Perform background checks
It’s important to note that when hiring any lawyer, the most important thing to do is conduct a background check into their credentials. To do this, one of the easiest ways is to contact your state’s law agency and confirm whether the lawyer you are inquiring into has a good reputation and standing in the community. Similarly, online listings will be available with directories which can show you other work related results. Lawyers should always be checked for their references as well, and whether they have any peer reviews available from other firms. This is will give a strong indication about the ethical behaviour of the lawyer.
One of the strongest indicators of a good lawyer will be personal referrals; recommendations by your friend and families about a particular lawyer. When you have been involved in an incident, communicating with others who have been involved in similar incidents will be a great indicator of which lawyers are great and which are poor. However, this all relies on how much you can trust the personal referral you’ve received, and whether the lawyer is well suited to the factors presented in your case as well.
It is important that when dealing with personal referrals that you do not instantly hire a lawyer based on someone’s recommendation, but first meet and approach the lawyer. You should attempt to interview and inquire the background of the lawyer as if you didn’t know them through a personal recommendation. After taking all of the investigative steps and discussing with the lawyer, it is a good opportunity to decide whether to hire them or not.
Enquire other lawyers
No matter what state you are in, each community of lawyers will understand the expertise and reputation of other lawyers who are conducting themselves in the area. When asking other lawyers it is possible that they can provide you with information regarding ethics, capability, methodology and reputation. This is all relevant information that you may not be able to research online at all, and more often than not, this is very reliable and honest information in comparison to peer reviews available online.
Ask to see their office
Every lawyer will try their best to leave a first impression on you in their fancy meeting room, or some place of their choice, but sometimes it is important to understand what kind of work environment they perform themselves in. It more than a reasonable request to ask a lawyer for a brief tour of their work place.
From that you can tell a lot about them, you can see if they have organised their office efficiently and orderly, the type of staff that they have hired, and whether they seem genuinely helpful or not. If you see their office is empty, disorganised or perhaps the staff themselves seem unhappy, these may all be factors to reconsider hiring the lawyer you’ve inquired into.
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news related to business leaders and entrepreneurs around Australia and across the world.