How to Choose A Lawyer: The Insiders Guide
Ok, I'm a lawyer so I suppose that I have a vested interest in writing an article about choosing lawyers. But at the same time, I realize that I can't represent ever person in the world, and I see people choosing lawyers that I would not let represent my dog, Winston, if he got hit by a car. So I'm going to tell you how I would pick a lawyer, or at least how I would advise Winston on how to get one.
Let's start out with the most important concept in the form of a brain teaser: Imagine if ALL cars cost the same thing. Let's say every new car in the world cost $25,000. Which car would you choose to drive? Porsche Boxter or Geo Metro? Remember, they cost the same amount....
This is not a trick question, but it is a concept most people fail to realize about lawyers, price.
PRICE. Guess what? For an injury case, all of us lawyers charge the same thing! A one-third (33.3%) contingency fee is the standard charge for car wrecks and you will typically see a 40% fee for more complicated matters such as insurance coverage litigation, medical malpractice and nursing home cases. A few (and I mean few) lawyers will charge 25%, but I caution you from choosing by price alone. So guess what? This is really good news. Why?
If all lawyers charge the same thing, you are going to pay the same price for a crappy lawyer as you will pay for an excellent lawyer. So why not pick the best lawyer you can? Even better, the best lawyer will not cost you any more than the worst, so you either get the best bargain (more good lawyer for your money) or the worst deal (really bad lawyer for the same money). Pick the Porsche!
By the way, here are the basic qualities that I would look for in a lawyer:
- Trial Experience
- Personal Attention
- Reputation among Lawyers
- Use of Technology
- Knowing my actual lawyer
With those goals in mind, here are nine things to consider: