What You Should Know about Hiring an Attorney in Chicago
Legal services are a lot like any other product: the wise consumer needs to do extensive research before making an informed decision. Without a knowledge of the law and a vested party fighting for your interests, you may end up walking away with a lot less than you are actually entitled to. Once you acquire several lawyer referrals with experience in the related practice area, ensure that you carefully research every candidate. Here are a few of the most important things that you need to remember when you are looking for the best attorney for your case in Chicago.
Ask for a Referral
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 several names of attorneys who have good reputations and are more than qualified to take on your case. Lawyers, specifically, have an intimate knowledge of the reputations of other lawyers, even those not within their specialization, so a lawyer you already know can be a good place to begin. You may also discuss with your friends or family members who have been through a case comparable to yours.
Narrow it Down to at Least Three Potential Attorneys
Don’t hire the first lawyer you see. Not all lawyers are created the same. Look for at least three attorneys that you can speak with before choosing the best one. Narrow down your list of lawyers and schedule meetings with each one of them. The lawyers must 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. Obviously, you need to hire a lawyer that specializes in the field of law your case is involved in (e.g. criminal appeals, DUI, civil rights, etc.) and one that has experience in dealing with particular cases similar to yours. How a lawyers replies to your questions is very important, but communication is a two way street.
Plan for a First Consultation
A few lawyers can give a free initial consultation to talk about your case, usually around 30 to 45 minutes. Ensure you have the relevant paperwork and documentation with you so you will be prepared to provide a broad outline 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.