A comprehensive guide about Finding the Right Attorney

Needing an attorney for any reason can be a stressful experience as it will mean that you are facing legal problems of some kind. Even if you are not the defendant in the case having an issue where you need to take legal action to resolve it is not an easy situation to be in.

Whether you are a plaintiff or defendant, looking for advice, or pursuing a career in law and want to discuss opportunities with an attorney, there are considerations to make. You cannot approach any attorney and have them deal with your issue or give you advice. 

So, it is important that you find the right attorney for your situation to ensure that you get the best advice or have the best chance of winning. Below, we have highlighted some of the considerations you should make and why they are important.

Right Attorney

What Type of Attorney Do You Need?

When approaching any legal situation, the first thing to identify is the type of attorney you need. First, do you need a criminal attorney, or is it a civil matter? From there, you need to assess which area of the law an attorney needs to specialize in.

An easy way to do this is to perform an internet search for the type of attorney you need. You can search for a criminal defense attorney or any other type of attorney along with the area you live in to find a list of the attorneys in your area that deal with the situation you are in. 

If you are looking for information for a school project or are considering a career in law, and want to speak to an attorney to get what you need, it is better to look at smaller law firms. Larger and more prestigious firms are unlikely to have the time to spare unless you have a personal connection to the law firm.

A smaller firm or a newly qualified attorney may be able to give you a more realistic view of studying law and will be less likely to charge for the time you spend together. You should always call ahead and arrange a meeting; you can ask about any costs for the attorney’s time then. 

If you are currently studying law, you may be able to get an appointment at a law firm free of charge through your college or professor. Alternatively, your professor may arrange for some of their former students to attend the college and give students an opportunity to meet with them. 

Whatever you need, it is important that you ensure you are speaking to the right type of attorney so that you do not waste time and money with someone who cannot help you. 

State or Federal?

Continuing to look at criminal defense attorneys, the next thing to consider is whether you need a state or federal criminal defense lawyer. Choosing a state or federal lawyer will very much depend on the type of charges that have been filed. If the crime committed meets the criteria to be tried as a federal case, it will be.

If federal charges are filed, you will need an attorney who specializes in federal law rather than state law. You can simply amend your search to include information such as Orlando federal defense lawyer to get a list of all attorneys who meet your needs in the area you live in. 

If state charges are being filed, it is important to engage the services of a state criminal defense lawyer from the state where the charges are being filed. If that is not the state you live in, you should continue to search for attorneys in the state where you are charged, not where you live. 

State laws can differ considerably from one state to another, so employing an attorney in the state where you live can be a disadvantage in another state. It may make it more difficult to prepare with an attorney in another state; however, most will have video communication to save you from making multiple trips to meet them.

Public Defender or Pay?

If charges have been filed against you, it is time to consider whether you should use a public defender or pay for the services of a specialist attorney. Although you may have heard negative stories about public defenders, there are some highly experienced and qualified public defenders, so this should not immediately put you off.

A public defender can be the easier and cheaper option for small and first-time offenses where you wish to bring the matter to a swift conclusion. There will generally be a public defender available at the court during the time it is in session, so you will not need to worry about arranging a specific time. 

A public defender is also an excellent, or sometimes only, option for those who have financial issues and cannot afford to hire an attorney from a firm. However, it is also beneficial to consider whether a firm offers its services on a pro bono basis or a no-win, no-fee basis, which could benefit you.

If you wish to hire a firm and pay for its services, you should identify its hourly cost. With this information in mind, you should discuss, in the initial meeting, how many billable hours your attorney expects the case will take.

Knowing this information, you can work out how much your case is approximately going to cost and determine if this is affordable. Most attorneys will operate on a retainer basis for larger cases where you pay an amount upfront and then pay more when this amount has been used.

It is best to discuss the financial information upfront to ensure that there are no surprises as the case progresses that will prevent you from continuing with that attorney. It can be detrimental to your case to run out of money part way through and have to change to a different attorney. 

After making the decision about the type of attorney you wish to employ, you can begin working on the case and resolve the situation.

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