Finding a Lawyer

Finding a Lawyer

Guidance on why you should get a lawyer for your legal issue and how to find one

Why hire a lawyer?

Working with a lawyer is the best way to ensure that your legal problem will be sufficiently resolved. It is almost never advisable to representing yourself unless you’re fighting a minor infractions such as a traffic ticket or participating in small claims court.

Here are some reasons to hire a lawyer:

  • The legal system is complicated. Legal representation is not simply someone saying to the judge on your behalf that you did not violate the law. The law is riddled with ambiguity and grey areas, and you need a lawyer to apply their legal education and professional experience to build a case for you, to help you navigate around legal ambiguities and direct you towards the desired outcome of your case.
  • The rules of evidence. The rules of evidence are long. Really long. Lawyers are trained to challenge and/or suppress inappropriate evidence. If you’re representing yourself, you may not realize that a key piece of evidence was obtained illegally or that the crime lab didn’t properly handle the evidence during every step of their analysis.
  • Procedural knowledge. The court system has protocols and deadlines for filing documents pertaining to your case. Unfortunately, most courts do not have a user-friendly guidebook to help you follow the protocols and deadlines, and making one procedural error could cost your case. Lawyers know how to properly file court documents and handle other legal procedures so your case can proceed without trouble.
  • Getting settlements and bargains. Settling before trial is preferable because it saves you time and money. Chances are, your lawyer has worked with cases similar to yours in the past and can apply their knowledge of how cases like yours are usually settled to craft a good settlement bargain or plea bargain for you. This can put your case in a good position when it comes time to consult with the opposing lawyer to come up with a mutual settlement bargain.
  • Emotional support. Legal disputes can be scary, stressful, and tough to handle emotionally. A lawyer will maintain a clear head throughout the process and can help you maintain a forward-thinking and productive perspective as well. During divorce proceedings, or other delicate matters, your lawyer can be your unbiased guide.
  • Opposing lawyer. Your opposing side will likely have a lawyer, which can greatly disadvantage your case if you do not hire a lawyer for your side.

How to find a lawyer?

There are more than a million lawyers in the United States. Here are a few ways you can find the right one for you:

  • Reach out to this community. Our community of lawyers is committed to offering trusted, affordable legal services.
  • Get referrals. Referrals are a great way to find a lawyer. Whether your neighbor across the street is a corporate lawyer or your current business partner is a retired lawyer, personal recommendations can help you connect with the appropriate lawyers.
  • Advertisements. Advertisements via newspaper, phone directory, radio, television, internet ads, direct mail, etc., are ways you can become familiar with names of lawyers who may be right for your case. Keep in mind that your case may not be the type that they are advertising about, and always make sure to find out exactly what services and expenses would be included should you choose to hire the lawyer.
  • Public interest groups. Public interest groups deal with specialized problems such as civil liberties or housing rights. They are another good source of lawyer referrals.
  • Legal aid agencies. Depending on your income level and the nature of your case, you may qualify for free legal assistance from various legal aid agencies in your area. Most legal aid agencies offer services in civil law, criminal law, and juvenile rights. The requisite income level will vary depending on your location, but generally a family of four with a yearly income of $26,000 or less will qualify.

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