Almost everyone gets that sinking feeling when he or she realizes it’s time to hire an attorney.
There are almost as many reasons to find an attorney as there are flavors of ice cream. You’re getting married, you’re getting divorced, you’ve been arrested, you’re buying or selling a house, you want to make out a will, you want to adopt a child, you fell down in a store and were injured, you’re being sued, you were in a car accident – you can see that the list goes on. Regardless of the reason, it’s time. But where to begin?
There are over one million practicing attorneys in the United States. Luckily for you, you only have to start looking here locally. Most people start by looking online or by asking friends and family and business associates for a referral. Any of these is a good idea. But engaging an attorney is not exactly the same as hiring someone to prune your trees or wash your windows. First and foremost, you want someone who has experience in the area you need. The more experience the better. Unless it’s your own child (and we’re only half-kidding) you don’t want to be someone’s first case. You want someone who knows the way around a case and a courtroom. There are many attorneys with specialties. And there are many attorneys who have more than one specialty. Finding someone like this might be helpful to you as you move through life. Today you might want someone to help you with a prenuptial agreement, and down the line you may want someone to help with your parents’ estate as they grow older. And all manner of things in-between.
When you’ve compiled a list of several lawyers, get on the phone. You’ll want to talk to all of them before you make a decision. Most attorneys will offer a half-hour consultation in the office for free. It’s important to assess how the two of you will get along. As we said, it’s not like hiring someone to prune your trees. Your attorney is someone who is going to be working with and for you. Don’t be shy. Aside from talking about your situation, you’ll want to talk about payments and down-the-line accessibility. You want to make sure that communication is easy and understandable. You can’t just say, “Please take care of this” and then walk away. If you leave the consultation annoyed or confused or unimpressed, this is not the right person for you, irrespective of where the referral came from. Trust your instincts.
Why don’t you start with us? We offer a range of legal specialties and many years of experience. And we like to think that we’re easy to talk with. Please give us a call at 503.655.7555 and let us see what we can do for you or contact us here.