November 22, 2021 Stephen Bell 0 Comments

I’ve heard this joke from lawyer friends: “98% of them give the rest of us a bad name!” While much truth is spoken in jest, the sad fact is that people really do struggle to find a good lawyer, and many regret the choices they make. Do not despair—take this advice and help yourself:

  1. Ignore the Hustlers. The law is a profession involving prolonged training and formal qualification. One doesn’t become a great lawyer simply by crowing about themselves in advertising. Don’t fall for those noisy pitchmen who cheapen the profession by making false promises, pressure you, tout the size of their firm or “combined years” of experience, or boast about awards they received from publications that in return required them to purchase advertising or subscriptions. You wouldn’t select a brain surgeon based on how many times you see their ad, would you?
  2. Meet the Lawyer in Person. Always. No exceptions. See for yourself. The attorney-client relationship must be based on trust. Does the lawyer inspire confidence? Does the lawyer genuinely seem to care about you and your case? Will you make a good team? Trust your instincts. Such a meeting typically costs $0 to $500.
  3. Ask Questions and Demand Answers. Don’t forget: You are in charge. The lawyer works for you. Be direct. Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions. How does the lawyer plan to handle your case? Inquire about his or her experience in handling similar cases. Require detailed responses. Convey your expectations. You deserve excellent service for your hard-earned money.
  4. Get It In Writing. The written word may be the most important tool of the profession. Make sure your lawyer provides a written contract that clearly sets forth: (1) the scope of the representation; (2) how he or she intends to accomplish your desired results; and (3) the fees and expenses associated with getting there. The contract sets the foundation for achieving your goals. After that, hold your lawyer’s feet to the fire!
  5. Results Matter Most. As in all professions, success is measured by client satisfaction. The e-commerce world has taught us the importance of reviews in making informed decisions. Bypass the phony self-promotion and go straight to the opinions of those who really know by virtue of personal experience. What do the lawyer’s clients say? Nothing is more meaningful and informative than the opinions of a lawyer’s clients.

It just makes sense. No joke.

Stephen G. Bell

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