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How to Know If Your Lawyers are Right for You If you need the services of a lawyer, you’ll be surprised at how many are available. The profusion of lawyers to choose from can be quite overwhelming and frustrating. But you still need to select the right lawyer if you want your case to be resolved satisfactorily. Your first step would be to determine the nature of your legal issue and base your choice of attorney from there. Whether or not you are processing immigration papers, selling or purchasing real estate or filing for compensation from personal injuries, a lawyer who is familiar with the subject is good to have. Look at the lawyer’s experience and expertise in the field for which you require legal services then gauge his or her fitness for the job. Technically, anyone who passed the bar examinations is qualified to practice law but you may want to look at other credentials. Normally, lawyers pick an area of specialization such as criminal law, family law, immigration law, labor law, personal injury law or real estate law.
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A general practitioner may not be as helpful to you as a specialist. If you want to start a business, you want an attorney who has adequate training and experience in small business law to help you understand zoning laws, employment discrimination, software design issues, or restaurant licensing. You do not want a lawyer who will just start learning your concerns. A specialist may charge a little bit more but their in-depth information can save you money in the long run.
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You also need to pay attention to the lawyer’s personality if it agrees with yours. Do you really want to do business with someone who may be highly recommended and credentialed, but feels privileged and entitled, and is arrogant and self-centered? Try to assess the personal chemistry between you and your counsel. If you feel uncomfortable with the person during your first couple of meetings, it does not bode well for an ideal lawyer-client relationship. Since you will be working with your attorney for an extended period of time, seek an attorney whose personality meshes with yours. A suitable lawyer should also be within your price range. Whether you will be paying a fixed charge or an hourly rate, you want to have an idea of how much you’ll shell out and if it is worth it. During the initial meeting, the costs should be laid out clearly. You want to avoid being charged per hearing or in a manner that condones extending the case so your counsel can make a bundle. How much the case will cost should be written in black and white.