Archives 2022

How to Find a Lawyer

Tips on Hiring a Good Lawyer for Your Legal Needs

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If you are looking to hire a lawyer, you’ll find no shortage of legal talent. The United States holds 5% of the world’s population and 70% of its lawyers. Law schools awarded 43,588 J.D.s per year on average, up 11.5 percent since 2000, and the United States boasts one lawyer for every 200 U.S. citizens.

With a record number of practicing lawyers in the U.S., finding a lawyer for your legal needs is no easy task. The best way to find a lawyer is through word of mouth and referrals. Wide variations exist in the skill level and expertise of each lawyer so recommendations from friends and acquaintances are a good way to locate quality legal talent.

The nature of your legal problem will determine the type of lawyer you need to hire. Most lawyers concentrate their practice in a few legal specialties such as family lawcriminal lawemployment lawpersonal injury law, bankruptcy or civil litigation. Therefore, it is important to retain a lawyer with expertise and experience in the practice area for which you require his services. Below are a few of the best resources available to help you find a lawyer that fits your needs.

Word of Mouth and Referrals

Word of mouth and referrals from friends, relatives, neighbors, business associates, and acquaintances are the best way to find a lawyer. These individuals have no vested interest, financial or otherwise, in recommending a certain attorney and can communicate any positives or problems they encountered in their dealings with a particular attorney or law firm. While it is tempting to hire a friend or relative for your case, this may not be your best strategy. If the friend or relative specializes in an area of law outside your needs, he or she may not be competent to address your particular legal issue.

Local Bar Associations

Another great resource for finding a lawyer in your area is your local bar association. Most county and city bar associations offer lawyer referral services to the public although they do not necessarily screen for qualifications. The American Bar Association also maintains a database which offers assistance to consumers seeking legal help.

Other Lawyers

Lawyers can often recommend other lawyers in the legal community who can assist you with your specific needs. Legal circles are small and most lawyers will know several other lawyers who specialize in the practice area for which you seek advice. Lawyers are also aware of other lawyer’s reputations in a particular practice field. Keep in mind, however, that lawyers often receive referral fees when they refer a case to another lawyer which may influence their decision as to whom they recommend.

Martindale-Hubbell Legal Directory

Available at your local public library or law library, this directory of lawyers is an authoritative resource for information on the worldwide legal profession. Martindale-Hubbell also offers an online lawyer locator service which contains a database of over one million lawyers and law firms in 160 countries. To find a lawyer, you can search by practice area or geographic location.

Internet Resources

A number of for-profit directories on the Internet offer search vehicles through which you can find a lawyer. A few of these sites are lawyers.com, legalmatch.com, attorney.locate.com, lawyershop.com, attorneyfind.com and attorneypages.com.

Legal Aid Services

If you need a lawyer but cannot afford one, you can contact your local legal aid office, an organization that provides free or pro bono legal assistance to low-income individuals in non-criminal matters. Check the white pages of your telephone directory or type in “Legal Aid [insert the name of your county of state]” into an Internet search engine to find local legal aid providers near you.

If you seek legal assistance, finding a qualified lawyer is only the first step. The next step is choosing the best attorney for your legal needs. For tips on how to choose the best lawyer for your case, see How to Choose a Lawyer.

INSIGHT: Tips for Hiring the Ideal Legal Professional

When you need to staff up with either a direct hire for your firm or a contract placement for one of your clients, it’s not always easy to identify just the right person for the position. Where people are involved, evaluations are much more complex than simply checking the boxes in terms of qualifications and experience.

As an attorney and legal recruiter who has been working in the field for more than 20 years, here are some tips my team and I practice and preach as we support law firms and corporations in their search for ideal candidates.

1. Be Open-Minded to Nontraditional Candidates

Because they’ve chosen a nontraditional path—wanting to work part-time so they can write a book or raise their children, for example—doesn’t mean these lawyers are of lesser knowledge, experience, or skill level. We often recruit and place lawyers who, for a variety of reasons, have chosen not to pursue full-time positions or partnerships; they consistently perform as well as, or better than, the other members of the team.

2. Communicate All Relevant Job Details

Create and share a job description that clearly states what the position entails, including the scope of responsibilities and what the person’s typical day on the job would look like. Discuss the expected duration of the position and whether there may be an opportunity to extend the relationship beyond that time frame.

At the conclusion of the assignment, if you determine that someone is a strong candidate, you may want to introduce them to others within your group or department in the event that others can also use some help. The objective is to establish an ongoing rapport and discuss any concerns that might exist so that everyone is on the same page throughout the duration of the engagement.

3. Consider the Chemistry

As you interview candidates, of course you’re going to make sure they have the requisite capabilities and credentials. Just as critical, however, is evaluating whether a particular candidate would fit into the group into which you are placing them. Do their core characteristics and personality traits align with your culture? Are they a good fit for the type of work you have in mind for them? Are they agile enough to pivot if circumstances change and you need them to fulfill different expectations?

