Need a Lawyer? Judge for Yourself.
Going through a divorce? Launching a business? Hurt in a car accident? Writing a will? Facing a lawsuit? In any of these situations, you may consider hiring a lawyer to advise you or represent your interests. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/ ) offers the following advice to help you be smart when you choose — and use — legal representation.
Know Who You're Dealing With
Many lawyers specialize in a particular area of the law. Be sure your attorney has relevant experience. An attorney who regularly drafts wills may not be the best choice to represent you in a courtroom if the subject is an auto accident. If family, friends or co-workers have hired a lawyer for a similar reason, ask them for recommendations. If not, check with your state and local bar associations. Some groups offer lawyer referral services for their members.
Do Your Research
Try to talk with more than one lawyer before you choose the one to represent you. But find out if you will be charged for an initial meeting. Be prepared to describe your problem in a brief, clear summary. Ask the various lawyers about their experience, their fees, what your options might be, your chances of success, who will do the work, and when the problem might be resolved.
Finding the right lawyer to represent you may be the most important decision that you make when you are faced with a difficult legal matter. The North Carolina State Bar (www.ncbar.gov) recommends the following from their website. Your Lawyer should:
- Have an active North Carolina law license (if the matter arises out of North Carolina law)
- Be experienced in the practice area
- Have Malpractice Insurance
- Have a good reputation in the community
- Have a personality or temperament that is compatible with your own
- Provide clear information about how you will be charged for the lawyer’s services, the services of paralegals and other employees of the lawyer, and for expenses such as copying costs and long-distance phone calls
Know The Real Deal
Once you decide to hire a lawyer, be sure you understand what you've both agreed to. How often will the lawyer update you? What information will you be required to provide? Do you understand all your options? What will the total cost be? If you're not clear on exactly what the lawyer is doing, ask for clarification. Although your chances of success can't be guaranteed, discuss approaches to your case. You should be comfortable with your lawyer's approach to your case. Be up front with your lawyer on all the facts and circumstances surrounding your situation. You may want to get the agreement with your lawyer in writing.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the nation’s consumer protection agency. The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace. For more about hiring a lawyer, visit https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0180-hiring-lawyer
The North Carolina State Bar was created in 1933 by the North Carolina General Assembly as the government agency responsible for the regulation of the legal profession in North Carolina. The State Bar currently regulates over 27,000 licensed lawyers. Protection of the public and protection of our system of justice are the objectives of regulation.
Hiring A Professional
When hiring a professional, such as a lawyer, people often look to Google to search and talk with friends, neighbors and family for recommendations. From Accounting Firms to Wedding Venues, the new Best of Harnett will share our reader’s selection for “Best” in over 130 categories. There is still time to submit your vote for who you think is best! Just visit www.bestofharnett.com and cast your vote. Remember voting ends Friday, June 8th at 5:00PM.