When you need legal representation, the process is similar to hiring any type of service professional. You’ll want to pay close attention to qualifications, willingness to communicate, and pricing. Apply these tips to identify a lawyer who’ll be a good fit for your case.
1. Ask for References
Friends, relatives, and co-workers might know lawyers who they would recommend. Even if the suggested lawyer does not practice in a legal area appropriate for your case, that lawyer can probably recommend someone who does.
2. Search Online Directories
The Canadian Bar Association and The Law Society of British Columbia both maintain searchable directories. You’ll be able to search by region and area of legal practice to find law firms and solo practitioners. For example, if you’re pursuing damages after a car crash, you’ll want to investigate lawyers who focus on personal injury law instead of topics like estate planning or family law. The Law Society of British Columbia also collects information about complaints and disciplinary actions. Use this resource to check the backgrounds of lawyers.
3. Schedule Meetings
Most lawyers grant preliminary case evaluations to potential clients. During these meetings, ask questions regarding the lawyer’s experience with your type of case, special qualifications, years of experience, and whether cases like yours represent the bulk of the lawyer’s caseload. Ideally, you’ll interview three candidates because qualifications and fees vary. You’ll also want to find someone who shows genuine willingness to pursue solutions for you.
Follow up each meeting with an email or telephone call to ask additional questions. The responsiveness of the law office will indicate how well the lawyer communicates with clients. Ask if the lawyer will personally handle communication with you or assign the task to someone else at the office.
4. Understand the Fees
You’ll want to get information in writing about the cost of services. Some lawyers might charge a flat fee payable upon receipt of a settlement while others have separate fees for court paperwork, copying, or postage. This information should clearly inform you of your total financial obligation for services and whether you pay upfront or after a satisfactory case resolution.
5. Consider Your Personal Needs
Because you’ll be seeking advice from a lawyer, you’ll want to choose a lawyer that appears motivated to serve as your advocate. A lawyer should display interest in the details of your case and welcome the opportunity to communicate with you and defend your interests.
To discuss your concerns about a personal injury claim, call the Dick Byl Law Corporation at 250-564-3400 or toll-free 1-800-835-0088. Our office is located at #900-500 Victoria Street, Prince George, V2L 2K1.