Throw a dart…to pick a lawyer?
May 31, 2012 – Matt Albrecht
When looking for a lawyer, desperate people are often forced to open the phone book and flip through the yellow pages just hoping one of the ads will jump out and help them find that perfect match. I can sympathize, after all, most people only deal with lawyers once or twice in their life, and it’s not exactly an experience they look forward to. Of course, this critical decision also hits you at a highly stressful time when a business deal has gone bad or you or a family member has been injured. So is the age-old method of picking from the big color photos in the phone book a good way to pick a trial lawyer or appeal lawyer? Not really. As with most professional services, the lawyer with the slickest marketing might not best suit your needs.
There’s a better way. Start by talking with your friends and acquaintances. You aren’t just looking for an experienced lawyer–you want a lawyer who will promptly return your phone calls, and ideally, one you get along with. Everyone expects their lawyer to be experienced, up to date on the latest legal developments, and highly skilled. Those are just the baseline qualifications. This is why what you want to know probably won’t come from a phone book or TV ad (or even a web page like this). You will find out much more from a referral who has had personal experience with the particular lawyer.
But getting a referral is just the beginning. After all, not all lawyers (or clients) have the same personalities. Just because a friend or relative liked their lawyer doesn’t mean you will. You know how sometimes you sit down at dinner with a friend of a friend and just immediately hit it off, seeming to feel like you’ve already known each other for years? And other times you just feel immediately that you have nothing in common with this person? It can be the same between lawyers and clients, and the best lawyer-client relationship is one built on trust. It’s hard to trust someone you’ve never met or just don’t like. Expect to have, at a minimum, an extended telephone call and, preferably, an in-person or video meeting with your new (potential) lawyer before sealing the deal.
Finally, if you can’t find any personal referrals try contacting the local Bar Association or other lawyer’s association. For example, the Spokane County and Grant County Bar Associations will help you find a referral. You could also look up either Matt Albrecht or David DeWolf or hundreds of other trial lawyers in the Washington Association for Justice trial lawyer directory, which highlights trial lawyers by their primary fields of practice.
If you would like to speak with a Spokane trial lawyer or appeal lawyer at our firm, you can of course contact us now and see whether we might be the right lawyers for your case. We look for the right clients just like you’re looking for the right lawyer, so if we’re not right for you we will do our best to get you to a lawyer we think could help you.
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