Finding a good attorney is more difficult than most people might think. The skills required for various kinds of legal work can be very different, and qualifying a professional in each of those skill areas can be a time-consuming and sometimes expensive process. So, what are some principles prospective clients can use to decide which attorney to hire?
There are two areas of law that have become considerably more complex just in the last few years, and those are intellectual property and real estate. The housing market has driven a voluminous number of changes in the process of financing, inspecting and insuring the purchase of both residential and commercial properties. Meanwhile, the combination of software, online publishing, self-publishing and e-commerce have driven a huge number of prolonged and complicated trademark, copyright and patent cases in the Internet era.
Finding an attorney with demonstrated experience in law you are working with will give you a major advantage at every milestone of your case. Although specialized legal advice can be expensive, very often a veteran attorney will have developed strategies that can reduce work hours and delays to the point where the cost savings offset the extra expense.
Even if your case is likely to consist primarily of paperwork and scheduled filings, finding a litigator is often the best course of action for a couple of reasons. One, litigators are trained to spot weaknesses in an opponent’s case and to do so very quickly. Focusing that skill on your own situation is often the first step towards a favorable outcome. Identifying weaknesses before you call your first witness is one of the least expensive ways to prevent an avoidable defeat.
Second, litigators are very likely the greatest question-askers in the world. An engaged attorney will force you to re-think your case regardless of how strong it is. The insights you glean from this process can be used to further strengthen your case or to identify areas that may require additional work. Either of these are worth the extra time and expense in the long run even if they lead to a short-term crisis of confidence.
If you are a defendant looking for a criminal attorney in Phoenix, for example, you are going to want someone who has argued cases in defense of others charged with similar crimes. Such attorneys will be conversant with the investigatory process, the habits of the prosecutor’s office and may very well be on friendly terms with police, expert witnesses and court officials who can help you avoid common and time-consuming obstacles at trial.
There is also the issue of jury selection, which can be very different from case to case. Most law firms engage the services of outside consultants for this process nowadays. Having an attorney who knows where to start will be far more advantageous to your case than trying to build competency from the ground up with a trial date looming.
Finding a lawyer can be a challenge. Fortunately with the application of a few basic principles, the prospects for success can be considerably enhanced, even if your case is more complex than the average plaintiff’s or defendant’s circumstances.