9 Signs Of A Good Lawyer
A trusted solicitor is hard to find, just like a good product or service. It entails doing a lot of research and many background checks. In life, generally, situations will arise that we do not expect or want, and we find ourselves summoned or charged for a crime.
We may be too confused or utterly stressed out on the next course of action at such dark moments. Hiring a lawyer helps us to arm ourselves with the right people to guide us through legal processes.
From finances, car accident claims, murders, divorce, medical malpractices to child custody, legal protection is critical. Finding a suitable lawyer is thus a necessary process.
You require a thorough search and referrals from your business advisors, friends, and other trusted sources to get started. You may also need to conduct an online search, consult with law firm websites or bar associations.
#1. Has Specialized Expertise
Hiring a general lawyer is so tempting due to low rates or a good record of handling cases. The delusions that all attorneys can argue all cases are so popular, yet it is a considerable risk to your lawsuit.
When looking for lawyers, be certain that they understand the local laws and processes. Various countries, states, or counties may have different regulations and rules that govern them.
Reasonable attorneys will express their knowledge and expertise in local statutory laws. Possession of such knowledge is critical in representing you and maybe the clear cut to a winning or losing case.
Specialized lawyers have a depth of knowledge in their particular field. Specialization may be in personal injury, business law, family law, labor laws, immigration law, criminal law, civil law, or equity law.
Diverse laws apply in different litigation cases. The rules surrounding accident claims and divorce are variant. It, therefore, implies that picking a solicitor for an insurance claim is separate from selecting one for a medical malpractice case.
Check for state Bar-certified lawyers online to confirm the kind of specialization by your potential attorney. It is important to note that lawyers understand the different timelines involved in gathering evidence and presenting them before the jury.
Therefore, a great attorney informs you about the process beforehand and the associated deadlines for your case. A local specialized lawyer has a great understanding of how certain judges act when specific cases are before them.
Suppose a magistrate is notoriously strict about rape or drinking and driving behaviors. Such knowledge helps your attorney to prepare responses and statements accordingly. Consult with local lawyers and understand their qualifications and the number of similar cases to yours they have handled before.
#2. The Lawyer is a Good Listener
Effective communication entails talking and listening. A good lawyer must go beyond just hearing what is said but should listen to what is displayed.
A lawyer who is keen to listen to clients, witnesses, and the opposing counsel are likely to do well in a case. Through listening, an attorney can take in relevant statements and use them as a guide to creating an action plan.
Good listening skills allow a lawyer to analyze court proceedings critically and know how to respond to arguments. An attorney with active listening skills can quickly notice and differentiate words from body language. Hence a lawyer who is attentive to body language and maintains eye contact has a heightened focus on what is said in the courtroom.
Although lawyers are not therapists, they always find themselves in situations that require open communication and full sharing. Listening allows lawyers to emphasize the importance of ideas being said rather than evoked feelings during court proceedings.
Analysis and cross-examination of witness accounts and words of people taking an adversarial stance facilitate an effective rebuttal.
A lawyer who listens is careful to avoid unnecessary interruptions when others are talking. This characteristic helps the attorney to give relevant responses rather than rehearsed answers.
Listening helps lawyers to avoid the embarrassment of giving answers before having understood the questions thoroughly. Additionally, listening helps to look for underlying feelings behind a person's comment.
It is critical to do a thorough scrutiny of listening skills to identify a good lawyer.
Beyond academic credentials and know-how of regional laws, the experience is critical in choosing a lawyer. A reasonable attorney has a positive track record of success with your kind of issue. Such a history increases the likelihood of the lawyer assisting in resolving your problem with great success.
Lawyers with extensive experience can avoid mistakes they committed in previous cases. Moreover, there is cumulative wisdom gained and the capacity to develop strategies to win the case.
Any lawyer may handle a simple case without so much at stake. However, if the matter before the court is of great weight and complexity, you will require a lawyer with several years of successful practice.
An experienced attorney has good negotiation skills, which are essential before an insurance adjuster or other seasoned lawyers. Additionally, the lawyer has expertise in picking a sympathetic jury, cross-examining witnesses, and valuing a settlement case.
Moreover, seasoned lawyers are inquisitive and form thought-provoking questions that may lead to answers that will help you win a case. Such attorneys tend to persuade judges to rule in their favor and know how the jury will answer certain evidence types.
A promising sign that you have a good lawyer is, therefore, a track record of excellence in winning your type of problem cases.
#4. Great Communication Skills
It is impossible to trust a lawyer with poor communication skills. A reasonable attorney should communicate effectively with clients, partners, staff, and, significantly, before the jury.
