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Choosing A LawyerHow To Choose A Lawyer For Your Individual Situation
 

OptimusLaw's mission is to help bring individuals, businesses and member lawyers together by simplifying the process of choosing a lawyer.  We use the power of the Internet to present important information pertaining to the experience and personality of our member lawyers along with the services they offer.  Using OptimusLaw to find a lawyer is easy. We provide the information that you want and need to know to choose a lawyer for your specific situation.

Do you need a lawyer?  Most of our member lawyers will answer your general legal questions to help you determine if you really need to hire a lawyer.  Follow the steps below to find a lawyer.

Identifying Your Legal Issue
The process of selecting a lawyer begins with identifying your legal issue.  This important first step will help you narrow your search to a general area of law so that you can determine what type of lawyer you need.  OptimusLaw categorizes the practice of law into fourteen general general categories called
Areas of Law.  Click here to learn more about the general Areas of Law and the specific legal issues that they encompass.  Use our
Search feature to find additional information on a specific legal issue or topic.

There may be instances when you cannot accurately determine your legal issue or general
Area of Law.  This may lead you to contact a lawyer that cannot help with your particular situation.  If this happens, the lawyer may refer you to another lawyer who can handle your matter or back to OptimusLaw.

Legal Services
Now that you have determined your legal issue and area of law you can search for lawyers and firms that handle those types of cases and matters in your local area.  Many lawyers focus their practices on certain areas of law, such as divorce, criminal or real estate.  Some lawyers have general practices that handle many different issues for their clients.  Other lawyers have practices that are very specific, such as patent and trademark attorneys.

Lawyers will usually only identify some of the areas of law that they practice in their traditional advertising such as yellow page directories, television commercials and radio advertisements, due to space and time limitations.  The great advantages of the Internet are unlimited space, powerful text search features and 24 hour accessibility.  OptimusLaw encourages member lawyers to provide as much detailed information as possible so you can quickly find a lawyer that can handle your specific case or matter.  Click on
Find A Lawyer to begin your lawyer search by selecting a state.   Click here to get additional help Using Our Website.

Experience
Once you have identified several lawyers as possible choices you can review their online information to learn more about them.  OptimusLaw provides links to member lawyer web sites.  Visit these web sites to find answers to these important questions.

How long has the lawyer been practicing law? 
What types of cases has the attorney handled?
What additional knowledge or experience does the firm possess that might help you with your case or matter?
What is the attorney’s educational background and credentials?
What work experience does he or she have?

Personality
In addition to presenting a member's experience, OptimusLaw works with its members to create a web presence that includes information not usually found in legal advertising.  Studies indicate that the personality of a lawyer is just as important in the selection process as his or her experience.  Our designers and writers attempt to bring out the personality of the lawyer to answer these other important questions.

What type of personality does the lawyer have?
Does the attorney have a professional appearance?
Is he or she someone that you’ll feel comfortable talking to?
Will you trust them?
Will he or she be empathetic to your story, cause or situation?

Make an Appointment
Many of your questions should have been answered by the information presented on the web sites of the members that you selected to review.  The next step is to select one or more lawyers, call them, and set up an appointment.  Some of our members offer a free initial consultation.  Some prefer to meet with you in person rather than discussing the matter on the phone.  Other member lawyers will travel or make arrangements to meet you at a convenient location.

Lawyers earn a living by selling their time.  Their time is spent researching, reading documents, preparing documents, making telephone calls, meeting with various parties, directing subordinates involved, giving advice and going to court.  You should not expect a lawyer to answer specific legal questions or provide free legal advice.
Please respect their time.

Lawyers do not generally advertise the rates or fees that they charge for their service. Generally speaking, more experienced attorneys charge higher fees than less experienced lawyers. Lawyers in larger firms typically charge higher fees than lawyers in smaller firms. And, usually lawyers located in metropolitan areas charge higher fees than those located in smaller towns or rural communities.

Your particular legal issue will also effect what your final costs will be.  For example, a divorce in which both parties agree on everything will cost much less than one where the parties are battling over property, children and support.  Lawyers will generally only take accident, injury, product liability or malpractice type cases on a contingency basis.  You should expect to pay an hourly rate or flat fee for all other types of matters. Unless you are a frequent client and have a preexisting relationship, most lawyers will require a retainer, or cash up front, before they begin working on your issue. 

When you speak with the lawyers that you select you will want answers to these questions.

Does the lawyer offer a free initial consultation?
Will the lawyer bill you hourly, a flat fee or accept the case on a contingency basis?
What is the total estimated cost?
What can you do to help minimize the legal fees?
How much money will you have to provide up front?
How long will it take to conclude the matter?

Choose a Lawyer
You have learned about various lawyers by reviewing their web sites, speaking to them on the telephone or meeting with them in person.  Based on the information gathered you can now select a lawyer to represent you or investigate other lawyers by completing the process above again.  To learn more about lawyers and the services they provide visit Working with Lawyers.

 

Myths About Rating LawyersMyths About Rating Lawyers  - Everyone wants the best lawyer representing them.  There is no easy way to rate lawyers to determine which lawyer is "the best".  A lawyer that successfully represented your friend, may not the best choice for you.  Review  lawyer web sites to learn as much as you can about the lawyers that you are considering.  Meet with them in person and ask the questions that are important to you.  Review the guidelines presented in Choosing A Lawyer to help make your decision easier.

Important - Please Read Our Terms Of UseUsing the OptimusLaw® Library Online - You'll find information pertaining to common legal issues and legal topics of general interest.  The OptimusLaw® Library Online is provided for your general information only.  This information is generic and may or may not apply to a particular city, county, state or your individual circumstances. State laws vary and are continuously changing. This information does not necessarily reflect the laws in your community.  It is not intended to be a source of legal advice or a substitute for qualified legal counsel.  Your access to and use of this web site is subject to additional terms and conditions found in our Terms of Use.  Please read it now.

OptimusLaw is The Best Way To Find A LawyerOptimusLaw is The Best Way To Find A Lawyer - Using OptimusLaw to Find a Lawyer is easy. Just pick the OptimusLaw® Lawyer Directory corresponding to the state where you have a legal issue or desire to obtain legal advice.  Each state Lawyer Directory offers several options to help you narrow your selection to Find A Lawyer for your specific situation.  Click on Using Our Site for additional search and navigation tips.

Search for a Specific Legal IssueSearch for a Specific Legal Issue - We've included a powerful text search feature that lets you search every page in the OptimusLaw® Library Online web site for words or combinations of words that you enter into the search form. Click the Search button below to use our web site search engine to find the legal information, legal issue or legal representation that you need. 

OptimusLaw® Membership InformationLawyers, List Your Firm & Get More Clients - Click on Membership Info to learn how our full suite of marketing and technology services for lawyers and law firms can bring you a steady flow of new clients. Click a link to learn more about our help center marketing programs, lawyer directory marketing programs, web site design packages, web site hosting services and email services.

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