There are over 20,000 lawyers in the State of Connecticut. What’s the best way to pick one to handle your case? Needless to say, it’s probably not by seeing a TV ad, a billboard, or a face on the side of a city bus. Here are some things we think are important to consider when picking a lawyer.
Word of Mouth / Recommendations from Friends or Family
If a friend, neighbor or family member was happy with their lawyer, that’s a great place to start. Especially if they were happy not only with the end result but with how they were treated by the lawyer and their staff throughout the process.
The law, like everything else in today’s world, has become more complicated. You need a lawyer experienced at handling the same type of case as yours. Just like you wouldn’t want your cardiologist to perform your back surgery, you don’t want a real estate or corporate lawyer to handle your injury or employment claim.
In the medical field, Board Certification has for years been the hallmark of competency and qualification in a particular specialty. More recently, Board Certification has come to the legal field as well. In Connecticut only certain legal specialties are eligible for Board Certification, and many fine lawyers are not Board Certified. But Board Certification is available in the field of Civil Trial Litigation as well as Workers’ Compensation. So, if your case involves a civil litigation matter such as an accident or employment claim, ask if the lawyer is Board Certified in Civil Trial Advocacy. If your matter involves a workers’ compensation claim, ask if the lawyer is Board Certified as a Workers’ Compensation Specialist. If the lawyer is Board Certified, it means they have passed a rigorous exam in their specialty, they participate in continuing legal education to keep up on the latest developments in their field, they have received recommendations from their peers, judges and commissioners and they have significant experience in the field.
Are You and the Lawyer a “Good Fit?”
Most lawyers provide free consultations. You should arrange for one and when you do, ask to meet not only the lawyer but the secretary or paralegal who will be assisting them on your case. Do you feel comfortable with them? Did they answer your questions and give clear explanations? Did they treat you with respect? The legal process can sometimes be long and trying and just as important as having a lawyer with the qualifications, experience and achievement in their field, it is very important that you feel comfortable and that you are treated with the respect you deserve.