What to Look for in an Attorney

Finding the right attorney can be one of the most difficult tasks a person can undertake. There are thousands of licensed attorneys in every state in the country, and finding the one that is best suited to assist you can feel a little like a daunting challenge. With that in mind, there are three basic things to consider when speaking with an attorney about representing you:

(1) Trust and Comfort

Is the attorney honest and forthcoming about their experience and knowledge, what is their approach to advocacy, and how do they bill clients? While no one attorney is perfect for every potential client, and every attorney needs to make a living at what they do, it is important to work with an attorney that is honest about what they do, why they are doing it, and how much they charge for what they do. Attorneys are human beings, and consequently just as flawed and imperfect as anyone else, but you must, first and foremost, be able to trust and be comfortable with the attorney you are working with.

(2) Timeliness and Communication

Your legal matter is important to you, or you would not be working with an attorney in the first place. A competent and responsible attorney will take your legal matter seriously and be able to respond promptly to reasonable requests for information, and be able to do so in a way that makes sense to you. While attorneys can be busy (particularly if they are in court a lot), an attorney should be able to return calls or emails the same day that they receive them, if only to schedule a time to talk in more detail with you in the near future. At a minimum, you should receive a response within 24 hours from the attorney so that you are not waiting for (and worrying about) an answer to your question.

(3) Client-first mentality

At its heart, the role of attorney is one of advocate and counselor. As a part of this role, an attorney should provide sound advice, useful information and diligent advocacy, but ultimately final decisions must be left to the client (always within the realm of reason, attorneys may not assist in or advocate for unethical or illegal actions). The attorney may know more about the state of the law and the process of the law, and any prudent client generally heeds the advice of their attorney. However, ultimately final decisions must be made by the client, in consultation with the attorney.

Choosing the right attorney can feel difficult, and understandably so. However, using the 3 basic criteria above can help you narrow down your choices and find the attorney you work well with. While there are no perfect attorneys, with a little diligence and some forethought, you can and will find the attorney that is right for you. To talk about how to find an attorney or to discuss your legal issues, please do not hesitate to contact me at (773) 726-1402, or by email at gratchlaw@gmail.com.

(Copyright 2013 by Adam J. Gratch.  All rights reserved.  The contents of this post are the sole property of Adam J. Gratch.  No portion of this post may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior express written consent of Adam J. Gratch)

One thought on “What to Look for in an Attorney

  1. I agree with 3 steps, having taken approximately 2wks searching for a law firm to represent me. I find number two as the most useful. It is good to know that law firms should return communication within 24hrs. I honestly thought that was just me.

    Thanks for the hope.

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