Avoid these pitfalls when hiring a lawyer

There may come a time in your life when you are going to need to hire a lawyer.  Whether it’s to handle matters surrounding your divorce or the death of a loved one, to help with a personal injury claim or to help you navigate a civil suit, a lawyer has the skills and legal knowledge that you need. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to fall victim to these common pitfalls when trying to choose the lawyer for you.

Combined experience

One of the biggest draws to a law firm is their “combined years of experience.”  This doesn’t really mean anything.  Having over 50 years of combined experience doesn’t account to much if the firm has 50 lawyers!  Always find out how much experience the particular lawyer you are considering hiring has under his belt, not the cumulative total of the whole firm.  That will give you a much better picture of the experience of the individual lawyer and how much money they have been able to collect in the past.

An all-in-one firm

Be wary of firms that proclaim to be able to handle a seemingly endless roster of services.  Although it may seem impressive that a firm offers a one-size-fits all approach, law isn’t a one-size-fits-all field.  It’s better to find a firm that specializes in the particular kind of law you need.  The adage “Jack of all trades, master of none” applies here.  It’s better to find representation that has specific experience in delivering the services you need rather than hiring one who can do A, B and C and also X, Y and Z.  Don’t take the one-stop-shopping approach to finding a lawyer.

Don’t believe that bigger is always better

It can be very tempting to be lured in by the slick, fancy cache of a large law firm, but this isn’t always the case.  Smaller, boutique firms can give you a higher degree of personal service and attention that you would get from a large firm.  This is one case where bigger is not necessarily better. Don’t pick your lawyer based on how many lawyers’ names are on the door.

Don’t let cost guide your choice

Just as you shouldn’t be lured in by the slick veneer of a big firm, you should also not be tempted to hire a firm based on their prices.  It’s much wiser to hire a lawyer based on their experience and knowledge rather than how low their prices are.  That’s not to say that a more expensive firm will necessarily provide better legal services or give better legal advice, but the lowest cost shouldn’t be your main impetus for hiring a particular firm.

Hiring a lawyer can be a daunting experience.  It can be very difficult to know which ones to hire and which ones to steer away from, but these tips should help steer you in the right direction.  Professional firms can offer you expertise and knowledge, but you should always go with your gut.  If you meet a lawyer and something doesn’t feel right, or you just don’t click with them, they probably aren’t the right fit for you and you should keep looking.

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