Q: How do I decide which lawyer to hire? Lawyer do.
A: There are three basic steps to deciding which lawyer is right for you.
Step 1: Do I need a lawyer?
What do lawyers do, exactly?
What can a lawyer do for me?
First, a lawyer will advise you as to whether or not you actually need legal help. It’s not always obvious whether an issue is a legal matter or something that can be resolved without involving the court system. A lawyer will help you answer these initial questions.
If you do decide to hire a lawyer, then they have the power to represent you to the court and to opposing parties. Your lawyer is your most important ally in any legal matter. They provide advice on how to proceed with your legal issue, and prepare important documents for you.
If your issue involves going to court, your lawyer will accompany you, and can speak for you. If your legal matter involves mediation or arbitration, your lawyer will negotiate with the opposing party on your behalf.
There’s also an option between not getting legal help and hiring a lawyer for your case, for situations where you just have a quick question or are unsure of which way you need to go. With the Avvo Advisor service, you can speak to a highly reviewed lawyer on the phone in minutes, for just $39. Download the Avvo Advisor App and, for a limited time only, use promo code Nakedlaw to get a free Advisor session.
Step 2: What type of lawyer do I need?
What practice area should I choose?
Is practice size and type something I should consider when I’m looking for a lawyer?
Practice size is definitely something you should take into account. Some firms consist of only one lawyer, while some firms retain hundreds. There are many different types of law firms, some of which focus on very specific issues, while others may be more general. For instance, a large corporate firm may not help if you only need a lawyer to review a contract or a few documents, but may be the right choice if you are filing a personal injury suit against a large company.
If your legal issue involves small sums of money, or only a few documents, a small firm may be more cost-effective. The size of a law firm may also determine how quickly you will be able to actually speak to your potential lawyer; larger offices may require you to schedule your initial consultation through a lawyer’s assistant or secretary.
Number of Avvo attorneys who offer free consultations: 25,654
Step 3: How do I narrow the list of possible lawyers to contact?
Should location be a major factor in my search for a lawyer?
What are other clients saying about them?
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