When you are looking for someone to provide a service, nothing beats getting a referral from someone who has been in your same shoes. In the case of hiring a lawyer for your particular legal problem, qualifications and experience can vary greatly.
Some attorneys handle a wide range of legal practice areas, whereas others may limit accepting cases to a specific area of the law. Using a lawyer who has an obvious passion for his area of expertise could be highly beneficial. It is therefore safe to say that your thoughtful selection of an attorney could ultimately contribute to your achieving the best possible outcome.
AVVO Website Provides Personal Feedback
Since 2007, a popular website has been collecting valuable feedback of the public’s experience with their lawyers. In addition to rating their attorney on several aspects of the service provided, the website encourages the public to provide a personal narrative account. These summaries present an excellent unbiased account that can reflect on both positive and negative attorney-client experiences. They can be most insightful when the person who posted the review was facing the same legal dilemma as the individual who is on the hunt for the right legal counsel. The following feedback was recently posted by a former client of Attorney Timothy Sullivan. Although this example is illustrative of the AVVO website model, it is important to understand that the facts and circumstances of every legal case are different. Thus, where the nature of a particular legal problem might be the same (for example, DUI,) the past results achieved for a client in a given matter can not be relied upon to suggest that the same results would occur for another client... even in a similar case.
Using the Internet to Find a Good DUI or Criminal Defense Lawyer
In the past, it was commonplace when looking for a lawyer to use the Yellow Page Directory or to seek the advice of family members and friends. However, the American Bar Association reports that the Internet is now the first option that consumers turn to when searching for a lawyer. A personal referral has enormous value. But, friends and neighbors are likely to be familiar with a limited number of lawyers. In many circumstances the lawyers they are acquainted with may not practice in the area of law where the help is needed.
The Internet can provide a thorough method of vetting the qualifications and experience of prospective lawyers. In addition, some attorney websites are “information based.” These more “comprehensive” websites provide answers to frequently asked questions and can begin educating the client on the subject matter surrounding their legal problem. At times, information gleamed from the Internet can provide some “late night” peace of mind. However, it must be remembered that nothing can take the place of a live consultation with a qualified lawyer. The legal system is highly complex and the law is in a constant state of change. For these reasons, the Internet can be a great place to begin your search for a lawyer, but it should never be used as a substitute for a face to face consultation with an experienced attorney.
Online Attorney Rating Services
AVVO has become highly popular. But, it is by no means the only source to begin your search for legal counsel. Although the Wall Street Journal acknowledged that AVVO provides “at least some measure of transparency” of a lawyer’s qualifications, the company’s method of “rating” lawyers has been the subject of both criticism and lawsuits.
LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell is another attorney ranking service. The company sends lawyers and local judges a questionnaire about fellow members of their legal community. Recipients are asked to rate the attorney’s legal knowledge, effectiveness and ethics. Martindale-Hubbell has been providing this service since 1868. Law firms who receive the coveted “AV Preeminent Rating” are considered to provide “the highest level of professional excellence.” These attorneys appear in the “Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.” Unlike AVVO, Martindale Hubbell does not publish customer comments regarding a lawyer’s services and relies primarily on the reputation of a lawyer in his local legal community.
Both of the aforementioned sources can provide the consumer with important insight. However, your search should not end there. Those seeking legal services need to also review the law firm’s website.
How to find the best DUI or Criminal Defense lawyer will entail asking the right questions. You need to confirm that your legal problem is one for which the prospective lawyer has a great deal of experience. You should do your homework before you schedule an initial consultation. It is important that you feel comfortable working with your lawyer. Beware of any lawyer who appears to be simply telling you what he thinks you want to hear. If he is more interested in the legal fee than helping you with your legal problem you need to move on to the next candidate. Trust your instincts when hiring a lawyer and “don’t discount the importance of personality and personal chemistry.
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