Visalia & Tulare County Criminal Defense Attorney | Casey D. Martin | 900 West Main Street, Visalia, CA 93291
THE MARTIN LAW FIRM | Serving Visalia & Porterville, CA
Choosing a Lawyer who is right for you | Casey D. Martin
Your lawyer can make or break your entire case. It simply isn’t enough to look through the phone book or search engine pages to find the best fit for you. It is important to research and compare attorneys in your area, so you can make an informed decision. You do not want to have someone you know nothing about hold your legal matter (and sometimes your life) in their hands.
Personal referrals are a great way to learn about lawyers in your community. If you know someone who has faced a similar legal situation, ask them who their lawyer was and if they were satisfied with their services. If you talk to multiple people who have had a similar legal problem, chances are high you will come away with at least a few good leads. It is important to mention, though, that you should not make your decision solely on the basis of someone else’s recommendation. Different people respond differently to a certain lawyers style, approach, and personality. Make sure to meet with the potential lawyer and discuss your case before deciding whether or not they are a good fit. It is YOUR legal matter, so you need to make sure you feel comfortable with whoever is representing you.
When interviewing with a prospective lawyer, there are many things to consider.
Do you trust that their personality is compatible with your own?
Pay close attention to how you feel around them. If you do not feel comfortable around your lawyer in first few meetings, it is unlikely that you will ever establish an ideal client-attorney relationship.
Is the lawyer easily accessible?
Many lawyers are very busy. You want someone who has a demanding schedule; this means they are getting valuable experience. What you don’t want is someone who is hard to get in touch with. Find out from your prospective lawyer how long it generally takes to get a response from them. You want to make sure you are still a priority, even if your lawyer is juggling multiple cases.
Are you looking for an aggressive lawyer or someone who is more likely to fight for a settlement?
Both types of lawyers have their place and depending on your case, you will need to decide if you want someone who will not back down or someone who is the type of lawyer to get the matter settled as quickly as possible. If you are certain you want to go to trial and fight your legal battle, look for a lawyer who goes to trial a lot. If you hate confrontation and want the entire process settled quickly (often the case for divorce or alimony matters), then look for an attorney who leans towards mediation.
Is the lawyer willing to work with you financially?
You can’t trade price for experience and legal services are often very costly. However, many lawyers will try and do what they can to help you afford their services. Smaller firms generally have cheaper rates and more flexibility. Attorneys can be paid either by an hourly rate, a flat rate, a contingency fee, or through retainers. You don’t necessarily want to go for the cheapest lawyer around. Make sure it’s someone who has experience in your legal matter. Or if you are leaning towards hiring a young inexperienced lawyer, ensure that you trust them to learn quickly on the job and have strong resources in case issues do come up.