Choosing an attorney or lawyer is usually a complicated task for many. You should do this carefully, just like when you are hiring an accountant or contractor. You will not only be sharing confidential information, but you will also be trusting this person to provide you with legal advice and guide you through situations you might not otherwise be able to. Before choosing the right attorney for your legal needs, consider the following factors: cost, qualifications, and area of practice. You can click here to find out more about this topic in Stockton.
These are things to consider when looking for a lawyer.
Main areas of activity/indication of sub-areas of professional activity
A clue as to which areas of law the potential lawyer prefers are provided by his so-called focus areas. In general, specialization is an advantage, as the lawyer usually has long-term experience and knowledge in the relevant area of law.
For example, if you’re filing a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit, you must employ a pregnancy discrimination attorney because they are the ones with the most legal expertise in handling your case.
Whether one should draw the reverse conclusion from this that a specialized lawyer is not as well versed in another area of law is certainly not one that can be generalized. In theory, legal training is designed so that every lawyer can familiarize himself with any field of law. Understandably, every lawyer develops specific preferences here in the course of his career.
The interpersonal relationship between client and lawyer is also essential! Choosing a lawyer can mean working with you for a longer period. Often it is about very personal, if not sensitive issues. It is therefore important to develop a good personal relationship with your lawyer. Because only then is the emotional level there to open up and address all the details of the matter.
Therefore, the soft skills of the respective lawyer play just as important a role as academic titles or court experience. The overall package of soft skills and technical know-how must be right because only then will the cooperation be crowned with success. Effective cooperation will only be possible if you as a client feel taken seriously, understood and in good hands. Therefore, the soft skills describe the lawyer’s way of dealing with people and decisions as well as his emotional intelligence.
Various points can play a role here:
• Ability to work in a team
• Communication skills
• Conflict ability
As a client, you should try to get an idea of the lawyer’s so-called soft skills. Soft skills are used to describe dealing with people and decisions, as well as emotional intelligence. The best way to get information about the soft skills is by presenting yourself on the firm’s homepage and by calling the firm personally. Under certain circumstances, you can even get an idea of the lawyer in the run-up to the mandate through a personal conversation with the lawyer.
Examples of questions to the lawyer would be, for example:
• What are the costs for an initial consultation in the case?
• Have you already gained experience in the relevant area of law or comparable situations?
• How many cases have you already worked on in this area?
As a client, you can then ask yourself, among other things:
• Do I feel that my lawyer is taking me seriously?
• Does he approach my problems in a respectful or condescending, or arrogant way?
• Does he take my worries and questions seriously, or does he dismiss them as insignificant?
• How does he react to critical questions?
Other Essential Qualities
If you are currently looking for a lawyer yourself, you should pay attention to a few quality criteria:
A good lawyer works independently and will constantly evaluate your case objectively. He does not try to act in the interests of insurance companies, associations or other institutions but solely depends on the client.
If a lawyer takes over your mandate, he will act in your interest from now on. He makes his legal expertise available and renders his service to clients. He will be honest with you as the case progresses and will regularly contact you to keep you informed of all the details.
In any case, lawyers have a duty of confidentiality. Nothing that concerns the mandate or your person may leak out. The lawyer can and must invoke his duty of confidentiality at all times. This strengthens the trust between you and the lawyer, and you can feel safe to address and disclose personal details of the case. Incidentally, the lawyer is not there to judge you or to take a judgmental stance. If he takes on the mandate, he will do everything possible to enforce your rights and claims in the best possible way, no matter his personal opinion regarding the case.
A picture is worth a thousand words
It may sound superficial, but of course, we are very much guided by our first impression. This also applies to the choice of legal counsel. Therefore, of course, lawyer profiles with a photo are particularly popular. Here you can then decide for yourself which type of presentation on a photo you prefer with a lawyer. A sympathetic smile or a more energetic, self-confident look?
Assess the web presence
How the lawyer presents his law firm can also provide information about whether or not one would feel comfortable there.
Listen carefully on the phone
Take the opportunity to arrange an initial meeting by phone. Because even the first phone call with a law firm can be very informative. Is the contact friendly or rather stressed and abrupt? Of course, you could have just had a bad day at the receptionist here, but the service on the phone is also an essential feature for a competent law firm.
Trust in other opinions
You can read reviews of law firms on our website Juraforum.de as well as on other lawyer platforms.
This is where other clients share their experiences with you and are happy to recommend a lawyer who has given them good advice and represented them. Of course, you can also google the lawyer’s name or the law firm to come across testimonials and possible negative criticisms.
It can take you time to find the perfect attorney for you. It is worth your time to find a quality attorney, even if you have to interview several people before you make your decision.
Finding a lawyer who fits your needs, budget, and welfare will give you peace of mind because you can trust that they will look out for your best interest.