How to Find and Hire a Lawyer

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There are many traditional articles written on how to hire a lawyer or find a lawyer.    The modern method finding a lawyer or attorney is by searching the internet online.   The best goal one should have is to find and hire a qualified, trustworthy lawyer/attorney that can provide professional legal assistance for the best possible legal fees.  LawyerCams offers the suggestions to help you find and hire a lawyer and hopefully save money on legal fees:

1)            Ask your Connections and/or Use Social Media:  When searching for a lawyer the first thought would be ask your connections such as family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers for lawyer referrals.  In modern times, although we see our connections face to face on occasion, the common way to communicate is through social media such as Facebook and/or Google+ or other form of social media.  Referrals of lawyer and attorneys from our connections are usually considered a safer way to find a lawyer than simply cold calling.  After a connection refers a lawyer, if he or she is unable to handle the matter, usually that lawyer will assist you in referring to another lawyer that can handle your legal matter.   Most times referring lawyers will provide you the contact information for the referral which will include that lawyers web site or blog.

Using Social Media to find a lawyer is similar, and possibly more informative, than asking connections for lawyer and attorney referrals.   You may know that lawyers and others use social media every day to investigate people involved in legal disputes to gain detailed information about that persons habits, who they associate with, and other personal information.    It is logical then that when finding a lawyer you should look at the lawyers and attorneys that use social media such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter,  and/or LinkedIn to investigate the lawyer’s personal and business connections and view their profile.  These connections a lawyer has on social media most times are personal connections and could add credibility to the lawyer.  After all, social media is structured around “friends” in Facebook and “Circles” in Google+ and “Connections” in LinkedIn.  Also, social media gives you the opportunity to get a “real” feel about the lawyer by analyzing the lawyers profile and posts to get a clear picture of the lawyer as a person in contrast to a structured web site.

2)            Local Bar Associations:  Another method to find a lawyer is to contact your local bar association.  Usually this method will give you only basic information about the lawyer and bar associations usually do not “endorse” any particular lawyer.  LawyerCams also does not endorse any particular lawyer and the profiles in LawyerCams “rotate” from top to bottom.  However, LawyerCams lists the links provided to us by the lawyer to his or her social media, web site, and blog so detailed information can be found about the lawyer.

3)            Internet Search:   There are some web sites with rating systems for lawyers produced by private companies.  These ratings are usually produced by a process where the lawyer being rated is done so by recommendations from that lawyer’s piers.  LawyerCams does not have a rating system but lists the lawyers social media links for easy access so you can evaluate the “real feel” social profile of the lawyer.  The private company web sites with rating systems sometimes asks the lawyer being rated to provide a list of lawyers that may, in confidence, recommend them for the rating.  The actual “write up” of the profiles for the lawyers are  usually prepared by the attorneys themselves and most of these are paid listings by the attorney similar to LawyerCams.

4)            Solo and Small Firms:    Large law firms usually handle large matters for large clients that pay  large attorney’s fees.   For most legal matters that are not unusually large, solo lawyers and small firms usually can provide an equal level of legal services at a more reasonable price.  Also, it is important to understand that large firms sometimes refer matters to younger, less experienced lawyers than you would find in a solo or small firm.

5)            Lawyer Credentials:  Before setting an appointment with a lawyer, review his or her credentials.  Find out as much as you can about the lawyer and/or attorney  before setting an appointment.  You will want to know that the lawyer handles the types of legal matter you have.   It would be a waste of your time to set an initial consultation with a lawyer only to find out that he or she does not handle your type of legal matter.  Review the types of matters the lawyer – attorney handles by reading his or her LawyerCams profile and by spending time on their law office website, blog, and social media such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.  The lawyer’s listed in LawyerCams.com provide the social media links they are using currently.

6)            Be Prepared with First meeting Information:  Before you set and have your first consultation or meeting with a lawyer you should discuss whether there will be a consultation fee for the initial consultation.  All lawyers are different on the initial consultation fee.  Some lawyers charge a fee for the initial consultation but waive the fee if retained.  Some lawyers have free initial consultations.   LawyerCams.com does not promote or represent that any lawyer listed on LawyerCams.com will give you free legal advice.  The fees charged by lawyers on LawyerCams.com are set exclusively by the lawyer.   Some lawyers listed on LawyerCams.com are ready to have online video consultations with you with a scheduled appointment time.   All lawyers on LawyerCams.com require a schedule appointment.  You need to ask the lawyer before scheduling the online video conferencing consultation whether the lawyer will require a consultation fee.

After you have scheduled your appointment online, be prepared before the first online video conference consultation with a lawyer.  Be ready to explain the facts and circumstances of your case in as clearly and concisely as you can.  Have all documents ready and scanned, if possible, or ready to fax.  If you have originals, you will want to ask the lawyer in your online video chat whether he or she needs the originals or whether a copy or PDF will be sufficient for the lawyer’s file.  You should also have all your questions about the lawyer and his or her experience ready to discuss after reviewing their social media profiles, web site, and/or blog.

7)            Understand Fee Structure:  You should always have the lawyer explain in detail how he or she will charge you for legal fees.  There are many different methods of legal fees.  The most common legal fees are hourly and contingent.  If the lawyer charges hourly, many lawyers charge for telephone calls, emails, video chat, as well as working on the file so you should ask for details and have a clear understanding before signing a fee agreement and retaining the lawyer.   If you are uncertain, you should ask the lawyer for time to think about the fee structure and possibly consult with another lawyer or attorney to compare.

8)            Written Fee Agreement:    You should have a written fee agreement that clearly and plainly states the terms of the fee structure and your relationship during your legal matter with the lawyer.  Most lawyers will have different fee agreements for each type of legal matter which states the terms of their representation.  Many lawyers, not all, require some type of a retainer fee up front before accepting the legal matter on an hourly basis.  Many lawyers use a Trust Account when accepting retainers.  Ask how the trust account works.   Be sure to go through each part of the written fee agreement so you understand its terms and do not be afraid to ask the lawyer for a common explanation of any terms you are unfamiliar with or don’t understand.   If you are unclear or do not agree with any part of the written fee agreement do not sign.  Most states require a written fee agreement between lawyers and clients in most legal matters and it is protection for both the lawyer and client in case of a dispute after the matter begins.  Bottom line is both the lawyer and the client should have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and a proper written fee agreement will be a road map for both to act in accordance with the original understanding of the representation.

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