Finding an Attorney Online: Where to Start and How to Look for Counsel
There are several key things to keep in mind when trying to find legal help. Deciding who can represent you in court is a snap when you search using online attorney directories like Avvo or Lawyer.com.
Looking through these directories carefully is important when trying to find counsel. Pay special attention to each lawyer's use of reputation management.
The quality of your search can make or break your experience. To find the best representative, follow these steps to further ensure you give yourself every chance to secure the right counsel for your legal proceedings.
Recognizing Your Needs
No matter what the nature of your legal dispute is, there are attorneys who specialize in settling your unique issue--it’s a matter of figuring out which specialist you should consult.
Talking with a legal aid site based in your area can yield a variety of resources. You can find Q&A’s available on the Google My Business pages for lawyers , website listings for legal professionals in your area, and more.
The American Bar Association’s website offers loads of information specially curated for the public (such as this state-by-state interactive directory) to help you choose between the legal professionals in your area. Every individual involved in a legal dispute needs to ensure that their counsel is licensed, insured, and has all rights to operate.
Contact your state bar association to learn more about vetting potential representation.
Going Local with Your Search for Legal Representation
After you figure out which specialist you need, it’s important to select someone with experience specific your state. Be sure to check out the online reviews, websites, and professional profiles made available to you by Google. Take a close look at the pages you visit. Lawyers committed to quality representation invest time into reputation management. They are waiting for you to look and appreciate the practice they’ve established.
State law varies widely across the country, and international or transnational law even more so. Be sure to ask how many years a prospective attorney has practiced in the relative territories and specialities. Having counsel that understands the details of, not only their specialty, but, the specialty as it exists in their state, is crucial.
With a representative who is confident in their knowledge of the details, you may want to move forward with a consultation. If so, be sure to ask if the attorney in question offers a free consultation online or by phone.
It’s All About Chemistry
Once you’re in talks with prospective lawyers, be sure to record your impressions after your consultations. Consider the following:
- Did you feel as if you were able to speak with ease?
- If English is not your first language, would you prefer counsel that could communicate with you in your mother tongue?
- Do you feel the lawyer is making every effort at creating a transparent, open line of communication?
- Are you being spoken to in language that is clear to understand?
- Are your questions and concerns being fielded in a way that leaves you wondering--or feeling secure and at ease?
The answers to these questions are very important--and easier to find than you might think. Using Google to check out the top professionals in your area, take a look at a given attorney’s online presence. Do they invest in a reputation management team that enables quick response rates and ease of communication? Are they contributing to initiatives you care about? Does their website easy to use and gives you a great idea of their abilities and work ethic?
If you don’t feel like you can be totally honesty while talking to your lawyer, chances are they won’t be able to help you resolve your dispute.
Once you find the right fit, it’s time to check in on rates and services before beginning proceedings.
Comparing Fees Between Lawyers
After you’ve found a licensed, local lawyer that specializes in your area of need and feels like a good fit for you, personally, it’s time to talk cost.
Lawyers that use online reputation management advertise their fees online. It's essential when cross-comparing prices between different professionals which you regard highly. The more experienced the attorney, the more expensive they may be.
At the same time, experienced attorneys may be able to complete work for you at a faster rate than a lesser-experienced attorney who works slowly.
In the event that you are not able to secure counsel due to financial difficulty, you may be eligible to receive counsel pro bono.
A good lawyer is what you deserve. With the right clicks and searches, you be able to handle your legal concerns with a great representative.
Garrett is the Founder of RepCheckup, an online review management software used by lawyers across the country. He has been helping businesses thrive through sales and marketing since 1999.