Look and listen for signs—and ask questions like those that follow—to determine whether the candidate will be a good fit.

If the work you’re hiring for is likely to ebb and flow, ask:
How important is it to you to work every day?

If you’re looking for a lawyer who can handle a demanding client, ask:
Have you worked with clients with extremely high expectations? How do you manage that type of relationship?

If you’re looking for someone who’s quick on their feet and dauntless under pressure, prompt:
Tell me about a recent pressing challenge you faced and how you overcame it.

4. Find the Sweet Spot Where Experience and Economics Meet

If you like the idea of a highly experienced candidate but feel that their commensurately high compensation may break the bank, ask yourself if a less experienced candidate with a great attitude and high potential might be able to perform well in the role with some training.

Assuming you aren’t faced with a rapidly approaching deadline, those with less experience can often be a solid choice because they are enthusiastic, open to learning and moldable to your needs. With some training and coaching, they could prove to be perfect for the position.

5. Know When to Call in a Professional Staffing Team

When your need is urgent, you don’t have time to do a thorough vetting, or you simply prefer to farm out this task, make sure that the partner you choose has specialized legal recruiting expertise. A qualified firm will serve as a true matchmaker, navigating the sea of qualifications, skill sets, personality and potential to pair you up with the ideal candidate.

Make sure that your staffing firm is able to:

  • Assess your company’s culture objectively and recommend a candidate whose values, goals, and personality align;
  • Create and communicate a clear and comprehensive job description;
  • Place lawyers as soon as the next day;
  • Manage compensation and payroll activities; and
  • Conduct reference and comprehensive background checks.

Hiring may not be your area of expertise, but knowing where to start, what to ask, and how to evaluate candidates can help you move confidently forward as you build your team.

10 Benefits of Hiring Criminal Defense Lawyers Everyone Should Know

Unlike video games, life may not give you a second chance. In the same way, you get only one chance to fight criminal charges. According to the Pennsylvania Commission of Crime and Delinquency research, the average yearly criminal incident sentenced by the courts between 2012 and 2016 was 98030. There were 97,762 guilty pleas on 891,266 dispositions during the 5 years. These numbers show the importance of hiring the best criminal defense lawyer.

The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world. If you live in Pennsylvania, especially in Erie, the Erie criminal defense lawyers should be your first choice to defend your criminal case. Whether you are accused of a drug crime or tax evasion, relying on a court-appointed attorney is like playing with your life.

When facing a criminal charge, the first thing you need to do is find the best criminal defense lawyer. But why should you hire a defense lawyer when the court appoints you one? Here are 10 benefits of hiring a professional defense lawyer that you should know.

1. They Know the Criminal Justice System Inside and Out

Professional criminal defense attorneys spent years studying and practicing law, and they understand how to handle the various charges of any criminal case. They find out how the law can help to defend the case more strongly. They are always up-to-date with all the changes in the legal system and laws.

They thoroughly study your case and also analyze the charges for the possibilities of failures. They are also transparent about all the possibilities instead of giving you false hope. They have the experience of defending similar cases and know what steps should be taken.

2. They Help You Understand the Whole Process

The legal system can be challenging to understand, especially when each state has different laws and legal procedures. That’s why it is essential to hire a professional defense lawyer who will explain to you every tiny detail of your case.

They will also prepare you at every step of the case, from questioning by the police to how your case will proceed in the courtroom. Their guidance will help you eliminate any confusion you might have regarding the procedures and reduce your stress.

3. They Handle All Your Case Paperwork

Handling all the paperwork for a legal case is a crucial task. One missing document can have catastrophic consequences. It takes experience and exceptional attention to detail while filing various documents related to the case, such as multiple forms and applications.

An experienced defense lawyer knows which forms need to be there and how to fill them up correctly. They will take care of all the paperwork and know where, when, and how to submit them. They will ensure there is no mistake in the paperwork.

4. They Will Help You Consider All the Available Options

In many cases, the accused have the options to choose how the case will move forward. An expert criminal defense lawyer can help you weigh various options, from negotiations, the types of charges to the potential options for plea deals.

They can also negotiate other options like reducing the charges and penalties and possible dismissal of the case. You have the option of whether the case should go to trial or accept the deal offered by the prosecution. Your lawyer will help you to understand the consequences of each option.

5. They Will Give You Personalized Attention

When you are charged with a criminal offense, it can feel like your world is ending. You may feel like everything is going against you, but your professional defense lawyer will always have your back. They will be there to talk about anything related to the case and to support you throughout the case.

