What You Should Know about Hiring an Attorney in Chicago
Legal services are similar to any other product: the wise consumer should do comprehensive research before making an informed decision. Unless you are skilled in the relevant area of the law and a vested party fighting for your rights, you may end up walking away with so much less than you are actually entitled to. Once you acquire several lawyer referrals with experience in the related practice area, ensure that you carefully research every candidate. Below are some of the most essential factors that you need to keep in mind when you are searching for the best attorney for your case in Chicago.
Ask for a Referral
Lawyers, accountants, psychologists, financial planners, and other professionals talk to and work with other lawyers when they are working and can often offer you a good referral. Ask them for a few names of attorneys who have good reputations and are more than qualified to handle your case. Lawyers, particularly, have a comprehensive knowledge of the reputations of other lawyers, even those outside their specialization, so a lawyer you already know can be a great place to start. You can also talk to your friends or family members who have experienced a case like yours.
Find at Least Three Potential Attorneys
Don’t hire the first lawyer you find. Not all lawyers have the same skills. Search for at least three attorneys that you can talk to before picking the best one. Narrow down your list of lawyers and schedule meetings with each one of them. Candidates have to ask you a lot of questions, as well. Remember that the more questions you ask, the more you will understand the attorney’s communication approach, personality and breadth of knowledge. It is important that you hire a lawyer that specializes in the area law your case falls into (e.g. criminal appeals, DUI, civil rights, etc.) and one that has extensive experience handling cases comparable to yours. How a lawyers replies to your questions is very important, but communication is a two way street.
Make Your First Appointment
A few lawyers can give a free initial consultation to talk about your case, usually around 30 to 45 minutes. Make sure you bring the relevant paperwork and documentation with you so you are all set to give a general overview of your situation. Consider the professionalism of the lawyer and his staff as top priority, instead of the quality of the office. Because fees pay for everything, a plain office may denote that the lawyer is careful with money and does not spend it on appearances. What is more vital is the friendliness and efficiency of the lawyer and his staff.