• Selection of an Attorney
  • July 2, 2010
  • Law Firm: Rahm Rahm McVay P.C. - Warrensburg Office
  • Selecting a lawyer on the basis of the size or frequency of the attorney advertising efforts can result in disappointment. Many of the best lawyers are unwilling to participate in full page yellow page ads or television ads, but most of them have helpful websites. Because websites provide more detailed and useful information than yellow page ads or television ads, they are superior to the summary information provided by yellow page and television advertisements. Therefore, it may be helpful to begin your search for an attorney by checking with organizations that independently rate or rank lawyers.

    There are independent organizations that identify lawyers who have been favorably recognized by their peers and members of the judiciary. One of those organizations is www.superlawyers.com. This organization claims to identify the top 5% of lawyers in various areas of law practice. The lawyers who are listed are then permitted to advertise in the Super Lawyer magazine and those advertisements provide revenue for the organization. Some lawyers are certified by the American Board of Certification (www.abcworld.org.), which lists the certified lawyers who have passed examinations in particular areas of certification and that meet other criteria established for certification. Martindale-Hubbell (www.lawyers.com.) is one of the oldest and most respected of the attorney rating organizations. Since these organizations create their lists and rankings without solicitation or funding from the attorneys listed, they have far more credibility that organizations created by lawyers to advertise.

    A traditional and effective way to find a good lawyer is to talk to clerks at the court house in the community where you are seeking to find a lawyer. Before the internet, this was one of the best methods. Although the clerks will seldom explicitly recommend an attorney, there is a good chance you will obtain practical information about which attorneys are obtaining good results for their clients and which lawyers you may want to avoid. The better relationship you establish with the clerks you talk with, the more information you will probably receive.

    Another method worth considering is to identify and call a lawyer you know who enjoys a good reputation in an area of law other than the area in which you are seeking to find a lawyer. If you call that lawyer and ask for a recommendation, you are likely to receive a good recommendation. Good lawyers usually know who does good legal work in various areas of specialties and they are often a good source of information in finding a lawyer in a different area of specialty than the referring attorney.

    Regardless of how you identify an attorney or law firm to potentially represent you, it is important to reserve your decision about whether to retain the attorney of law firm until you actually meet with the attorney you are considering. It is important that there be a compatible personality mix between you and your attorney. If you do not like an attorney (or you sense that he/she does not like you), it is best to look elsewhere. Litigation is difficult enough without potential friction with your attorney.