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Choosing and Retaining a Legal Team

It can occur to at any time, unexpected events that require a lawyer's help. It can be challenging to find the best legal team for your situation, especially a team that really takes good care of you and your case. To help with these challenges, here are a few basic rules to retaining a legal team.
Get a recommendation from someone. Good lawyers tend to have good reputations. Actually, people usually fret about their lawyers rather than recommend them. So, if you have a friend or family member who actually recommends a lawyer to you, then you should certainly be confident that they would do their job.
Check them out. There are online sites that can provide you with a lot of information on the practicing lawyers in the area. Visit NoLo’s Lawyer Directory where you will be provided with information about each registered lawyer, including licensing information, qualifications, case types, fee structure, and more. Another great source is lawyers.com. Make sure that you know each lawyer’s case record, how long they have been practicing law, what other lawyers think of them, how they rate in their community, and whether or not they are in your price range. Even if a certain lawyer has been recommended to you, you should always do your best to ensure that you are getting the best lawyer for you and your specific needs.
Research, research, research. Before seeing a lawyer, you should have a basic understanding of your case and the laws surrounding it. In a nutshell, you should be well advised of your rights. Quite a few people think that only lawyers need to know the law, but that's not true. You will be more adept at finding a respectable lawyer, one who respects you, if you understand your case and the law.
Ask the potential lawyer questions; conduct an interview. Don’t just accept the lawyer because he accepts you and your case. The lawyer will interview you and you should ask him questions as well. Know about any cases he has handled, his success rate in court, the cost of your case, etc. Don’t be shocked by unexpected fees; have all fees explained in advance. Everyone, including lawyers, can get their feelings hurt, so be respectful and thoughtful when asking these questions.
You need to personally like the lawyer. It is crucial that you maintain a good relationship with your lawyer. Of course, becoming best friends is not at all appropriate, but there should be mutual respect. Determine whether you are respected and treated well. If your lawyer has a rotten personality, that same personality will come out in court. It is important that you get along well, that you respect the decisions they make, and that you trust them to represent your best interests. You should trust your lawyer just as he should trust you.
Win over the secretarial staff. Unless you are nice to the legal secretaries, you may find there are delays in a legal office. Remember that, when you hire a lawyer, you hire their entire legal team. Do not underestimate the secretaries’ power. Although it is your lawyer that represents you in court, it’s his secretary that allows you contact with the lawyer as well as prepares and handles all of your most important documents, even those that are presented to the judge. So treat them with all the sweetness you can muster. When you are aware that you have an appointment approaching, bake them cookies, purchase small items for them at Christmas, and always speak pleasantly to them. The most important rule is this: if you get frustrated, don’t take it out on the secretaries.
Always remember that the legal team works for you and you’re the boss here. If they aren’t doing what you feel they should be doing, fire them. This is all about you, so guard yourself from feeling so attached. The lawyer's work is to put in their best effort, and it is the secretaries who look after the rest of the work. Stay involved, know what is going on, and make sure they’re doing their jobs. Be respectful and polite to your legal team, and they should do the same for you.
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