Your Guide to Finding the Perfect Law Firm

When an individual faces potential legal action, it is necessary to call upon a trained attorney. However, finding the best law firm is not a simple task of looking one up in the phonebook. Getting the best legal representation will take a little effort. Understanding what to look for and what questions to ask will help narrow down your choices.

Ask Friends and Family

The first and best place to start a search for the best legal representation to suit your personal needs is to talk to friends and family. However, before meeting with an attorney, even one that is recommended, make sure you have an understanding of why this professional has been recommended. Find out what they did for the person making the recommendation and why they would be the best choice for you.

Come to the Attorney Meeting Prepared

When visiting a prospective law firm, it is important to come fully prepared. Copy all documents and reports pertaining to your legal representation needs and bring them to the first meeting. These materials should include all documents relating to your specific case, such as bills, medical records, witness accounts, other contact information, as well as, law enforcement reports. Be prepared to describe your situation in clear terms that will allow the law firm to respond in a way that will help you decide if this is the best legal representation for you.

To Help Make a Decision Ask Questions

Before meeting with a law firm or attorney write down some questions that will help you gather the information you need to make a decision including:

  • How long has the firm or attorney practiced this particular type of law?
  • How experienced is the lawyer assigned to your case?
  • How does the attorney or law firm believe your situation needs to be handled?
  • What will be your participation in the case?
  • What kind of communication will there be?
  • Will a fee agreement detailed all expenses, billing and payment arrangements?

Conduct a Self-Evaluation After Meeting a Law Firm or Attorney

  • After meeting an attorney or firm, it is time to ask yourself some questions about hiring legal representation, such as:
  • How comfortable do you feel working closely with this firm or attorney?
  • What is your level of confidence concerning the experience and skill level that will be handling your case?
  • Do you understand the lawyer’s explanation about the situation and all that it legally involves?
  • Did the law firm or attorney take the proper amount of time to examine the documents you presented?
  • Do you have a good understanding of the fee agreement?

It may take several meetings with various law firms in order to make a decision about which one would provide the best legal representation. However, it is important not to rush into selecting a law firm or attorney, as the outcome of the case will largely depend on this factor.

The Benefits of Your Law Firm Having a Website

Every law firm has the desire to attract new clients and keep the old ones. Attorneys and law firms use marketing to do this. It can be done using more traditional methods like commercial, bus stop advertisement, billboard, yellow page ad, or radio ad. However, more legal practices are using marketing tactics that fit in with the technology available in the 21st century.

This isn’t to say that the more traditional methods don’t work. You don’t have to have one or the other. You can harness the power of the internet while still running your yellow pages or billboard advertisement. But, it’s important to keep in mind that pretty much any business should have a website.

A website gives a professional image to your company. More and more people are using the internet to find and contact local business for the services they need. Your first impression to a majority of your new customers will be your website. This is why having a professionally designed website for your law firm is so important. Having an amateur website would be like meeting your clients wearing your pajamas – it just doesn’t make you look like you care about what you do.

A website helps new customers find you. If you haven’t heard the term Search Engine Optimization or SEO before – essentially this refers to optimizing your website to have better listings on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) of popular search engines. Since more and more people are finding businesses through online search, optimizing your website or search engine marketing has turned into the the new yellow page ad.

A website gives your law firm a “home base” on the internet. We are hearing the term “social networking” more and more. If you aren’t familiar with it – social networking is using sites like twitter and Facebook to interact with your current and future clients. Almost every social networking site allows you to post a link to your website. This is how you get people to learn more about your firm. They can only learn so much from your social networking page since that isn’t really the place to make a sales pitch. The idea is to get them to click on the link to your website that is listed on your social networking page so that they can learn more about your business (and hopefully become a client). You can even interact with clients on your law firm’s website by integrating a blog into it.

A website gives attorney’s a way to make running their business easier. Extra features that you can incorporate into your website can give customers self service an allow you to save time. Feature like the ability to schedule appointments, look up frequently asked questions, get directions to your office, and submit documents a head of time all make running your firm easier.

A website is a way to extend your business card. You can only put so much information on your law firm’s business card. But, as long as you have included the address to your website on your business card, you can give all the information you want to your prospects. The same idea goes for commercials, yellow page ads, billboards, bus stop ads. Pretty much every other advertising medium puts some sort of limit on how much information about your business you can put out (this is caused by time or space restrictions). However, as long as you have a website you can point people back to you will be able to give them all the information that need about what your business can do for them.

