- Ask Friends and Family
The best way to find any service provider, from an electrician to an attorney is to get a recommendation from an individual you trust. People generally do not publicize what attorney they used for any particular incident. Still, ask around. The leads you receive are more valuable because you can get a sense of how the attorney treated your family or friend. Good service providers probably will earn rave reviews. Even if friends and family don’t directly know anyone, it is possible someone your friends and family know does have a connection.
- Is the First Meeting Free
All too frequently, lawyers charge everything by the hour. From the first meeting to the last meeting, each phone call and email is duly timed for an invoice. One way to get a feel for who the lawyer is will be to see if there is an initial consultation and if that first meeting is free. Sometimes there will be an attorney who explains why the first meeting is charged, mostly because of local market conditions. A free or discounted first meeting is typically a sign that the attorney is evaluating you as well and that can be a good thing. After all, if the attorney says they won’t represent you, it is probably because of a decent reason and they may have another attorney for you to talk with.
- Is the Attorney willing to Educate you
Attorney’s know that people have only vague ideas about the law. It is not a slight against you or the wider populace. The amount of books just of law, statutes and cases, is frankly staggering. An attorney should be willing to explain exactly what the extent is of enforcing a non-compete clause or describing why something is assault instead of battery. These can be complicated or convoluted aspects of law and your attorney is an expert on understanding and applying law. If your attorney is willing to listen while you explain a situation and then be able to explain the law related to your issue, you probably have a good attorney. Even if they don’t give you the answer you want to hear.
Hiring an attorney is, to a certain degree, a lot like hiring other service providers. If you have heard bad things about an attorney, it is probably not worth your time to reach out to the attorney. Reputation is the most valuable piece of information you can get. Good luck.