Regardless of the nature of the legal issue you are having, you want to hire the best possible lawyer you can find. Be it a criminal offence, a personal injury, employment, or any other reason, choosing a good lawyer will ensure that your best interests are being met to the best capabilities of the professional.
But what does define a good lawyer? How can you know when Lawyers in Calgary are the best match for you? These are common and important questions to make when choosing the professional who will take care of your case for you, so identifying a few key qualities is pivotal.
Area of Practice
Depending on your case, you may need a lawyer with specific expertise. First, you will need to assess what kind of area of practice your case falls into: civil litigation, employment, criminal charge, etc. After evaluating what to look for, you can begin searching for a lawyer with the on-point qualities that will help you solve your issue.
Areas of practice vary greatly, and even within those areas, there are sub-categories of expertise. For example, an employment lawyer may only take cases from workers rather than employers, so if you have a business and are dealing with issues related to employees, this lawyer may not be suitable for you.
Knowing how to identify the type of lawyer that you need and the kind of practice that they offer is the first step in choosing the correct lawyer for you.
There are many ways to get referrals for a lawyer. They can come from family, friends, coworkers or other members of society who have hired the professional before and may have something to share about their experience—bad or good.
Another medium to search for lawyers or to check a professional you are interested in hiring is checking your local lawyer association. In Calgary, you may want to check The Law Society of Alberta, an entity that regulates the legal profession in the province, as they have lawyer directories and lawyer referrals for your specific case.
Looking for reviews online will help you have a better scope of the lawyers around you, as well as increase your chances of finding one who you can work with. You can learn what to expect from the legal team you are hiring or discard an option entirely based on what you find on the internet.
When it comes to ranking your options to choose the best one for you, there are a few different key points you will need to look at to evaluate if a lawyer meets your criteria or not.
Punctuality is one of the most essential aspects of a good lawyer and should be on top of the list of things you assess when deciding on which lawyer to hire. When talking to your expert options, ask them how quickly it is expected for them to initiate the legal tasks on your case. They most likely will not be able to give an exact date on when they can start or finish it but should be able to give examples of how much time previous and similar cases have taken.
Factors that may influence the delivery time of lawyers are, for example, the size of the company, how many lawyers they have on their legal team and how many clients they have at the time. You can ask around and check referrals if you need to be sure of how well the lawyer take their cases.
Availability and Communication
This brings us to availability. Law firms can get extremely busy, and sometimes the size of it does matter. More complex cases may require a bigger and more experienced firm, while simpler cases such as filing for divorce normally do not require large and famous lawyers.
Transparency on when the lawyer can start working on your case is essential in order to allow you to make an informed decision about whether or not this firm is your best match.
Another key point is the accessibility to communication. Throughout the process, you will need a primary contact about situations regarding your case, and knowing who will be your main contact to keep you updated or to send documents to will be a key factor of your partnership. Failure to communicate, or unwillingness to do so, is a major red flag when it comes to choosing your lawyer.
The lawyer’s record is also something you may ask of the professional in question. While no lawyer should guarantee you a result, they can give you an idea of what to expect within the possibility and based on your case.
You can ask for references from previous cases, but they will require consent from clients to share details of their cases, so this will take longer and may not be possible at all to be accomplished. In any case, a quick search on the internet can provide you with enough information on whether people seem satisfied or not with your lawyer’s success rate.
It is important to notice, however, that not winning a case to its full extent does not mean that the lawyer has no idea of what they are doing. On the contrary, many lawyers excel in bringing the best out of a dire situation and will be able to lessen your losses in court.
Misconducts in law practice can be serious or minor, ranging from misconduct in a court to just failure to pay association fees. Being aware and understanding them is important so you can talk about it with the professional you are thinking of hiring.
You can ask your potential lawyer directly, or you can try to search for sources that can confirm any misconduct on their part. Lawyers should always be open and honest with their clients, but fact-checking may be necessary.
If you find that a lawyer you think of hiring has any kind of misconduct record, your level of comfort with those infractions will define if you would be able to work with them on your case or not. Some people will find no problems in hiring lawyers with misconduct, while others will consider those a deal-breaker.
While this is much more of a personal opinion on the professional in question, you want a lawyer with whom you feel comfortable. No matter how experienced they are, if you do not feel like you can trust your lawyer, it is much more difficult to shape an ideal client-representative relationship.
Choose a lawyer which matches your personality, while balancing their experience, availability, and personal rapport. At the end of the day, you will have to place your bets on a professional that is the most aligned with you, and that allows proper communication while handling your case with outstanding professionalism.
The lawyer’s personality should be the first thing you notice when having an initial meeting, and the last factor to review when evaluating their best capabilities.