In movies, lawyers are traditionally smooth-talking suits who deliver rousing speeches to a courtroom full of spectators. But often, this isn’t the case. The average person hires a lawyer for altogether more everyday things, like closing on a real estate deal or signing a will.
Therefore, it can be challenging to know what to look for when seeking out a lawyer. Again, it’s not like in the movies – you won’t always have a Joe Pesci-type to show up in your hour of need with a business card and a smile. For legal advice on real estate closing or making a will, you need to do your research.
In this article, let’s review how to choose a lawyer according to “the four As”: Affordability, Availability, Accessibility, and Approval.
The first thing most people do when researching legal services is to check the price. Honestly, it’s a great place to start. You want professional service, but you shouldn’t have to pay an inordinate amount for it.
Look for firms with “transparent pricing.” This means that the lawyers will offer their services at fixed, pre-determined rates instead of “opaque pricing,” which can change. You’ll often find this pricing model with online lawyers. You can also check for the lowest price guarantees, which some firms offer for real estate legal services.
At the end of the day, you want accessible and affordable legal services – lawyers that don’t take too much of your money or time.
Accessibility refers to how easy it is to communicate with your lawyer. Do you need to drive thirty minutes into town to meet them on the thirtieth floor of a building without free parking? If so, you wouldn’t consider them accessible.
On the other hand, if your lawyer is willing to meet with you virtually for your legal needs, they are easier to access. In the 21st Century, you should be able to take care of your legal needs from the comfort of your home computer.
Your legal needs don’t follow a strict schedule. You may need real estate legal services at 8 pm on a Saturday. Or you might require a prenuptial agreement signed at 7 am on a Tuesday. You never know.
A great lawyer should be available when you need them. Look for a law firm you can utilize any time of day, any day of the week.
Finally, research a law firm’s approval – their ratings and testimonials. Check their website for client testimonials to get a sense of the service quality they offer. Look them up on Google to see their company’s public rating (anywhere between 4.5 and 5 is exceptional). And track their reviews on social media platforms like Facebook.
To recap, look for a lawyer that offers transparent rates, excellent levels of communication, and accommodating hours of operation. Then, vet that law firm by checking online reviews and testimonials. If you’ve done your research properly, you’ll find the right lawyer in no time.
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