Choosing a lawyer is a big decision. When you hire a lawyer, you’re choosing who is going to stand up for you and tell your story. You’re trusting them to fight for you, believe in you, and get the outcome that you want from a case. Not every law firm is going to be a good fit for you, and you need to know how to find a lawyer that will be.
Do you have a case?
The first question you have to ask is whether you have a legitimate case and how much that case is worth.
Not every major injury, medical mistake, product malfunction, or wrongful death means the opposing party is liable. There are certain conditions that have to be met, and you need to decide if your case warrants a lawyer. Of course, if you’re unsure, it’s always better to sit down for a consultation.
Are you sure you want to pursue a lawsuit?
Lawsuits get messy and complicated, and they can end up lasting for longer than you originally assumed. Secrets are brought to light, opposing parties don’t always fight fair, and you have to be willing to talk in detail about the pain and suffering that occurred.
Filing a lawsuit isn’t something you just hand over to a firm. You will be involved throughout the entire process, and not everyone is willing to put in that sort of time and commitment. At the end of the day, the purpose of a lawsuit is to ensure liable parties are held responsible and that you have the ability to heal as fully as possible from the incident that spurred the case to begin with.
There is nothing wrong with deciding that you aren’t willing to file. No one is going to fault you for that. However, before you hire a lawyer, you need to make sure that what you’re getting out of a lawsuit will outweigh the sacrifices, time, and effort that you’ll have to put into the process.
Ask for recommendations.
The most reliable source of information is going to be from friends, family, and colleagues who have gone through a lawsuit. Ask around for recommendations on the best lawyers in your area.
Just remember that every case is different, even if it falls under the same practice area. What worked for them may not necessarily be a great fit for you. Take their advice into consideration, but trust your own instincts before making a final decision.
Compare multiple options.
Between recommendations and your own research, find a shortlist of firms you think could help you reach your goal. Once you have a few places, dig in and do some research. Look at their websites, read about their top lawyers, check out their experience, and read what other people are saying about them on sites like Google, Yelp, and social media.
Don’t just look at their track record or net earnings for clients; look at their lawyer bios, read a few blog posts, get a sense of who you’ll be partnering with moving forward. It’s not just about who has the ability to win your case, it’s about who you feel most comfortable with and who you feel like you can trust.
Schedule an initial consultation.
Once you find a firm that you’re confident about, reach out for a consultation. We offer a free initial meeting with any potential clients so that we can discuss the possibility of a case, what they hope to achieve, why they believe in their case, and how our firm can help them. If the firm you’re looking at charges for the initial consultation, you should probably consider other options unless they can give a concrete reason for it.
During that first meeting, come prepared. Lawyers are bound by confidentiality whether you are officially a client or not, so be willing to tell them about your situation. Ask lots of questions, and don’t be afraid to ask about money or other sensitive topics. By the end of the consultation, you need to know whether or not you want to hire the firm.
Honesty is key.
Your lawyer needs to know everything about your case before ever stepping foot into a mediation meeting or courtroom. That requires 100% honesty. If you aren’t comfortable telling your lawyer the details of the situation, no matter what they are, then you need to find a different lawyer. It’s their job to represent you without judgment, and you have to trust them to do just that.
If you’re looking for a personal injury or commercial litigation lawyer in Little Rock, give us a call for a free initial consultation. We’ll walk you through the process from start to finish. At Cearley Law Firm, you’re more than just a case number. Our goal is to help you get the justice that you deserve.