For most of us life has its ups and downs but we soldier on knowing that while the tough times are indeed tough, the good times are right around the corner. When things are going well, they’re going really well and knowing you have the support of friends and family in your life is so much a part of what keeps you going.
But once in a while we hit a bump in a road that even the best wishes of those nearest and dearest to us can’t solve. When these situations occur we have no choice but to get the professionals involved. This is particularly true when you’re in need of legal advice. Maybe something at work has come up that requires some litigation or perhaps a dispute with a contractor or even a neighbor has gotten out of hand and needs the intervention of a third party.
When this happens you’ll want advice from the best in the business, a lawyer who is an expert in the field and who will have the matter resolved quickly and effectively, while representing great value for money.
In this guide we take a look at how to find a lawyer that’s going to give you what you need when you need results.
Who in your network has made use of legal services most recently? Talk to your friends, quiz your family members and start gathering names. Personal recommendations are very often the best place to start and an open door to start communications with a lawyer.
Do your research first by taking a look at their public profile and find out who has the most experience in the field of litigation that you’re looking at. If one particular firm or lawyer jumps out at you start digging a little deeper, check out any testimonials they have on their page and see if you can find a record online of their trial results and dispute settlements.
You may then want to arrange a meeting to see if your initial assessment is in the right ballpark. Most lawyers will give you somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes to discuss your case before they start charging you, so use that time to make a more solid opinion before you decide to take it any further.
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Such a key element to any work. The relationship between lawyer and client is one of confidentiality and privilege so your need for great communication must be met. You need to make sure your lawyer is listening to you, taking on board your instructions and gives you the right levels of reassurance without creating unrealistic expectations.
Avoid grandiose gestures and promises of a big win, but instead opt for someone calm, level headed but with the determination, drive and skill to see your case through to the end and in your favor.
If you’re struggling to find someone who ticks all of these boxes, then you should consider contacting a lawyer referral service who should be able to set you up with a good match for your specific legal needs.
Time Is Money
And with a lawyer that time is not cheap. You may need to take a serious look at your finances before you ask a lawyer to act on your behalf. Often they will charge by the hour but in the likelihood of there being financial compensation and the end of the proceedings, they may consider waiting for payment from that compensation.
You’ll want to discuss these arrangements before you make your appointment and talk through your budget limitations with your lawyer. You may also want to consider applying for something like Legal Aid if your circumstances fit the criteria.
Legal work takes time and can very often be a long and frustrating process. Keep things flowing by having all your documents ready. Create a file for you and your lawyer so you both have access to anything important. It’s important to back up this file electronically and stored, for example, on the Cloud so in the event of lost paperwork or a faulty computer, your backed-up material is easily available. Do this regularly to ensure minimum loss.
It’s highly unlikely you’ll hear from your lawyer on a daily basis, particularly during those early stages of negotiation with the other side. They may instead update you once a week or as and when there is any news.
While there is little to be gained by a daily call, if you do feel you’re being kept out of the loop, call your lawyer. You are, after all, paying the bills and entitled to know how the case is progressing and what work is being carried out on your behalf.
With that in mind, make sure you are always available where possible to avoid your lawyer wasting valuable time tracking you down. Make sure to keep your regular appointments and answer any queries they may have promptly.
When you only have one shot at getting it right, you’re looking to have someone on your side who totally gets the complexity of your case, who understands the outcome you want to happen and who will move heaven and earth to make that a reality.
Start your process by getting the basics in place. Think carefully about your budget and if you might prefer working with a large firm with lots of resources or a smaller firm with many years’ experience in your area of litigation need.
Find a lawyer that you feel confident in right from the off. Someone who is great at communicating and explaining the process but someone too, who paints you a realistic picture.
Nobody wants to go through legal proceedings if they can possible help it, but if you’re up against it, then you need someone on your side with the grit, determination and experience to help you win. Life is full of ups and downs so get a lawyer at the top if their game to pull you through this tough time and into a brighter future.