Quick Guide to Hiring an Attorney in Chicago
Legal services are comparable to any other product: the wise consumer must conduct thorough research before making an informed choice. 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. Here are a few of the most important things that you need to remember when you are looking 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, 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.
Find at Least Three Potential Attorneys
Don’t hire the first lawyer you encounter. Not all lawyers are created the same. Find at least three attorneys that you can interview before selecting the best one. Narrow down your list of lawyers and schedule meetings with each one of them. 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. Obviously, 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 has experience in dealing with particular cases similar to yours. How a lawyers replies to your questions is very important, but communication is a two way street.
Make Your First Appointment
Many lawyers can give you a free initial consultation to study your case, generally around 30 to 45 minutes. Make sure you bring the relevant paperwork and documentation with you so you are all set to give a general overview of your situation. Prioritize the professionalism of the lawyer and his staff more than 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.