The first step in choosing the right lawyer for your needs is find someone you are comfortable with on both a professional and personal level. Since your lawyer will be privy to details about your life, finances, and family, do not let impressive credentials cloud your judgment.
Start by seeking referrals from people you know, respect, and trust. However, keep in mind that the right lawyer also depends on the nature of your case. Your friend’s lawyer may be an excellent tax attorney, yet not be able to devote the same kind of focus to a divorce or personal injury.
Beyond gaining a sense of personal and professional comfort, the vetting process should obtain answers to the following questions (among others):
1. How does the lawyer believe the case should be handled and how long will it take?
2. Does the lawyer have malpractice insurance?
3. What is expected of you in terms of participation?
4. What is the fee arrangement?
5. How will the lawyer keep you informed regarding the status of your case?
About Douglas Borthwick: A partner in the firm of Freeman & Borthwick, Douglas Borthwick focuses his practice on estate planning, family law, and plaintiff personal injury.