Things to Know Before Hiring a Lawyer, Attorney or Law Firm - Searcy Law

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John Hopkins

Guides to Hiring a Lawyer, Attorney or Law Firm

» Written by // May 29, 2013 // ,


How do you find a lawyer and what information do you want to know before deciding on the lawyer you ultimately hire?

We have written several articles discussing this subject:

Picking the Best Attorney — Picking Just the “Right” Lawyer

What are “lawyer referral services”?

When Should You Hire an Attorney? How Do You Decide?

But, I still get questions like: can any attorney handle an auto accident?

No. Certainly there are organizations, such as the Florida Bar, that maintain any attorney who has passed the Florida Bar Exam can handle any legal matter in Florida. That is an unsophisticated, uninformed answer.

Do you want a real estate lawyer handling your auto accident case in which you have suffered personal injuries? No more than I would want a skilled personal injury lawyer handling my real estate closing.

Can any personal injury lawyer handle an auto accident case? Yes.

Can any personal injury lawyer handle an auto accident case and do a superior job? No.

It does not differ from any other professional: some doctors are more skilled than others; some architects design better houses than others; and some auto accident attorneys are better than others.

So, what should you look for? Well, we have set forth many factors in our other articles, including:

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Resources
  • Track record in similar cases
  • How much are your fees?

Here are some additional factors that ultimately can affect how your case turns out and whether you receive full compensation for your injuries under the circumstances of your case:

How many attorneys work at the firm? Does this mean a sole practitioner can not handle the case? No, it does not, but the more attorneys means the more collective brain power when unusual things develop in a case.

Are there trial teams? If my case must go to trial will the only support my attorney have is her secretary? Again, does this mean a firm with no paralegals, no technology staff and no research staff can not handle your case? No, not necessarily, but the more support the trial lawyer has, the more he or she can focus on the actual trial of your case.

What financial resources does the firm have to draw upon? This is a fair question. If your case requires numerous experts and a significant investment in costs, can your attorney or law firm handle that extent of investment for 1, 2, 3 or more years?

Does the firm have ethnic, gender and language diversity? Again, if the firm does not have this diversity it does not necessarily mean they can not to a good job in your case. It may make you wonder whether they invite open thought and whether they have their heads stuck back in the last century somewhere.

Do their marketing materials, like TV commercials, print material and website contain information that seems like it is trying to inform and educate consumers? Or, is most of the firm’s advertising geared more toward: hire us, hire us – we will get you the most money and the biggest settlement. Does the firm’s marketing seem like they are ultimately more interested in getting their fee, rather than providing the best possible outcome to your case?

Hiring a lawyer when you have been hurt and injured is a big deal; it is a decision that could have potential lifelong ramifications.

  • So, should you listen to your friend who had a good experience with a law firm or attorney? No.
  • Should you listen to TV commercials and make your decision based on how you feel about them? No.
  • Should you evaluate what is on a law firm’s website and arrive at your decision? No.
  • Should you make your decision after you simply meet an attorney or lawyers at a law firm? No.
  • Should you base your decision on what we tell you here or other law firms tell you? No.

So, how should you make your decision? After evaluating ALL the information available and after asking as many questions, especially the really hard ones, as you possibly can. Don’t short change your decision!


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West Palm Beach, FL 33409-6601
Toll-free: (800) 780-8607
Phone: (561) 686-6300
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Phone: (850) 224-7600
En Espanol: (800) 220-7006


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