What You Should Know about Hiring an Attorney in Chicago
Legal services are similar to any other product: the wise consumer should do comprehensive research before making an informed decision. Unless you have an in-depth knowledge of the law and a vested party fighting for your rights, you may end up walking away with far 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. If you are looking for the best attorney for your case in Chicago, here are some of the top considerations that you need to keep in mind.
Ask for a Referral
Lawyers, accountants, psychologists, financial planners, and other professionals encounter and work with other lawyers during the course of their work and can frequently give you a great 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 may also ask your friends or family members who have gone through a situation that is similar to yours.
Talk to at Least Three Potential Attorneys
Don’t hire the first lawyer you encounter. Not all lawyers can handle your case in the same way. Look for at least three attorneys that you can speak with before choosing the best one. Narrow down your list of lawyers and take the time to interview each one. Candidates have to ask you a lot of questions, as well. Remember that the more questions you ask, the more you will understand the attorney’s communication approach, personality and breadth of knowledge. It is important that you hire a lawyer that specializes in the area law your case falls into (e.g. criminal appeals, DUI, civil rights, etc.) and one that has extensive experience handling cases comparable to yours. How a lawyers replies to your questions is very important, but communication is a two way street.
Plan for a First Consultation
A few lawyers can give a free initial consultation to talk about your case, usually 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. Pay more attention to the professionalism of the lawyer and his staff than to the quality of the office. Because fees pay for everything, a plain office may denote that the lawyer is careful with money and does not spend it on appearances. What is more important is the friendliness and efficiency of the attorney and his staff.
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