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 secure a few lawyer referrals with experience in the relevant practice area, make sure that you meticulously research each 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 meet and work with other lawyers as they are working and can often provide you with a useful referral. Ask them for a few names of attorneys who have good reputations and are more than qualified to handle your case. Lawyers, specifically, have an intimate knowledge of the reputations of other lawyers, even those not within their specialization, so a lawyer you already know can be a good place to begin. 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 see. Not all lawyers have the same skills. Look for at least three attorneys that you can speak with before choosing the best one. Narrow down your list of lawyers and try to interview each one. Candidates have to 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. 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.
Plan for a First Consultation
Some lawyers can provide a free initial consultation to examine your case, typically 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. Prioritize the professionalism of the lawyer and his staff more than 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 essential is the friendliness and efficiency of the lawyer and his staff.