integral in getting you a successful verdict, so any misgivings should be taken seriously. As for your attorney, he or she should present a professional demeanor both in and out of the courtroom. 

Some attorneys have specialties and it's preferred that a lawyer have extensive experience in the legal matter affecting you. A track record of past cases can also be illuminating. In terms of fees and payments, ask for a projected tally of the cost of your case and try to get it in writing. You should also inquire whether you'll be charged a flat fee, by the hour, or on contingency, which means your attorney would be paid from any settlement you receive. 

Asking for referrals during the consultation is another good step. Past clients will be forthcoming about a firm's strengths and weaknesses, which gives you a clearer picture of its competency. An online search of review sites can provide even more information, including information on violations or other issues. 




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