How do I select a lawyer?
If you need legal assistance but do not have a lawyer‚ there are several sources that you may use to help you locate and select an attorney:
Recommendations from friends‚ family members‚ and co-workers can be helpful‚ particularly if you ask an individual who has had a legal question similar to yours.
The Federal Bar Association will begin offering a free “Need an Attorney” search listing to the public this summer. The general public will be able to search for an attorney in their local area. The directory includes participating FBA members. This is not a referral service and the FBA does not endorse the services of any of its members.
Yellow Pages and other advertising are becoming more commonplace among attorneys. Some ads list specific areas of practice such as bankruptcy‚ real estate‚ and others. It is the lawyer's own choice to be listed in these areas‚ and there are no guarantees that the lawyers listed have any more knowledge or experience than any other lawyer. If you use these listings as a guideline‚ rely on your own independent investigation as well in choosing an attorney to represent you.
Legal Directories‚ such as the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory‚ can be found in many public libraries. These contain biographical information on attorneys in each state‚ and listings of attorneys by state and city.
Many people believe they need an attorney's services only to solve a problem or to get out of a difficult situation. Often‚ the best time to see an attorney is not when you are in legal trouble but before that trouble occurs. Preventive law is one of the most valuable services that a lawyer can perform. By eliminating potential problems, preventive law can save you time‚ money‚ and needless worry.