There are many reasons why a person might find themselves in need of a good, caring lawyer. Maybe you're drafting a will, selling a significant piece of real estate, or have unfortunately been named the defendant in a civil lawsuit. Whatever the case, it's important to carefully consider your options before making a decision. While picking the first link on your Google search for “best lawyers near me” may save you a few minutes, it is a hasty decision that may cost you much more than the time saved. Here are a few key tips to help guide you in the right direction for finding a caring, honest, and hardworking attorney that you can afford.

Tips for How to Find a Good Lawyer Who Cares

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1. Check with your employer first.

If you don't have much to spend on retaining attorney services, then a smart idea is to start with your employer. Many large employers today offer discounted legal services as part of their benefits package or general employee assistance program (EAP). Even if you choose to go a different route for who you hire, checking first with this resource can help establish what type of attorney you need. For example, if the EAP through your employer offers a free 30-minute legal consultation, you should use it to determine the basic facts of your legal matter, like whether you have a legal claim for a specific lawsuit or if a real estate lawyer makes sense for your situation.

2. Seek the right type of attorney who knows your market.

A caring and knowledgeable lawyer is one who understands your needs. This means that if you have tax issues you need an attorney to straighten out, then you should be looking for a tax lawyer and not a divorce one. Even still, when you’re looking for the best lawyers in a specific area, look for ones who understand the specifics of your situation. For example, a self-employed person needing help regarding business taxes should look for business attorneys who have significant experience with contractors and self-employed clients.

3. Look for a lawyer with a clear fee structure.

A caring lawyer won't make you guess what their prices are. From day one, they will be upfront with a clear and appropriate fee structure. Note, however, there are several types of fee arrangements to look for. Some attorneys will bill their clients by the hour while others offer a flat fee. Flat fees are a specific, total fee that is generally only offered for cases that are simple or routine, such as with the drafting of a will.

Never be afraid to ask your attorney if you're confused about any fees. A quality, caring attorney will ensure that you know exactly what you are getting and paying for and will never try to hide behind a long bullet list of fees.

4. Check their communication and availability.

You might find a good lawyer who is listed at the top of the industry, but if they don't offer open communication, you're likely to have a bad experience with them. The good news is that there is an easy way to test any given attorney and their firm's communication.

Here's how: During your initial consultation with them, take note of a few questions you have, but refrain from asking for now. A few days after your consultation, send an email asking those specific questions you had. If the attorney is quick to respond and responds in detail, then you have found a responsive and likely caring attorney that you should work with. If it takes several days, a week, or more to respond, then it's likely this firm is simply too busy or otherwise indifferent to your case and you should look for other options.

Even if your case might be routine for an attorney, it’s likely very important to you. It is in your best interest to find an attorney who understands that and shows that they understand that by returning phone calls and emails promptly.

5. Find a lawyer who brings other resources to the table.

If you are not sure of what questions you might ask an attorney to see if they're right for you, don’t worry. One great line of questioning involves asking what other resources they bring to the table. For example, you might ask:

  • Are they are a member of any trade association or similar group that is relevant to you and your legal situation?
  • Do they have a standing network of professionals and specialists they can readily call on and refer you to for specific needs relating to your legal situation?

As you likely know, legal services are not inexpensive. Choosing an attorney with a wide network can help you get more out of those services. Additionally, attorneys and firms with such networks have them because they've been proven to be trustworthy and amiable to work with. Those are traits that show you've found a caring and efficient lawyer!

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