The client has to consider the cost-effectiveness of legal help before finding a lawyer. A person seeking to find a lawyer can check references from friends, relatives and neighbors. Always find out the specialization of an attorney before making use of his services. If you are seeking a free attorney, a lawyer referral service or local community services can help you find a suitable one.
How to Find a Lawyer
The client should inquire about the experience and track record of the lawyer before approaching him. The following sources help in finding a lawyer:
- Bar Association Referral Lists: The bar association very often maintains referral lists. The specialization of a lawyer could be ascertained by looking at the referral lists. It should be remembered that the referral lists do not offer recommendations for a particular lawyer. The referral lists offer just the required information about a lawyer. Many referral lists could be found in a local library. The American law directory is said to have a list of about 24,000 lawyers. Thus, the bar association referral lists help in locating a lawyer. Many other community organizations offer referral lists for people who are disabled or injured due to domestic violence.
- Telephone Book: The telephone books also act a guide in locating lawyers. The yellow pages of the telephone books provide information in finding lawyers. It is said that professional lawyers do not advertise in the yellow pages. Advertisements in yellow pages are said to lack credibility and only amateurs resort to such advertisements.
- Courts: The court could also provide information on various lawyers. A person could attend hearings himself to assess the capability of a lawyer.
- Bankers: The bankers may also provide a reference as the banks deal with lawyers from time to time.
- Internet: The websites could provide an insight into the lawyers' experience and give valuable information about his firm.
- Patent Office: The patent office provides a list of patent lawyers and agents practicing in the state.
Many professionals require the services of lawyers from time to time. Consulting a lawyer before embarking on certain projects could go a long way in saving you considerable tension later. The best way to find a lawyer is to ask for reference from another lawyer, banker or accountant. Many public interest groups and low cost agencies also help in finding a lawyer. The prepaid legal services plan also provides the clients with the services of the lawyer at a reduced rate. The advertisements put up by the lawyers also act as a source. But, it is advisable not to respond to advertisements offering legal services as such advertisements could be given by a paralegal or fraudulent lawyer. The credibility of lawyers who are recommended by web sites is at question since these sites may not give a clear picture of the legal firm. It is said that most of the lawyers in America have the license to practice only in a particular state. The lawyers practicing in one state are not allowed to give advice to people residing in other states.
How to Find an Attorney
It is absolutely essential to find an attorney before the problem on hand escalates into a major one. Many companies with a limited budget do not hire an attorney before a major problem strikes them. The directors of the company have to be pro-active and should find an attorney at the first whiff of trouble. The attorney should be knowledgeable about all the dealings of the business. The following are the guidelines for finding an attorney:
- The experience of the attorney should be ascertained.
- The track record of the attorney and his expertise should be checked before hiring him.
- The attorney should have a clear understanding of the field in which the client has a problem.
- The attorney should have the competence to handle difficult issues arising in the future.
- Attorneys could also be found by hotlines. The client can make an appointment with his attorney through the hotline.
If a person does not have a stable income and cannot afford an attorney, he could search for the public defender. The criminal cases are handled by the public defender for free. But, the clients will have to prove their income levels and they will have to present adequate records of their income.
Free lawyers provide advice and guidance to small business people, middle-class and poor people. There are courts, which sets up funds for the poor people. If a poor person loses a case, the funds may help him to pay the charges. Free lawyers claim to understand the financial and emotional hardships faced by people who cannot afford legal help and ensure that there will be no hidden costs.
Many legal referral services offer information to the people on different ways of securing free legal services and contacting such free lawyers. The local bar associations also provide information on free lawyer services. Non-profit associations have offices in many states. They could also provide help in finding a lawyer who would offer free legal service. It is advisable to meet the free lawyer in person rather than try and locate him on the Internet.
Many free legal services are federally funded and are available in every state. Many such attorney panels are also found in many states. They offer legal services at a nominal cost. There are free attorneys who provide services for citizens over 60 years of age. Such free lawyers offer free services for dealing with non-criminal cases. These elderly clients opting for free layers are not bound by any income guidelines.
The local agencies can also be a good source for finding a free lawyer. There are many legal aid offices, which provide free legal services to people with low-income of any age group. But, the clients are required to satisfy the criteria for free services. The private attorneys also provide free legal help as a service to the clients. The pro-bono panels established in many states offer free services with the help of private attorneys. The legal hotlines have also been established to find a free lawyer.
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Disclaimer: The articles provided herein are for information purposes only and are not destined as a substitute for specific legal advice. The reader is urged to seek professional legal counsel for their specific circumstances, as the law constantly changes and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and is subject to changeable interpretations.