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Do you need legal representation? Be careful about who you choose to be your lawyer. Since this is the person who will be handling all of your affairs and representing you in court, you’ll want them to be smart, reliable and trustworthy. Here are just a few tips for making sure that you find this diamond in the rough.

1. Look for a Specialist

Not all lawyers are the same. For example, a probate expert in Phoenix is going to have an entirely different skill set than a traffic lawyer in Charlotte NC. Don’t waste your time on someone with a practice area that doesn’t suit your needs. Find someone with a background in your particular type of case.

2. Get Recommendations

Has anyone in your family used a lawyer? Do they have any names that they can throw at you? Even if their recommendation is more like a warning to stay away from someone, it can help you narrow down your options when it comes to choosing a law firm. Positives and negatives can both help you make a decision.

3. Ask about Rates

Some lawyers charge by the hour. Others will ask for a flat fee. If you’re filing a lawsuit and hoping for damages, your lawyer might want a percentage of the settlement. You won’t know their exact rates unless you ask, so don’t be shy about opening a discussion on money matters.

4. Schedule a Consultation

At the end of the day, this is the most important step that you can take in hiring a lawyer. If you don’t meet them face-to-face, you can’t be sure that they’re the right choice for you. What if your personalities don’t mesh? What if they’re completely different than their advertisements suggest? Schedule a consultation and find out.

These are just a few things to keep in mind as you search for a lawyer. As you can see, there’s a lot more to the process than simply opening the phone book and choosing someone at random. You’ll need to be smart and thorough about your choice. Good luck!

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