I recently Googled my primary care physician, a woman that has literally tended to almost every medical ailment I’ve had over the course of the last two decades. I trust her implicitly and was surprised to find some negative reviews of her online. Have these people who reviewed her simply lost their minds? Probably not. The truth is that as individuals we inherently click with some people, and do not connect with others.
It’s for this reason that the most important thing you can do when selecting an attorney is to meet with them personally. Are they too aloof; do they seem lackadaisical; or do they seem incredible competent? The truth is you won’t know how you connect with this person who is going to be privy to the most intimate details of your life unless you meet with him or her personally. You should always ask in a consultation if the person you are meeting with will be your attorney of record and if they are the person you will be exclusively dealing with during your legal proceeding. If they’re not an attorney (but rather a paralegal) or if there are other attorneys or paralegals you will be working with you should ask to meet with all of them. The most important thing in selecting an attorney is that you trust that individual, and his or her team, and believe that you will be able to work well with them.
Other tips: If you’re looking for a trial attorney, you can ask them for the date and location of their next trial setting. Courtrooms are, in general, open to the public. Go observe your attorney and see what you think. Did he or she do a good job engaging with the jury; did they look professional and composed in front of the judge? Go see for yourself and make an informed judgment.
If you’re looking for a transactional attorney, ask around. Have your friends or family used someone they can recommend? Your friends and family often times think and feel similarly to you; their judgment call may be pretty similar to yours.
Most importantly, you should leave your attorneys’ office feeling comfortable with the decision you have made. You will usually know in your gut if the attorney you’ve selected is right for you.