How To Find A Knowledgeable Lawyer

If you are looking for where to get the best sandwich, or crab cake, or bowl of pho, it is pretty easy to research and find reviews, photos, and articles that would help you pin down where you can find the best restaurant serving whatever you are looking for.  For the most part, if you dig deep enough, the results of your research on Google or Yelp will turn out to be pretty accurate.  

But, if you have higher stakes and need to figure out who is a good and competent lawyer for your legal claim, the search is almost impossible.  The internet, which is pretty helpful in finding the best crab cake, is a complete disaster in trying to cultivate the answer to who is the best lawyer as a motor vehicle accident lawyer can attest.  One of the reasons for this is because people have no idea what makes a good lawyer.  They think if they see a lawyer on TV that must mean they are successful and good – nothing could be further from the truth.

Determining whether someone is a good lawyer can be subjective and depends on various factors. Here are some qualities and indicators that often signify a good lawyer from our friends at Kiefer & Kiefer:

If you have a serious personal injury claim, you should decide to hire a lawyer only after researching the attorney, getting recommendations from actual people (not just people on the internet reviewing the lawyer who may be their friends), and after interviewing the attorney to ask if they have the relevant experience and time to take your case. 

  • Experience: A good lawyer typically has relevant experience in the area of law related to your case. They should have a track record of handling similar cases successfully.  One of the biggest problems with personal injury is that lawyers without experience in that field will often take a car accident case because a friend asked them (knowing they were a lawyer but not knowing that all they have done is divorces), because they perceive the case to be easy to handle and will make them a good amount of money.  This is horrible! Time and time again an incompetent lawyer will completely screw up someone’s personal injury case because they just did not know what they were doing.  Ask the lawyer specific questions about cases they have handled to make sure that they have relevant experience handling car accidents, trucking accidents, slip and fall cases, etc.  Do not accept vague answers from your attorney, who may not be forthright about their lack of experience.
  • Expertise: A good lawyer should possess in-depth knowledge and expertise in their practice area. They should be familiar with the laws, regulations, and legal precedents relevant to your case.  This is an extension of the prior point.  Even if someone has experience handling a few cases in a certain field, that does not translate into expertise!  Ask the potential lawyer hypotheticals about issues that you are dealing with in a car accident case or what are some challenges they have had in other personal injury cases to assess whether they have the relevant expertise to handle your serious claim.
  • Communication Skills: Effective communication is crucial for a lawyer. They should be able to explain complex legal concepts in a clear and understandable manner. Additionally, they should listen attentively to your concerns and communicate with you regularly about the progress of your case.  Ask the lawyer how often you expect to communicate with them. 
  • Analytical Skills: Good lawyers possess strong analytical skills, allowing them to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your case, anticipate potential issues, and develop effective legal strategies.
  • Problem-Solving Ability: A good lawyer is adept at identifying creative solutions to legal problems. They should be proactive in finding solutions that best serve your interests.
  • Ethical Conduct: A good lawyer adheres to high ethical standards and conducts themselves with integrity. They prioritize their clients’ best interests and handle cases ethically and responsibly.
  • Client Reviews and Testimonials: Reading reviews and testimonials from previous clients can provide insight into a lawyer’s reputation and the quality of their legal services.
  • Professional Reputation: A good lawyer often has a strong professional reputation within the legal community. You can research their standing with local bar associations, peer reviews, and professional accolades.
  • Accessibility: A good lawyer is accessible and responsive to their clients’ needs. They should be available to answer your questions and address your concerns promptly.
  • Fee Structure: While cost shouldn’t be the sole determinant, a good lawyer is transparent about their fee structure and ensures that you understand the terms of their representation.

It’s essential to meet with potential lawyers for an initial consultation to assess whether they possess these qualities and if you feel comfortable working with them. Trust your instincts and choose a lawyer whom you believe will advocate effectively for your legal rights and interest.