Quick Guide to Hiring an Attorney in Chicago
Legal services are a lot like any other product: the wise consumer needs to do extensive research before making an informed decision. Unless you have an in-depth knowledge of the law and a vested party fighting for your rights, you may end up walking away with far less than you are actually entitled to. Once you secure a few lawyer referrals with experience in the relevant practice area, make sure that you meticulously research each candidate. If you are looking for the best attorney for your case in Chicago, here are some of the top considerations that you need to keep in mind.
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, especially, have a thorough knowledge of the reputations of other lawyers, even those outside their specialization, so a lawyer you already know can be a good starting point. You can also talk to your friends or family members who have experienced a case like yours.
Talk to at Least Three Potential Attorneys
Don’t hire the first lawyer you find. Not all lawyers have the same skills. Find at least three attorneys that you can interview before selecting the best one. Narrow down your list of lawyers and take the time to interview each one. Candidates should ask you a lot of questions, as well. Do not forget that the more questions you ask, the more you will get to know the attorney’s communication approach, personality and depth of knowledge. Evidently, you need to hire a lawyer that specializes in the field of law your case is involved in (e.g. criminal appeals, DUI, civil rights, etc.) and one that’s experienced in handling specific cases like yours. How a lawyers replies to your questions is very important, but communication is a two way street.
Plan for a First Consultation
Many lawyers can give you a free initial consultation to study your case, generally around 30 to 45 minutes. Ensure you have the relevant paperwork and documentation with you so you will be prepared to provide a broad outline of your case. Consider the professionalism of the lawyer and his staff as top priority, instead of the quality of the office. Due to the fact fees pay for everything, a plain office may imply that the lawyer is circumspect with money and does not waste it on appearances. What is more important is the friendliness and efficiency of the attorney and his staff.