Excellent communication skills show confidence and the ability to express themselves before a courtroom. Verbally, a good lawyer must be articulate and possess excellent public speaking skills.
An attorney who is timid or speaks with a frail voice is not good enough to represent your case in court. If lawyers cannot command authority through their voice, then the chances are that they will not represent you well.
Additionally, a great lawyer must be able to write exceptionally in good grammar. An attorney with bad writing techniques will not be concise and convincing in the legal documents.
Whether it is legal writing or informal emails, a good lawyer should write clearly with a good presentation of the documents.
Excellent communication does not tie to mastery of speech and writing alone. It is about passing on information using appropriate channels promptly.
A good lawyer should apply various communication channels available to meet the case's urgency and the client's schedule. Beyond one-on-one conversations, a good lawyer should update you on the case's progress through other appropriate ways such as emails and phone calls.
#5. Gives No Guarantees of Winning
Guarantees in winning a case are detrimental in the legal field. A lawyer who wants to bombard you with sweet words of winning the issue is not suitable for you.
It is easy for overconfidence to kick in for lawyers due to educational background and previous trends winning cases. However, lawyers should only give their clients honest and educated opinions but no promises on their cases' likely outcome.
Therefore, reasonable attorneys should be frank with their clients and offer no guarantees. A good lawyer must emphasize that each case is distinct and has a separate set of facts. Such explanations allow them only to provide opinions while describing the risks.
Clients will always be eager to know what will happen concerning their cases. A good lawyer will always respond with the word "it depends."
It is good to note that there is a vast difference between an educated opinion and a prediction. While a forecast is a flat-out guarantee, an opinion, on the other hand, offers no absolutes.
#6. Shows Professionalism
A good lawyer depicts high standards of professionalism. More than just being good at what is expected of them, good lawyers accord respect for the clients and judicial system.
Time is of the essence, and you will probably be paying lawyers for their time. A good lawyer will not waste your time or miss crucial deadlines for submitting files to the jury. Additionally, the lawyer understands why it is essential to arrive at meetings well prepared.
A professional lawyer will make appropriate follow-ups in a timely way. Moreover, the attorney will return all calls and send you emails when proper ensuring communication is upheld at all times.
Good lawyers will efficiently use your resources as though they own them. Such attorneys are not greedy, and if need be, they will provide advice for alternative dispute resolution procedures.
Great litigators understand and follow the preset ethical cannons and applicable laws strictly at all times during their professional dealings.
For so long, the legal field has remained so conservative that it is evident in their marketing techniques and office furniture. The legal system has for so long preserved the traditional way of doing things.
There is a wrong perception that all lawyers are stiff and do not question the way of doing things. However, a new breed challenges the status quo and uses current technologies for efficiency in the profession.
Thinking out of the norm is a trait that may not come so naturally when looking for a lawyer. A reasonable attorney needs to use new methods of advertisement and conducting research and analysis. Additionally, the creativity of lawyers allow them to quickly and efficiently solve problems.
The time frame of your case in court depends on the availability of your lawyer. A good lawyer informs you whether it is feasible or not to try your case based on their caseload. If the lawyer is currently handling many cases, it will reflect on your lawsuit's amount of time.
Good lawyers are accessible through phone calls, emails, or physical meetups. Additionally, such lawyers will do follow-ups to ensure the success of your case. You will require frequent consultations and any attorney who accords you that the opportunity fits the job.
If your project is short-term, consider a lawyer who can take your case immediately. If a lawyer seems overworked and takes days to respond to your emails or return your calls, then you should consider finding another one.
#9. Upfront About Billing
The topic of cost is unavoidable when trying a case. A reasonable attorney should communicate about the flat rate fees or hourly charges for representing your case. When it is not possible to compute the exact cost, the attorney should provide you with a range. Otherwise, the lawyer will negotiate with you on a percentage basis before signing a contract.
A lawyer who is honest about the cost of litigation will help you avoid future unwanted surprises. A reasonable attorney will provide you with an estimated cost of the case in writing and spell out the maximum amounts in trying your case.
Good lawyers will explain the billing procedures and methods exhaustively. If you have a big case, the lawyer might consider reducing the rate for increased work volume.
A lawyer who is not honest about the expected cost is likely to provide you with unbelievable prices as you go, and such may jeopardize your case. However, a suitable lawyer will provide you with details on the frequency of billing so that you can know what you are getting yourself into beforehand.
Not only does a good lawyer help you win cases, but it also allows you to have peace of mind during the whole legal process. Regardless of the type of issue before you, complicated or straightforward, you should consider these top nine factors.