When it comes to hiring a lawyer, the options are virtually endless. But while the choices are there, what’s most important is finding the best lawyer for your specific needs. What you’re looking for in a lawyer will vary slightly on a case to case basis, however, the main criteria will remain the same.
Here are some tips to keep in mind as you begin searching for the best lawyers in New York:
1. Do Your Research
Finding the best lawyer possible is key to having a successful case. As soon as you decide you’re going to need a lawyer, the first step is to do proper and thorough research. Many websites are available these days that can help to narrow your search and even compare different law firms side by side.
For example, if it’s accident injury lawyers in New York you’re looking for, a simple google search can provide a long list of options to choose from that can then be narrowed down to suit your specific needs. Some details you’ll want to keep in mind when researching are:
- Areas of practice
- Disciplinary records
All of these details can make a huge difference in which lawyer is going to work best for your case.
2. Researching Disciplinary Actions
Knowing whether or not an attorney has been disciplined is important to research beforehand. There are many different things that can require disciplinary action including not paying bar dues or having a complaint made against them for violating ethical rules.
In some cases, disciplinary action can lead to a lawyer losing eligibility to practice law—this is the kind of lawyer you’ll want to avoid hiring. Always be sure to research an attorney’s disciplinary history before moving forward.
There are links available online for each state that will provide information on any lawyer who either isn’t eligible to practice law or has a history of being disciplined. If there’s further information you’re interested in, you can follow up with the appropriate disciplinary committee to find anything additional.
3. Check Specializations
Some lawyers will only focus on one kind of law, while others will have many specializations. One the biggest factors that goes into ensuring you’re hiring the best lawyer, is being sure to hire the lawyer who has experience with the kind of case you’re bringing them.
There will be times it helps to hire a lawyer with multiple specializations and there will be times you’ll want to find one who only has one. Some examples of specializations include:
- Accidents and injury
- Estate planning
- Family law
- Child support
- Wage & hour
The list could go on and on, and many categories will have sub-categories. For example, under accidents and injury there are even more specific specializations like workers compensation, wrongful death, car accidents, etc.
4. Ask The Right Questions
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of potential lawyers, it’s important to know which questions to ask them before making a final decision.
Here are some good questions to ask:
- Do they offer free consultation? If not, what’s the cost?
- How long have they been practicing law?
- What’s their experience in cases similar to yours? What were the outcomes?
- Have they ever been subject to disciplinary action?
- What are their fees? Are they negotiable? Do they receive payment all at once, or in installments?
- What’s their current caseload? Do they have time to put into your case? Are they available right away?
- What resources do they have? How is their staffing?
Of course, there are many other questions you may want to ask but these are some key questions that shouldn’t be forgotten.
5. Look For References
Many of the best lawyers out there will receive the majority of their business through references from other lawyers or past clients. However, if a lawyer you’re looking into was found online or through a 1-800 number, it’s a great idea to ask them for references.
While online reviews can provide helpful insight, having specific references provided by the lawyer themselves can be beneficial in your decision making. Don’t be afraid to ask for them, it’s very much your right to do so.
Think of your conversation with a potential lawyer like a job interview because, in reality, they’re interviewing for the position as your lawyer, and it’s not out of the question to ask them for a list of references.
There are great lawyers out there, but it’s up to you to properly research and vet your options to make sure you’re hiring the best one. All of the above considerations will help you find the best lawyer for your case.