Lawyer/Attorney - Law Office

Selecting A Lawyer


How do I find an Attorney?

Selecting an Attorney is one of the most important decisions you will make. It is important that the Attorney you hire have experience in the area of practice you require assistance with. Ask friends for referrals or call the Bar Association in your local area for a referral. You should probably interview at least 2 Attorneys before making a decision. It's important that you feel comfortable with whoever you hire and have a good rapport. The Attorney should have ready, straightforward answers to your questions and convey a knowledge of the subject matter, as well as have the ability to communicate effectively with you.

Go to the interview with a list of questions about the Attorney and his practice. At a minimum, those questions should include the following:

  • How long have you been practicing in this particular area of the law?
  • What is the range of possible fees and expenses for my case?
  • How many cases like mine have you handled?
  • What is the likelihood that my case will go to trial, as opposed to some other resolution?
  • What are the alternatives to trial?
  • How long do cases of this type typically take to resolve?
  • What is your hourly rate? Do you work off retainers or take cases on contingency?

Understand that attorneys are not always able to give you hard answers to questions about the time and expense involved at the beginning - after all, they have only heard your side of the story and they have no idea whether they are in for a fierce fight or not. They should, however, be able to quote you a range that you can reasonably rely on, absent unforeseen circumstances.

How important is Board Certification?

Board Certification means the attorney has met certain experience requirements in a particular area and passed an additional test from the State Bar in that area of practice. There are many fine attorneys that are not Board Certified. Some lawyers practice in more than one area of the law and do not want to be "typecast" in a particular area, for fear of alienating clients seeking representation in a different area. Board Certified attorneys typically charge 25 - 100% more than others and there is no guarantee that this translates into better representation. Far more important than Board Certification is the comfort level you have in communicating with your attorney. You should look for an attorney that responds to your questions, returns your calls promptly and displays knowledge in the area of law you require assistance with. There is no substitute for an interview before making your selection!

See a list of qualified attorneys in your local area here.