At certain times in life, you may find yourself looking for the guidance of a reliable and experienced lawyer. A great lawyer can make a significant difference to a client’s legal issues. Whether you are looking for legal help in a family law matter, securing fair compensation after an accident, or protecting you from false charges, you must have a good lawyer in your corner. Here are 7 traits you should look for in a lawyer.
1) Relevant experience
Law is a vast field, and lots of lawyers are choosing to specialize in a certain area. This is the reason why there are birth defect lawyers, labor lawyers, criminal lawyers, physical injury lawyers, and much more. It is rare to find lawyers who are experts in every subject. Hence, as a first step before hiring a lawyer, you should find out if a lawyer has relevant experience in dealing with legal matters related to your specific case. If you are looking for someone to draft a will, the lawyer you hire should have sufficient experience in that area. Similarly, if you are looking for legal help in the event of a car crash, you should look for car accident injury lawyers depending on your location, for example in Chicago.
2) Great communication skills
Your lawyer should have good written skills, be great listeners, and be orally articulate. Excellent public speaking skills are vital for a lawyer to argue convincingly in court. Remember that one of the fundamental tasks for a lawyer is communication. They need to communicate with their own clients, with other parties in a case, and also communicate adeptly with judges and juries. A good lawyer must have great communication skills to be able to get their points across in private conversations, in official legal settings, and in writing.
3) Compassion and empathy towards a client
Having compassion and empathy for clients helps a lawyer understand his client’s perspective and put his best foot forward for the client. A lawyer should be able to put himself in his client’s shoes to understand how to help the client properly. This is especially important for sensitive cases like a Baker Act case, your lawyer must not only think but also feel as well. It could be anything from advising a client on how to protect his finances and assets to fighting a court case to get adequate compensation for a personal injury claim.
4) Research skills
A good lawyer needs to have excellent research skills. After all, your lawyer’s opinion will not be sufficient in court without appropriate facts to back the opinion. Your lawyer should be able to research regulations, laws, and judicial opinions to refer to during a case. They should be able to adeptly use online resources and work with investigators if needed to collect sufficient evidentiary proof.
5) Reasonable fees
A lawyer may charge anything ranging from $100 to $1,000 or more on an hourly basis. A lawyer’s fees will depend upon the legal firm’s size, location, and prestige, and also the lawyer’s experience and reputation. It’s always a good idea to get quotes from multiple legal firms before you hire a lawyer. But, you should be careful not to compare one lawyer with others just based on their fees. Inexperienced lawyers may take much more time to complete a legal task than experienced lawyers.
You need to hire a lawyer who is available for you. He shouldn’t be too busy to be unable to give your matter the attention it needs. Hence, you need to verify that your lawyer has the time and resources to handle your legal matter and also be available to tackle any sudden issues or emergencies that may come up during your case.
You should hire an honest lawyer—someone who believes in the law and will not break it regardless of any temptation. Asking around before hiring a lawyer will help you get an idea of how honest he is. You will find that dishonest lawyers have a bad reputation, and you should do the necessary due diligence by speaking with previous clients.