Prospective clients often ask me how to find a good lawyer. The simple answer is: find a qualified lawyer who loves to practice law. It’s not easy, but it’s possible! Lawyers who love practicing law will likely be happier and easier to work with, thus making your overall experience more valuable and less frustrating.
Let’s face it– people don’t typically call their lawyers because they’re happy. I seldom receive phone calls from clients because they closed a new account or became grandparents. Instead, people call lawyers because something bad happened or they need a legal advice to solve an urgent problem. But overworked and emotionally drained lawyers often do not have the time or capacity to deal with yet another crisis. Such lawyers postpone such phone calls to another day, week, or even a month (sometimes forgetting to return calls), in hopes of having more time or being in a better emotional state to address yet another issue. This is not an ideal situation for you or your lawyer.
Qualities Over Ratings
When you select a lawyer, I recommend that you focus on the lawyer’s personal qualities and ability to handle your matters. On the other hand, I do not recommend giving much weight to third-party ratings. Such third-party ratings are often of questionable value and authority. For example, some of the best lawyers have marginal ratings because rating agencies often focus on the lawyers’ on-line participation and marketing dollars, rather than on the objective ratings for consumers or businesses.
You will likely spend many days– if not weeks or years– with your lawyer, going through some of the most challenging times of your life. It’s therefore important for you to focus on the lawyer’s qualities that you can independently evaluate based on your individual knowledge and experiences. You should pay attention to the lawyer’s personal qualities, such as: responsiveness, organizational skills, and “approachability.” Since you will need your lawyer’s undivided attention, it’s imperative that he or she has the physical and emotional capacity to undertake your matters.
In closing, you should try to engage a lawyer whom you can trust and build a long-term relationship– and the lawyer who loves practicing law is much more likely to fit the bill.
This article is intended to serve as a general summary of the issues outlined therein. While this article may include general guidance, it is not intended as, nor is it a substitute for, a qualified legal advice. Your receipt of this article from Lexern Law Group, Ltd. (the “LLG”) or any of its attorneys does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the LLG. The opinions expressed in this articles are those of the authors of the article and does not reflect the opinion of the LLG.