How to Choose The Best Law Firm for Your Family
Often when the phrase “you had better call your lawyer” is stated, you probably think of a detective television show where a suspect is being questioned. But there are many cases in real life that don’t include criminals or police that you just may need your family lawyer on speed dial. Often doctors and lawyers are lumped together because they both solve tough problems that take special skills. Now chances are you’ll only need to consult with an attorney for a short period until a particular case is litigated, unless you’re a business owner who might have ongoing legal needs. But there are things to consider when deciding who you would prefer to represent you.
1. General Practice Or Specific Practice Law Firms
Depending on where you live or what your specific needs are, you might need to hire a general practice law firm or go with a specialized one. General practice attorneys have knowledge in more than one area of law, and in some smaller towns it’s beneficial to both them and their clients to be in general practice. But some cases that are specific to an area of law and are more complex may be better handled by a lawyer or law firm who specializes in that specific area. Usually law firms specializing in very specific practices will cost more than general practice law firms.
2. The Law Firm’s Accomplishments
Chances are if you’re choosing a law firm based on a friend or other family member’s recommendation, your friend probably told you how the attorney helped them. But if not, you should look at a law firm’s track record to see what kind of certifications their chief attorneys and associates hold, the percentage of cases they’ve successfully litigated, and widely recognized awards they’ve received. You should also make sure they’ve not had complaints filed against them either for ethics problems or conflicts of interest.
3. Attorneys And Fees
As you might have guessed, the fun part of hiring your lawyer is always finding out their fees which could be flat, hourly rate charges or both. You’ll want to know things such as whether your initial face-to-face consultation will be free, ways you could cut on costs by taking care of certain document gatherings, what their billing and payment system is like, retainer fees and contingency fees and and all the rest. Usually the attorney will have a printed form detailing what you would pay if they take your case.
The conclusion is choosing the right law firm for your family takes time and likely multiple calls to different firms to figure out which one would be suited to handle your case. It’s good to have a written summary and documents handy to sum up your case quickly so you don’t waste either your time or the firm’s time during the initial calls or visits. If you meet certain personal or income requirements, you may even be able to get free representation for your case through a local organization, so don’t forget to check on that.