“How do I get a good lawyer?” You have a right to have a lawyer represent you for your criminal case, but what good is having a lawyer if he does not care about you or your case? It is difficult to tell whether your lawyer is actually good as most of what a lawyer is doing for you is not necessarily something you can see (like trial preparation in his office, or negotiating with the prosecutor). In every single town there have to be a few criminal defense lawyers with a really good reputation. If you can afford those famous lawyers, then that is one way to go about it. If you cannot afford the best of the best, then you are going to have to get more creative.
Here are 7 factors to use to get a good lawyer
1. What is the lawyer’s website like? If the lawyer is blogging about criminal defense in your town, then this lawyer may be a great fit for you, as he or she is spending extra time thinking about and writing about the laws that are needed for your defense.
2. Does the lawyer have any results or victory pages on their website? While results in law always depend on the individual case, it is nice to see if the lawyer has had some success in the past with other clients?
3. Is the lawyer using social media? This actually matters because if the lawyer is using social media, then the lawyer is much more likely to be up to speed with basic technologies that can help the lawyer defend your case. The lawyer, at the very least, must know how to use a computer. Some lawyers still do not use computers, which is a huge disadvantage.
4. What does the lawyer look like? If the lawyer does not present himself or herself professionally, that would lead a bad impression on a jury if you ever had to take the case that far, so appearances do matter.
5. What does the lawyer charge, and is there a payment plan? For a general discussion on attorneys fees go here. If the lawyer’s services are close to free, then that should be a redflag to you. As with many things in life, you get what you pay for. On the other hand, if you can’t afford the legal service, you are better off not wasting your money on a retainer, as the lawyer is likely to withdraw if you quit paying him.
6. Is the attorney aggressive, or graceful? Depending on the facts of your case, you may want the classic aggressive attorney. On the other hand, you may want someone that will represent you with grace, and professionalism in a different way. You should consider what you think will be most persuasive given the facts of your case.
7. How long has the lawyer been in practice? The best amount of time is 5-30 years, in my opinion.
Keep in mind that if your lawyer is referred to you by another lawyer, that the referring lawyer could be (illegally or legally) getting a kickback for the referral. So, do not stop your investigation of whether this is a good lawyer simply because he was referred to you.
Everyone wants to have a good lawyer. You should consider your case and what in particular the lawyer needs to be good at. If you know that there is no way to win your case, then you need a lawyer that is good at negotiating great pleas. If you know your case is going to trial, then you need a lawyer that is really great at speaking in public. If your case is very technical, like a blood draw DWI, then you need a lawyer that has a lot of knowledge about blood draw science. In other words, a good lawyer for one case may be a mediocre lawyer for another case.