Great lawyers are hard to find, but they can be a vital part of your success. If you are involved in a legal issue and need to hire a lawyer, the following six steps will help you quickly narrow your choices and begin your search for a great lawyer.

1) Meet with several prospective lawyers before making a selection

In order to make sure you will be comfortable working together, meet with prospective lawyers. Sit down for an initial consultation and ask the necessary questions before making your choice. Make sure this person will work well with you and that they have a good track record in their field of expertise. During the initial meeting, try to identify whether or not your personalities mesh well together. Hiring a lawyer is just as important as hiring an employee.

2) Check out the available resources on the internet for legal professionals

There are quite a few websites that contain valuable information about local lawyers, their education and qualifications, areas of expertise, testimonials from former clients, etc. If you do an Internet search for “law practice company” or “law practice business,” these websites should pop up. Take a look at them and see if you can find any information that would be helpful in your search for a great lawyer. You may even add your location to the search keyword to help you find the right legal professional in your area.

3) Contact the city courthouse

Contacting the city courthouse can be beneficial to finding a good lawyer. Just go up to the court clerks and ask them tons of questions about all of the different lawyers that have worked there. The clerks are friendly people who will know if their lawyers are good or not, so don’t be afraid to pepper them with questions.

The benefit of this is that many of these court clerks will be honest with you, and might even approach lawyers they know about. If you don’t like the idea of using a city courthouse as a resource for finding good lawyers, then consider looking up lawyer referral services in your area. These are companies that provide referrals to lawyers for a nominal fee.

4)  Request recommendations from friends and family members who have had similar legal experiences

It’s always wise to speak with someone you can trust about their experiences with various lawyers they may have used in the past. Recommendations often come useful in our search for a service provider. This will allow you to gain valuable insight into attorneys that others may have worked within the past. You can even talk to people in similar legal situations to gain more information on who they used and their experiences with certain lawyers.

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5)  Look to legal aid societies

If you are the type of person who doesn’t have much money and is looking for an affordable legal service, then you should look into legal aid societies. Most communities will offer them in some form or another (although they do vary from state to state). These places exist to help people find affordable legal representation when they need it the most.

If your case is a criminal matter, you might not need to hire a lawyer right away. Legal aid societies have lawyers who will meet with you for free and give you advice on how to approach your case. They can also help you find other types of assistance in your area. For example, if your landlord is trying to evict you, a legal aid society might be able to help you understand your situation and help negotiate with the landlord. If they can’t help, then they will do their best to find someone who can for a reasonable price.

6) Contact your county or state bar association

While these groups will likely have a list of suggested lawyers, they are often better suited to answer specific questions about an attorney. For example, if you need a lawyer who specializes in a particular area of law, your local bar association is the best place to turn for more information.

The bar association should be able to refer you to a few lawyers who have the expertise and experience you need, but just remember that this is not an exhaustive list. If there is a specific judge whose schedule you want to be checked out, your state bar association would be the logical place for that as well.

It’s always a good idea to do as much research as possible before hiring a lawyer. When you have a legal issue, you do not want to take chances with the decision of who handles your case. Be sure to check out these six tips on how to find a great lawyer and find the assistance that will be ideal for your needs.