Top Things You Need to Know about Hiring an Attorney in Chicago
Legal services are similar to any other product: the wise consumer should do comprehensive research before making an informed decision. Unless you have an in-depth knowledge of the law and a vested party fighting for your rights, you may end up walking away with far less than you are actually entitled to. Once you secure a few lawyer referrals with experience in the relevant practice area, make sure that you meticulously research each candidate. If you are looking for the best attorney for your case in Chicago, here are some of the top considerations that you need to keep in mind.
Lawyers, accountants, psychologists, financial planners, and other professionals talk to and work with other lawyers when they are working and can often offer you a good referral. Ask them for a few names of attorneys who have good reputations and are more than qualified to handle your case. Lawyers, particularly, have a comprehensive knowledge of the reputations of other lawyers, even those outside their specialization, so a lawyer you already know can be a great place to start. You may also ask your friends or family members who have gone through a situation that is similar to yours.
Narrow it Down to at Least Three Potential Attorneys
Don’t hire the first lawyer you encounter. Not all lawyers have the same skills. Look for at least three attorneys that you can speak with before choosing the best one. Narrow down your list of lawyers and take the time to interview each one. Candidates should ask you a lot of questions, as well. Keep in mind that the more questions you ask, the more you will get a good understanding the attorney’s communication approach, personality and extent of knowledge. It is important that you hire a lawyer that specializes in the area law your case falls into (e.g. criminal appeals, DUI, civil rights, etc.) and one that has extensive experience handling cases comparable to yours. How a lawyers responds to your concerns is very vital, but communication is a two way street.
Plan for a First Consultation
Many lawyers can give you a free initial consultation to study your case, generally around 30 to 45 minutes. Make sure you have the necessary paperwork and documentation with you so you will be ready to give a broad overview of your case. Pay more attention to the professionalism of the lawyer and his staff than to the quality of the office. Because fees pay for everything, a plain office may denote that the lawyer is careful with money and does not spend it on appearances. What is more important is the friendliness and efficiency of the attorney and his staff.