If you have a case to answer in a court of law or you are taking someone to court, a qualified lawyer is your best friend. There is always a large number of lawyers to choose from, but you have to be careful to pick the best one for your case. Here are a few things to consider when hiring a lawyer.
Academic and professional credentials
It is not good to assume that a person who calls himself or herself a lawyer has gone through the requisite training and development. You will be dealing with factual evidence throughout the litigation process, and it is better to start early. Confirm that the lawyer has been trained in a recognized law school and got good grades. If the lawyer has been practicing law, confirm that he or she has the right professional qualifications to defend you in a court of law. He or she should be licensed to operate in your area, for instance. He should also be a member of the local and federal lawyers’ association.
If you choose a fresh graduate, you may have a few problems here and there. Some cases are a bit complicated, and they need the skills of an experienced lawyer to litigate. When evaluating the experience of a lawyer, you should consider the number of previous cases similar to yours that the lawyer has handled successfully. A substantial number of successful cases is a clear indication that you are on the right track. However, remember that every case in a court of law is unique, and success with previous cases does not necessarily translate into success with your case. That is why it is important to consider other qualities of the lawyer which will enhance the probability of success.
Once you are done with checking the academic qualification and experience, it is now time to consider the personal attributes of the candidate that make him or her a good lawyer. The most important of such attributes is communication skills. The ability of the lawyer to communicate avidly is important in determining the overall direction of the case in the court of law. Given the evidence, your lawyer should be able to convince the court that you are innocent, for example. He or she should be able to explain your grievances to the court in a clear and precise manner.
Some lawyers have built a good name for themselves in the legal industry. Such lawyers are rare but if you come across one, consider yourself very lucky. If you do not get one, pick those who are somewhere in the middle- they neither have a good name nor a bad name. With such type of lawyers, you have to ensure that they have all the other qualities of a good lawyer.
Finally, it is important to determine how the lawyer charges for his or her services. There are some who may be too expensive for you to afford. Choose a lawyer whose charges are both reasonable and commensurate with the academic qualifications, experience, the reputation of the lawyer and the services offered.