Although you may think that a website is not needed for your law firm right now, have you considered what it could do for your law firm? One of the best things about advertising using a website is that it is easier to grab data about your marketing efforts then more traditional methods, this means you can try using a website to market your law firm, measure how well it worked, and then decide if it’s something you want to keep doing for a relatively low cost. Although managing your legal practices online identity may be a daunting task, I assure you there are plenty of people around that are looking to help and the reward is usually worth the hard work.

How to Choose the Right Law Firm For Your Case And Needs

Whether you need a lawyer for your day-to-day business or just once in your entire lifetime, picking the right representation is critical. Many people go their entire lives without having to consider which lawyer or law firm they would go to for help if it was needed. In many cases, the utmost concern for people looking for an attorney is cost. Lawyers are expensive, and may people cannot fathom paying someone hundreds of dollars an hour for any service. This is where most people make a mistake in choosing their representation, especially those who need an attorney because they are in trouble.

It is undoubtedly a shock to find yourself in a position where you need a lawyer, whether it is a civil matter, such as being sued by a business partner or someone injured on your property, or a criminal one, such as a DUI, or illegal substance possession. On top of the shock of the situation is the sheer volume of attorneys that are available. Opening the phone book or doing an Internet search for a law firm will yield hundreds of responses in normal-sized towns, thousands in large cities.

In order to narrow your search, find a lawyer or law firm that specializes in the type of case you need them for. Your brother-in-law may be an attorney, and he may be very good at it, but if he specializes in tax law, and you have a criminal charge filed against you, go find someone else. Many lawyers will list multiple fields of specialties. This is often basic advertising. If an attorney says they specialize in something, call and ask how many cases in that field they were involved with in the past year. If you don’t receive a straight answer in a timely manner, move on to the next attorney.

Once you have a list of 5 or 10 firms or individual attorneys, find your closest friend who is a lawyer in the region, and ask them about the reputations of the people on your list. If you don’t have a friend who is an attorney, find a friend who highly trusts an attorney they have worked with, and go ask that attorney about your list. Even in the biggest of cities, the legal world is a small one, and if the attorney you ask for advice doesn’t know someone on your list, they will definitely know someone who knows them.

When you have narrowed your list further, meet with each of the remaining attorneys or law firms. Ask about their background in your specific field, any other important cases they are working on, and who else will be working on your case. Find out what they normally charge, and if they can work on a contingency basis. If their price is too high, don’t despair. Explain your budget upfront, and state that you will have to visit another attorney. If they can bring their pricing down, they will.

Law Firms Know How to Eliminate Your Contempt Charge

We’ve all heard the words “you’re in contempt” on television and in the movies. What does it really mean to be in contempt and are there actual consequences for this action? When a judge says you are in contempt, they are stating you are in contempt of court and actually issue an order stating you have disobeyed a direct order given by the court. This order can also be given when you have been considered to be disrespectful during a court hearing or trial. The two most common behaviors for this court order are showing disregard toward the judge or by bad behavior disturbing the court trial.

Contempt can be classified two ways. The first is called direct contempt and results from the contempt happening in the company of the presiding judge. Indirect contempt is the second classification. This kind actually happens outside of the court by someone not following a direct court order. Court orders consist of things such as subpoenas and temporary restraining orders. Breaking these orders is considered being in contempt.

The court itself can begin a contempt trial. Anyone who has an order in place to prevent another party from pursuing certain actions can petition for action on the basis of contempt. The most common reasons for a person being in contempt are child support payment failure, denial of visitation rights, failure to appear in court when subpoenaed, and failure to pay fines or court costs. A complaint must be filed under the clerk of courts who will then issue the party a citation. The citation will state the charge and the possible penalties if found guilty.

The prosecutor or person complaining about contempt must prove four elements for it to be contempt. There must be existence of an order and the person in contempt or contemnor must have had knowledge of it. They must then prove the contemnor was able to comply and failed to despite the ability being present. If they cannot prove these four elements, the contemnor is less likely to be found guilty.

When a person is accused of contempt, they have many of the same protections as someone does in a criminal prosecution. They are considered innocent until proven guilty. This must be beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution must provide evidence of the contempt. A person charged with contempt can refuse to be a witness at the proceedings. People found guilty of contempt can be fined up to 1,000 dollars or receive up to five days of jail time depending on the states laws regarding contempt. Both can be given as punishment as well.

If you or someone you know has been charged with contempt, a law firms can help. During divorce proceeding court outburst are common for contempt charges. Divorce lawyers see this often due to heated tempers and bad situations. Being charged of contempt is just as serious as any other basic charge. A good lawyer may be able to help the court find you not guilty and make sure the charge stays off your record. Legal advice is recommended and a must when anyone is charged with being contempt of the court.