How To Evaluate Potential Lawyers

In the middle of stressful legal trouble, people must have 100% trust in the criminal defense lawyer who’s handling their case.  Life can feel incredibly unstable when criminal charges are on the table. Before hiring a lawyer, feeling completely at ease and confident in your lawyer’s skills will take a mountain of anxiety off of a person’s back.

Defense attorneys want you to trust them. Law school and years of experience working through cases give them the ability to bring your case to a successful resolution. So how can you determine whether or not a law firm or attorney is going to command your trust and handle your case capably?

Don’t judge based on the wrong factors.

It’s important to get a good feeling about the attorney early on, from everything from the way they interact with you on your initial phone call to the way they reach out to potential clients through their marketing materials and website. Be careful about judging them before you meet them in person, however, as this is the best way to truly judge their character and capabilities. You’ll be spending a lot of time working with your lawyer, so you want to make sure you feel comfortable with them.

Read reviews about them from other clients.

It should be quickly apparent whether or not the lawyer is someone you want to work with when you hear the recommendations of others. Again, take them with a grain of salt, as some clients are more difficult to please than others. But great reviews can be a green light, while an abundance of poor reviews should be a red flag. Most lawyers list testimonials on their own site, but you can also find them on lawyer review sites such as Super Lawyers and Avvo.

See what the community says.

Do searches online of the lawyer or law firm’s name. See if the press has highlighted their achievements in any way. Does this person have high rankings and positive press? When you search their name, do the results paint a positive picture of this person as a respected legal professional?

Consider awards or recognitions they have achieved.

As with any profession, awards and recognitions denote a person who has worked hard and been celebrated in their field. These are strong indications that the attorney is someone you can trust. Have they been active in their legal community? Have they chaired groups or published research? Have local publications recognized their work in any way?

Follow your gut at the initial consultation.

Although first impressions can be misguided, we can often trust our instincts after spending half an hour or an hour with someone. The purpose of the initial consultation is to give you the chance to evaluate how much you’d be comfortable working with this lawyer. If an attorney’s office manner, personality, and way of interacting with you is reassuring and puts you at ease from the get-go, it’s a good sign that you will feel like they are capable and trustworthy later on.

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