Choosing the right lawyer to meet your needs is important. Think of your lawyer as your friend and confidant. Someone who will make decisions based on the best outcome for you…someone you can trust…your legal coach.
So, how do you begin your search? Instead, let’s start with how not to begin your search. Don’t let fancy billboards, signs on buses and taxis, online or print directories or roadside benches be your guide. There just isn’t enough information on any of these for you to make a qualified decision. Instead, you will need to do your homework to choose a lawyer.
Only 3% of Florida Lawyers
are Board Certified
One of the first pieces of information you’ll want to know is if the lawyer Board Certified. If the answer is “no”, you may want to move on and continue your search. If the answer is “yes”, your prospect is a certified trial lawyer. Becoming a Board Certified lawyer means that he or she has met stringent requirements, such as participating in “x” number of trials, practicing for “x” amount of years, completed an examination and has recommendation letters from judges and other lawyers. Board certification rules are tough and only 3% of Florida’s lawyers are Board Certified.
Also, talk to your friends and business associates to see what lawyer or firm they recommend. Next, set up interviews with potential lawyers and be sure to take a tour of their office. Offices are like homes – they can tell you a lot about someone!
During the interview, inquire about the outcome of recent cases. As with every type of business, the right answer is that the firm has won most of the cases, but not all. No one is perfect and lawyers don’t win every case every time. Don’t choose a lawyer because they claim to have never lost a case, instead be suspicious – they may have only tried cases that were slam dunks. Also be sure to ask when their last trial was and when the next one is scheduled for. If the last case was over a year ago and the next one is further out than six months, take this as a warning sign that the firm is not very active.
Now that you’ve interviewed your potential lawyers, go home and ask yourself some questions that will help you determine which one is the best “fit”.
- Were your questions answered promptly?
- Are you comfortable talking with him or her?
- Are the services offered a good fit for your needs?
You should be able to narrow down your prospects now. The last step in choosing a lawyer is to consult Martindale-Hubbel ® to find the firm’s lawyer rating. This directory includes basic profile data on every lawyer in the United States and Canada with ratings based on peer reviews.
Spend the time now to choose a lawyer that is a good match and you’ll have someone by your side that you can count on for many years to come!