Read these 4 Find a Lawyer Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Legal tips and hundreds of other topics.
Finding a lawyer in your local area that specializes in the area of assisting caregivers manage a family member's affairs may best be done by a word of mouth referral. There are many areas of concern including the management of assets, future healthcare decisions, benefit planning, both private and public and litigation.
Another way to get a good referral is by finding people in similar situations as what you're facing and asking for referrals of knowledgeable attorneys in your local area. Support groups and local area agencies on aging or senior legal advisors may be another source for referral. Yet another way of finding a lawyer in your local area is through a referral service.
The local bar association in your community may have a committee or panel which refers inquirers to lawyers in various specialties. Be sure whomever you are referred to gives you his/her qualifications and references.
Also be sure to compare rates and fees. Because laws vary from state to state, it is important to find a lawyer who is familiar with the laws in your particular area or the area in which you will potentially be filing documents. Most attorneys have one or two areas of expertise.
Attorneys handling cases for planning long-term care should be familiar with the laws on Medicaid/Medicare; Social Security; trusts, conservatorships, power of attorney, tax planning and housing and healthcare contracts.
Perhaps you have gotten a referral for an attorney of excellent reputation but you'd like to do a little further investigation before meeting with this person for an introductory interview.
There are ways to investigate claims or cases someone has been involved with by doing a search in various places, finding the lawyer by name and specialty. Legal directories, such as Martindale-Hubbell, list attorneys worldwide with their area of specialty if any.
Another source of information might be your local bar association. There, you can find out if any disciplinary actions or complaints have been filed against a particular attorney.
Most of these resources obviously are available over the phone and Internet as well. Websites exist to match legal expertise with client need. Most of these locating services can assist you in finding a lawyer by name or a lawyer in your local area. Generally, these services are fast, free and confidential. Once you have given the staff the type of case you're involved with, they can provide names of attorneys in your area.
Life is usually a matter of networking. You have professional friends who have professional friends and so on and so forth. Finding the right professional can be as easy as asking around within your circle of acquaintances.
Attorneys are the same way: those in your area know each other and can usually recommend those whom they know to be experts in their area of practice. However, if you have no place to start when it comes to finding an attorney, consult a listing of attorneys in your area.
One hint might be to look for a smaller firm to work with. Often they are more willing to take a risk and accept your case. Etiquette would dictate that you call the attorney and tell them that you have heard or read good things about his or her practice.
Ask this attorney for at least three referrals of the best attorneys in your area who have the expertise that you're looking for. You could then call those three, asking the same question, names of at least three attorneys in your area that they feel to be experts in whichever particular field you're in need of assistance with. Keep calling until you hear the names of several of these local attorneys over and over. Chances are good that you'll come up with the best of the best in your area.
Personal injury attorneys and law firms generally will offer a new client a first consultation at no charge. This is a wonderful opportunity for the potential client to determine if they are able to work with a particular law firm or lawyer, and to find out if they feel comfortable working with these legal representatives.
When choosing a personal injury firm, it is wise to look for one that is well experienced with handling personal injury cases.
Tip #1: A larger law firm is apt to have more experience overall, and will have more attorneys available and on staff support personnel for legal assistance.
Tip #2: Do not hesitate to ask a law firm or lawyer about their track record of wins, and the number of cases they have successfully handled in your area of concern.
Tip #3: Be aware of your personal comfort level when consulting with this lawyer or firm. Lawsuits take a long time to work their way through the legal system. It is important to have open and comfortable communication with all members of the legal team.
Tip #4: Do not feel shy about visiting several law firms before making a final decision on choice. This is in your best interest!
Use the free consultation to your advantage before choosing a personal injury firm for representation.