With the excess of information at everyone’s finger tips, sometimes making any decision seems more complicated these days. Choosing the right lawyer in Florida for your needs is no exception. We are no longer flipping through the yellow pages or relying on radio ads to determine who to turn to if we have a legal problem. Instead, we turn to internet searches and the volumes of information that comes up on our screens. But how do you know if the first lawyer on the list is the best, or merely the one that paid the most to have their website pop-up first? What information should you be looking for when determining which lawyer will meet and may be even exceed your needs?
The first place to turn to is the Florida Bar. You always want to determine that the person you are talking to and hiring is an attorney. You can do this by going to The Florida Bar website at www.floridabar.org. Use the “Find a Lawyer” search engine and find the lawyer’s information, address, phone number and email to confirm their credentials.
Call the lawyers office and talk to their staff. Make sure they are friendly and accommodating. Set up an initial appointment with the lawyer (either via phone or in person) to make sure that you have communicated with the actual lawyer that will be handling your case and providing you services. If any lawyer is too busy to meet with you at the beginning stages of the business relationship, they may be too busy to meet all your needs as your relationship and case grows.
Also, consider the lawyer’s reputation. Do you know people who have worked with the firm before? Have you heard people praise an attorney’s work? Ask around. Someone you know may be working with an attorney that might be able to meet your needs as well.
You can also check the attorney’s discipline history. If an attorney has been professionally disciplined by the Florida Bar you can find that information on The Florida Bar’s website, as referenced above. Once you find the attorney’s page using the “Find a Lawyer” search engine, scroll down until you see the words “10 year discipline history.” If there is no discipline, the word “none” will appear to the right of the name. if there is a history, the word “yes” will appear, with a link to take you to the documents with additional information.
Remember, choosing the right attorney should make your life easier, whether professionally or personally. Finding a firm with a good reputation for both their legal knowledge, results, and customer service is a formula for success.