There are many reasons why you might find yourself looking to hire a lawyer, but many people have little or no experience whatsoever with lawyers and aren't quite sure where they should start.
Fortunately, the internet is a valuable research tool, helping you answer simple questions like what lawyers do and the key differences between attorneys and lawyers, for example. The internet can also be a vital tool for finding the right lawyer for you.
With over 1.3 million licensed and active lawyers in the US today, there's certainly no shortage of people to contact, but finding the right one for your specific needs and situation can be a challenge, as lawyers can vary enormously in terms of experience, skill, and areas of expertise.
Here are some useful tips to help you find a lawyer simply and conveniently, the next time you need one.
Understand The Basics
As outlined earlier on, it's wise to actually learn a little about lawyers and how they operate before diving right in and getting in touch with any. Understanding the basics can help you feel more comfortable with the whole process and avoid making mistakes that might waste your time later on.
For example, it's important to know that lawyers tend to focus on just a couple of key areas of expertise, such as family law, employment law, or criminal law. You'll want to find a lawyer who specializes in your particular area of need. So, if it's an employment issue, narrow down your search to employment lawyers only.
Speak To Friends And Family
Believe it or not, in the vast majority of cases, people tend to find good lawyers simply through word of mouth. So, chat with the people around you, like family, friends, and colleagues to get their advice.
You might be surprised to learn that they've been through similar situations to you or know people who have, so will be able to put you in touch with a good local lawyer. Just make sure that the lawyer you choose is experienced in an area of law that is relevant to your case.
The Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory
Head to your local library to take a look at the Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory. You can also find it online too. It's a highly useful tool for finding lawyers, as it's basically a directory of lawyers operating all over the globe, with more than a million entries in total.
You can use this tool to find a lawyer in your area who is specialized in your relevant field, and it's really simple to use, especially online, where you can simply type in your location or practice area of choice into a search bar and find lots of results in a matter of seconds.
Local Bar Association
Another useful way to find a good lawyer in your area is to contact a local bar association. They'll be able to put you in touch with a law firm that should be well-suited to your case, making the whole process a lot easier for first-timers.
There's also an online database for the American Bar Association, very useful for both finding lawyers and learning more about the legal process too.
Free Or Pro Bono Lawyers
Of course, not everyone is in a strong enough financial situation to be able to easily afford a lawyer, but might still find themselves needing a lawyer's services. This is where free or pro bono legal assistance might be the answer.
To get in touch with lawyers offering this kind of service, simply look for your local legal aid office or use the internet to search for pro bono legal aid in your location.
If you happen to know a lawyer, perhaps as a friend or family member, it's a smart idea to speak with them and ask if they have any recommendations.
Actually hiring a friend or loved one might not be the best idea, as they might not be specialized in the relevant field, but they should be able to offer a referral and put you in touch with a lawyer they know who could help you out.
Overall, even though the idea of finding a lawyer might seem a little scary or intimidating at first, it's actually quite easy once you know how, and there are many different ways you can find the right lawyer to meet your needs. Just remember to take your time and consider your options, as the first lawyer you find might not be the best.