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Finding a lawyer that is the right choice for your specific needs is arguably the most important step before embarking on any legal process. Whether you’re fighting a DUI, starting a new business or addressing a personal injury claim, you need a trustworthy, experienced and passionate attorney to handle your legal matter and obtain the best result possible for you.

You need to be prepared to take time, conduct research and thoroughly consider your options before you select a lawyer for your specific case. Selecting the right lawyer from the overwhelming amount available can be difficult. The best place to start is to ask yourself what you want to achieve by hiring a lawyer and what your end goal is. Standing up for your rights, defending you or simply helping you - the nature of the situation can help you choose someone most appropriate.

Here are some of our key tips to consider while you go through the process of finding the right attorney:

1. Identify and Select a Specialist Based on Your Legal Issue

As a starting place, review the issue. Do you need an attorney regardless or are you wanting to hire one to reach a specific outcome? Consider what type of resolution you are seeking from the legal proceedings before making any quick decisions. Next, understand that law is a field that has many specialties and subspecialties within it. Before you can accurately determine the best attorney for your needs, you need to understand what your legal issue entails and select one based on their capabilities. There is no point asking a general corporate lawyer to handle a personal injury case as it will put you at risk of an unfavorable result. A lawyer that specializes in a certain area allows them to keep up-to-date and familiar with all the latest developments and legal nuances applicable to the problem. This type of knowledge is essential and may directly correlate to the outcome of your case.

2. Make Sure the Attorney has Relevant Experience

There is no issue “shopping around” when you are looking to hire an attorney as many will vary in skill sets and fee rates. It’s advantageous to select a lawyer that “specializes” in an area, but what good is a specialist if they lack actual experience in the field? Every lawyer has a different skill set that comes with the experience they have developed, and different lawyers may offer you different advantages. It is important to determine what type of skills and experience are vital to achieve your goal.

Ask the attorney what experience they have and ask them to provide examples of similar cases they have worked. It is important to get a good understanding of what the attorney can offer you and learn how they will address your specific legal matter. This also gives you peace of mind knowing that the attorney has been on similar cases before and will work tirelessly to serve you.

3. Communicate and Set Clear Expectations

When deciding which lawyer to hire, you should state your expectations early to ensure that everyone is on the same page. You might select a lawyer from a large firm who doesn’t really offer a personal experience, or you may choose a small firm who will be dedicated to serving you and communicate with you throughout the entire process. Both are possibilities but both will provide very different experiences for the client. You should feel 100% comfortable with your attorney-client relationship so ask all questions that matter to you - Who will be working on my case? What will be our means of communication? What are your values? Your attorney should display a dedicated passion to protect your interests. The best attorneys take ownership in your problem and devote themselves to finding winning solutions.

4. Trust Your Instincts

Above all, the emotion innate to us, is intuition. We possess the capacity to feel, and therefore the ability to know things without consciously reasoning. This is why you should conduct research and follow the above criteria but still ensure you select a lawyer that feels right and that you feel you can work with. It quickly becomes disheartening if you select a lawyer that you don’t have a good rapport with and they aren’t sufficiently addressing legal requirements. If you don’t feel comfortable confiding in your attorney and disclosing information, it is likely a strong indication that that lawyer may be the wrong choice for you.

Experience levels become redundant if you cannot work with their personality or you have differentiating values. This will ultimately affect you achieving your end goal. Use your own intuition to determine whether the lawyer you are considering will be a good match for you. The "gut feeling" is real, and we use it all the time. So make sure you have a good feeling about the lawyer you want to hire and feel comfortable with them to ensure the process is a positive experience.

Much of finding the right attorney for your needs calls for you to do research and devote time into finding the right person, who is going to work tirelessly for you. The energy you exert into finding the right lawyer to work with will ultimately be reflected throughout your case and hopefully provide you with the best outcome possible. It’s definitely important to note any red flags, such as poor communication, negligence in answering questions and a lack of experience or professionalism. At Barfoot & Schoettker we pride ourselves on personal service, honesty and integrity, and aggressive representation to those we serve. We believe in open and honest communication with our clients and we would love to discuss how we can help you. Contact us today via our online form or call (334) 834-3444

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