Throughout your legal problems, you will have to make some tough decisions.
If you were involved in an accident, then you have to choose between bringing criminal damages or press with a plaintiff case, if you have a small business and you were involved in a deal, then you have to decide whether to sign it or let it pass.
There is no clear-cut answer in many of these dilemmas, and getting the right lawyer is crucial to you.
We examine the perks of choosing a lawyer in a pre-paid legal plan as opposed to hiring your lawyer, and some simple steps you can take to select a reasonable attorney.
The number one criterion has to do with a lawyer’s legal ability: someone who lays the law down for you, present you with options, explain the ramifications of each decision you make and give you recommendations on the best course of action.
In this day and age of complicated legal matters, many lawyers are increasingly specialized, and you stand to get better information from someone with a practice focus in a particular area of the law than a generalist who deals with a broad spectrum of legal issues.
Building rapport is also essential: your relationship with your lawyer can make or break your case.
You need a lawyer who gives you candid advice and counsel you can trust, someone with enough perspective to step back from an issue and look at it from all angles.
Client-lawyer relationships are minimal within a pre-paid legal plan.
Because of the preventive nature of most projects, your contact with your lawyer will be limited on many occasions.
You seldom get to talk to your lawyer face-to-face as most of the consultation is done over the phone, and even when you get to speak to them, it is difficult to build rapport when your office consultations are limited to a dozen hours a year.
The good news, however, is you still have some options left.
When you sign up for a legal plan, you get to choose your lawyer, and there are several steps you can take to increase the likelihood of getting a good lawyer.
First, you need to ask for referrals from previous clients.
Ask around about reasonable attorneys in the network. Once you get a few names, check their educational background, their qualifications and their professional track record with your states bar association.
After you receive your referrals, don’t shy away from setting up interviews with attorneys in the network.
Most don’t mind receiving inquiries about what they do and how able there are.
Ask tough questions: How long have they been in practice, How satisfied are their previous clients, How many legal problems of interest to you have they taken recently.