Almost everything we do is affected by laws. There are so many laws that it would take a person with an average reading skill over a thousand years just to read the law book. As if we have nothing else to do with our lives but read laws. So what do we do when a legal situation arises? Do we handle it ourselves or do we call a lawyer who’s been trained in the legal field? For many people, the thought of calling a lawyer may be frightening. Sometimes they might not even know if they need a lawyer or how to even choose one, so they might avoid contacting a lawyer even when it is in their best interests to do so. However, do your homework before you hire a lawyer for yourself and your business. At the time when you are faced with serious legal or medical problems, you still need to make a good, informed decision about who will represent you. And it doesn’t have to be as hard or as costly as you may think to find a good lawyer. Provided below are some quick tips that can take the stress out of finding a lawyer.
Can I represent myself?
You have the right to represent yourself. However, the law is extremely complex and changes frequently. Unless you dedicate a great deal of your time into educating yourself with all of the laws and legal procedures relevant to your case, you stand a good chance of losing. You may very easily overlook a legal aspect affecting your case that may sometimes bring unanticipated legal consequences that can be difficult and expensive to undo. So, you need to weigh the risks and benefits of representing yourself vs. hiring a lawyer to represent your case.
When do I contact a lawyer?
When faced with a problem that you think it needs legal attention, you may wish to consult with a lawyer about your legal rights and responsibilities as soon as possible. Many states have deadlines for filing lawsuits especially for personal injuries. These so called "statute of limitations" laws are designed to encourage people to promptly come forward and present their case. But this does not mean that you have to simply pick the first lawyer you bump into because you are in a hurry, as you will learn from these tips.
How do I choose the "right" lawyer for me?
From a personal aspect, selecting a lawyer is always a personal matter. But, as with any service providers, the lawyer is just providing his or her service to his or her client. So, the lawyer-client relationship needs to be based on trust and open and honest communication so the lawyer could provide the best of his or her service. It requires a mutual commitment from both the client and the lawyer. If the client is not cooperating fully, the lawyer could not provide the best of his or her service. At the same time, if the lawyer is not easily accessible and prompt in responding to your phone calls, emails, and requests, you are going to get nothing but frustration. Hence, when choosing the "right" lawyer for your case you need to feel 100 percent comfortable when talking to that lawyer and feel confident in his or her abilities. If there is even a single doubt, you need to keep looking. Your case is too important to entrust to someone who does not inspire your confidence.
From a professional aspect, people often believe that simply any lawyer could handle any case. This misleading confidence frequently works to the client’s disadvantage. No lawyer is skilled in every area of the law. So, to find the "right" lawyer for your case you need not to be shy about asking your prospective lawyer questions until you gain full confidence in his or her ability. Only then would you select that lawyer. Actually, while asking the questions, you would be able to observe the lawyer’s responsiveness and readiness to cooperate with you. Some of the most important questions you need to ask your prospective lawyer when going through the selection process are: – What amount of experience do you have in this area of the law? – the area of your legal need. – Will you or one of your associates handle my case? – if an associate handles your case, that is the person you need to interview. – How many cases like mine have you handled? – ask for specifics for each of the cases. – Could you provide me with references from some or each of the cases? – make sure you call each of the clients to learn about their experience.
A responsible and a caring lawyer would have no problems providing you with answers. If the lawyer is giving you runarounds for each of the questions and not providing you with specific answers, you need to keep looking. Also, always check with your State Bar Association if that lawyer has been the subject of an ethical complaint or inquiry.