6. Your Money Will Be Spent in The Right Place

Hiring an experienced criminal defense lawyer can be a little expensive, but it is worth spending that money. A criminal case can make or break your future and have some problematic consequences. Their expertise will also help you to avoid spending money unnecessarily, hence saving your money.
Your lawyer will ensure your case is handled with utmost attention and efficiency. It will expedite the whole process and help to get things back to normal for you. Most law firms also provide a free consultation for your case.

7. They Help To Protect Your Future

A criminal case can leave a significant impact on your future, depending on the criminal charges. You can face jail time for years or high penalties and fees if you are convicted. Sometimes, the outcome can also affect your future employment possibilities and where you can live if you have certain criminal convictions like sex offenses.
An expert defense lawyer will do whatever they can to protect your future by keeping your record clean. In some circumstances, your lawyer may be able to have your case dismissed or at least have the conviction expunged from the records. Your lawyer helps you to consider various options in your case that will help you to lead a normal life.

8. They Will Handle The Discussion On Your Behalf

Your criminal defense lawyer will act as your spokesperson and take care of all the prosecution and law enforcement discussions. These discussions are sometimes heated, but your lawyer will do what’s best for you and your case by keeping calm and saying the right things.
A good rapport between the prosecution and the attorney ensures the negotiations are handled most professionally. They also know the local judges and create their strategies for your case according to the judge.

9. They Can Examine the Evidence Better

An expert criminal defense lawyer will protect you from any illegally gathered or tampered evidence. They will also call out any witnesses who have altered the truth or point out any weaknesses in their statements.

10. They understand the Regional Laws and Court Systems.

Every state in the United States has its legal system and distinct set of laws. Many of the states have different rules of their own. That’s why it makes sense to hire professional Erie criminal defense lawyers if you live in Erie. They understand the local court system and also have experience in fighting cases in your region.
Fighting a criminal case is a life-turning event. It’s best to hire a professional to get the best outcome. Hiring an experienced defense lawyer to defend your case will increase the possibility of winning the case.

Top Reasons To Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney

A criminal charge is a grave matter with a possibility of going to jail or getting numerous other sanctions. Defendants find that the best recourse is to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney. Attorneys can help you understand the kind of law you are accused of violating and what they can do to protect you from the consequences.

It is best to talk to two or three different criminal defense attorneys and find the one you feel you can trust and help you the most. The best way to decide is always to get the one with the most background experience on your type of criminal case.  A trusted criminal defense attorney serving for more than 30 years can be a safe choice to help defend your rights and interests. Below are more reasons for you to hire a criminal defense attorney.

They have a better understanding of the judicial system

Every criminal case is unique, and you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who will deal with the many variables and pull a good defense together. They know how to file the paperwork, how to conduct investigations, how to deal with prosecutors and turn things to your favor. They have a better understanding of the entire judicial system, so you can be assured that your case is in good hands.

They have dealt with a similar case before

They say experience is the best teacher, and criminal defense attorneys with years of experience and a long track record have more likely dealt with the same case as yours. If so, they already have a solid strategy to help you win the case or at least get the best possible outcome. Upon consultation, you can ask and check their track records, winning chances, and how they plan to deal with your specific case.

They can help keep you stable and focused.

They are no psychiatrists, but having an experienced attorney handling all the dirty work can keep you from breaking down from the stress and anxieties of being criminally charged. They have dozens of clients, possibly with similar cases, so they understand what you’re going through and help keep you in check. They can walk you through the legal proceedings, present your options, and explain the realities of the situation.

They have better relations with the prosecutors

Experienced lawyers who have been handling criminal cases for years start to develop indirect professional relationships with prosecuting attorneys. It is crucial to understand that when people have seen each other inside a courtroom multiple times, they begin to form a professional understanding of how each other thinks and makes decisions. This relationship can be very advantageous to help negotiate better plea deals, bonds, or bail. In addition, they can help lower sentences, reduce fines, and help defend your rights.

They can prevent violation of your constitutional rights

It is crucial to get an attorney soon after your arrest or after getting charged. Being proactive prevents the prosecutors from gathering more evidence against you to make their case stronger. If a lawyer is present soon after your arrest, negotiations can immediately begin and prevent things from getting any worse. They can assess the situation from the moment of your arrest and ensure there was no violation of your constitutional rights.

They can help reduce the overall costs of criminal penalties

Some defendants may think twice about hiring a criminal defense attorney because of the high professional fees. However, if you are convicted or made to pay fines, the overall cost may be even higher than simply getting help for your defense. Criminal defense attorneys can help you get lower court fees, bail costs, and other fines related to your criminal case. These fees can run up to thousands of dollars, but you can significantly reduce the expenses with the right attorney.

Takeaway

An excellent criminal defense attorney will rarely give up on their clients. For them, getting convicted of a criminal offense is not the end that defines your life. Getting a good criminal defense attorney can help you make criminal appeals and move to a more positive outcome even after a conviction. They can guide you and your family throughout the entire case, even after charges.