While certainly not ideal, you might find yourself in a situation where you need an attorney. It is more common than you think. You may be in the middle of an estate dispute, lawsuit, intellectual property claim or a wide variety of other situations where expertise of the law is necessary to help you earn the outcome that you wish.
If you live in the state of California and face a legal problem, a California attorney can help you understand your case, give you advice, and represent you, so your side is listened to and portrayed correctly. But given the amount of active attorneys out there – there are nearly 180,000 in California – finding the right attorney for you can be tough and will involve careful research. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Where do you start?
Legal marketing is a major business as California attorneys try to get their name out there in every way possible, so you might want to do a basic search. You can consult your local Yellow Pages for starters, which will provide the listings of every attorney in your area as well as featured advertisements. As the internet has become such an everyday part of our lives, many attorneys have turned to internet marketing too, including social media marketing.
Certified lawyer referral services are another approach you might want to take as they might be able to match you with attorneys who specialize in the right field of law. For example, if you need legal help with an estate, they will match you with an accredited California probate attorney who is in good standing with the bar. Finally, you can get recommendations from friends, family and other professionals in the legal field who can speak to the lawyer’s abilities and record.
Create a List
Once you have done a little research on the attorneys out there, it’s advisable to make a list of those who are specialists in the field of law you require. As you wouldn’t purchase the first item you see when you’re making a big purchase, like a car or house, it would be in your best interest to shop around to see what’s out there.
Ask a lot of Questions
After you’ve created your list, it’s now time to meet with the prospective lawyers. This is a time to feel them out to see whether or not they would help you with your legal problem. It’s important that you come with many questions, including some about their experience, record, if they’ve tried a case like yours and whether or not they will be personally trying your case or if it’ll be someone else in their firm. And then there’s, of course, the charges for their service. If you’ll need a bankruptcy lawyer after you’re finished with your legal fees for this problem, you might want to look elsewhere.
Once you’re assured of all these concerns, and you check the California’s State Bar to make sure the attorney hasn’t been disciplined in the past by the bar, you should be ready to hire your attorney and feel confident that your case will be heard.
Frank is a business and law writer who has years of experience in the California court rooms.