Choosing the Best Lawyer for You
Why would you need a lawyer? Even though this question might sound cliché, there are many sides to it. The first is of course when as an individual you need legal help for a personal issue. The second is when a company requires legal advice and the third is when an existing legal firm needs lawyers and paralegals to outsource a part of their work. While the requirements from a lawyer or a legal firm might be different, in each of these cases there are a few parameters where the criterion for choosing the best lawyer for you will be common. It will therefore be relevant to focus on those points only.
First, research the Internet and choose a lawyer that fits your need. Find out whether he is a specialist in the field that relates to your requirement. The best way is to meet the lawyer and have a detailed discussion with him regarding HIS suitability to take up the case. Is he experienced in that aspect of law that relates to your case and what is it’s percentage to the total number of cases dealt by him? Will the lawyers in Melbourne you ultimately shortlist for your case process it in-house or will a portion of it be outsourced? In the present legal scenario, major law firms prefer to outsource such functions as research and drafting of legal documents to other legal agencies to cut down on expenses. Will the preliminary work of your case be outsourced too? If so, find out the legal implications and whether it will affect the quality of processing in any manner.
The next is of course the fees being charged. You should be comfortable with it. Get a detailed estimate from the lawyer including all rates for court appearances, drawing up agreements, additional costs such as postage and filing fees, and expected fees of other lawyers that would be working on the case. There should be no hidden costs and only when the lawyer assures you of this aspect can you say that he will be the best for you. Another thing to directly ask the lawyer is whether he carries malpractice insurance. It will protect you in future for any default on the quality of services offered by the lawyer.
While you will get most of your questions answered during the interview, it pays to be extra careful. Consult a law directory that has names of law firms and lawyers, their basic profiles as well as their ratings based on previous reviews. You can get such directories in public libraries or even online. The reviews from past and existing clients will give you a good insight into the lawyer’s capability and professional expertise.
Finally, do not get bogged down to a discussion in the board or conference room of the legal firm, ask to be shown around the premises. A neat and orderly establishment speaks volumes of a lawyer’s standing in the legal fraternity. The kind of support staff he has and whether a large portion of the office is unoccupied are some of the red herrings you should look out for.
These pointers will surely help in choosing the best lawyer for you.