How To Pick A Lawyer

Once you decide that you need a lawyer, how do you pick one? What should go into the process of making your best selection?

When picking the right lawyer consider:

  • Reputation
  • Fees
  • Consultation and Connection

Reputation Matters: Researching an attorney's reputation is central to the selection process. Finding an attorney with a high-quality reputation as a genuine advocate for his or her clients greatly increases your chances of having a positive experience and achieving success in your case. Selecting a lawyer with a poor or ambulance chaser reputation is often associated with poor personal experiences and case results.

Beware of law firms that have piles of 5 Star Reviews with little to no details in the review narratives, as there is a growing trend among personal injury firms to purchase bulk reviews through services such as Online5Star.com. You can safely assume that law firms with scores of generic "great job" reviews that populate at a steady month-to-month pace have probably hired a fake review firm to boost their online image. There are several high-volume firms regularly seen on television that seem to be using these review mill services. Noticing this pattern should be an instant deal-breaker.

When you find a firm you want to consider, read the reviews carefully. There are many firms that will advertise themselves as personal injury firms, but the majority if not all of their reviews are from family law or general business law clients.

To pick the best lawyer for your case, research several firms that have high-quality reviews and then look into those firms' awards and accolades. Some accolades, such as Super Lawyers and Avvo, are peer review and reputation based, while others such as Million Dollar Forum are paid memberships.

After conducting your research, you should be able to narrow your choices down to 2-4 top choices. How then do you choose between these great options?

Attorney Fees: If you haven't already read my article on 7 Truths About Contingency Fees, make sure you do so after finishing this article. At the end of your case, the primary difference in your Net recovery will most likely be determined by the amount of attorney fees you are paying in a case. If you are selecting between 2-4 high quality, recognized law firms, then it only makes sense to zero in on the one that will provide you with the best service at the best rate.

All of your top reputation-based candidates will most likely accomplish very similar Gross settlement amounts in your case. There is no reason to expect one great firm to accomplish something significantly different than another great firm. Therefore, the financial difference that really matters to prospective clients (the Net result) is primarily determined by a law firm's fee percentage. Unless you have a compelling reason to pay more for a particular attorney go with the firm that will give you the best final result.

Consultation and Connection: Finally, it is important to meet with the attorney and his or her office staff to see if there is a good personality fit. Forming a connection with your attorney and the firm's staff members is obviously important, as you will most likely be interacting with these folks for months or even a few years, depending on your case.