Five Strategies For Evaluating Lawyers
There is an almost endless array of different circumstances where you might need legal advice or support. When you find yourself looking for North Shore lawyers, it’s important to keep your wits about you and make a smart choice. Here are five important strategies to keep in mind when you need legal assistance.
1. Get Personal Recommendations
As with a lot of professional services, the most common way people pick out lawyers is to ask friends and relatives for recommendations. This is a perfectly valid way to start your search for a lawyer, but it shouldn’t be the end of the journey! Take your friends’ recommendations on board but also ask yourself a few pertinent questions. There is a high degree of specialisation in the legal community (see below), and a lawyer who was a perfect fit for one case may not perform so well with a different sort of issue.
If you already know a lawyer but are looking for help with a different type of legal problem, don’t hesitate to enlist their assistance in finding the ideal lawyer. Lawyers are a fairly tight-knit bunch, and the odds of a lawyer you already know being able to introduce you to a colleague who can help you are very good. Alternatively, you can go to a larger Albany law firm which will have a range of North Shore lawyers will different areas of expertise.
2. Consult Professional Resources
Lawyers and their firms don’t exist in a vacuum. There are a number of professional organisations that serve lawyers and their clients, and they provide some resources that you’ll find extremely helpful when evaluating law firms. The Auckland District Law Society is another option to consider. Make sure your lawyer is a member in good standing of the appropriate professional groups and free from disciplinary action!
3. Consider The Importance Of Specialisation
As noted above, the modern legal landscape has grown so complex that most lawyers specialise in relatively narrow fields of case law. This is something of a double-edged sword for you as a client. On the one hand, it gives you access to better, more experienced lawyers who have handled plenty of previous cases similar to yours. On the other hand, it’s led to a proliferation of different law firms that can make it difficult to find the lawyer who will be best suited to handling your case.
You should take the time early in your hunt to study the various forms of legal specialisation online. Match up your situation with the type of legal representation best suited to your needs. This is one place where lawyers’ advertisements can come in handy; most lawyers are very vocal in announcing their specialities. You don’t necessarily have to work with the very first lawyer you find in your specialised field, but reviewing his or her information will familiarise you with the terminology you’ll need to find other solicitors practicing this sort of law.
4. Look At The Lawyer’s Client Base
One of the best ways to find a lawyer who will meet your needs is to look at the types of clients the lawyer has worked for in the past. If you are an individual seeking representation, for instance, you may not be best served by a firm that works primarily with corporate clients. You are looking for lawyers who have established a history of helping people in situations as similar to yours as possible.
Don’t hesitate to look at a lawyer’s track record at this stage. A lawyer who has argued tons of cases just like yours is still not a good fit if he or she has lost every one of them! Although legal decisions are largely a matter of public record, it can take time to get a sense of how many cases a lawyer has won and lost. This means you should save this in-depth look until you’ve narrowed down your field to just a few candidates.
5. Don’t Commit Without An In-Person Evaluation
The final step in selecting a lawyer is also one of the most important. You need to meet face to face with a lawyer before making any commitments to working with him or her. Remember that if you are evaluating a larger law firm like McVeagh Fleming, there will be many different lawyers on staff. Make sure you speak to the lawyer who will take the lead in handling your case!
This is also your opportunity to evaluate the state of the lawyer’s office as a whole. Is the firm busy? Offices that are both under- and over-worked can be bad signs. How is the staffing? Does the lawyer seem to operate alone, or are there plenty of paralegals and assistants around to provide assistance? Your ideal lawyer should be supported by capable staff that has the time and resources to serve your case properly.