Finding a good attorney in Alabama
If you need an attorney, making sure you select the right one can be the difference between a positive outcome or a negative one. Here are a few tips to follow when selecting a lawyer:
1. Ask People You Know for Recommendations
A personal recommendation is always the best place to start. It doesn’t mean you should automatically go with the first name you hear, but you can build a good short list for further investigation. You can always ask friends and family. If the matter is business related, you might also want to ask some trusted professional colleagues.
If the attorney is busy, and the best ones always are, having a personal connection can also make it easier to get an appointment.
2. Online Searches
There are a number of sites online that have sophisticated search engines to help you find a suitable attorney. On most of these sites, you can search by legal topic or geographic area.
If you have some names on your short list already, this sites can often give you basic information on their practice so you can decide if they’re worth keeping on your short list.
3. Establish Their Area of Expertise
The law is a vast and complex field. A lawyer who’s successful in one area of law isn’t necessarily the best option for another area. As you whittle down your short list, make sure everyone on it has experience in the specific type of case or legal need you have. This is even more precise than just the field of law. For example, if you have to defend or want to file a personal injury claim, look for an attorney with experience in your specific type of personal injury.
4. Verify Their Credentials
You can verify an attorney is licensed in good standing by contacting the Alabama State Bar (www.alabar.org). You can also find out if the attorney has ever been disciplined by the bar.
In addition to this formal information, you can also do an internet search on the names on your short list. Many experienced attorneys have at least a few articles written about them and their work, so you can read about their expertise and get a sense of their reputation from other sources.
5. Feel Comfortable with the Attorney
You should have an initial consultation with each name on your short list. During this meeting, gauge your comfort and communication level with each attorney. You want to feel like you’ll have a good working relationship with your ultimate choice.