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How do I find an attorney with a particular type of expertise and experience?

Chicago, IL |

Not just what kinds of cases they accept, but what kinds of success they've had using specific skills which some lawyers have a lot more of than others. And also personality differences. Some lawyers share more information with their clients than others do, because some have a more open personality and like to get more feedback on what they're doing, while others are the opposite and like to have the client only focus on the results instead of the process. What's the best way to get such details about lawyers, to help choose one?

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Attorney answers 5

Posted

I've been practicing for 50 years, and, other than word of mouth, which is not without imperfection, I do not know of any completely reliable way you find the details you are seeking.

Posted

Only by talking candidly with other clients of the attorney will you find out that level of intimate detail.

Posted

Start by speaking with friends and family. Get word of moth referrals. Go online and see what others say about the lawyer. Look at various ratings but take those ratings with a grain of salt. Unhappy clients are more verbal than those who were very pleased, and often the client's dissatisfaction is more a result of the outcome than the lawyer's poor performance. Make appointments to consult with attorneys who practice in the area of law you need. The best way to choose a lawyer is a combination of work of mouth and your own gut feeling. Face to face conversation is always the best indicator. The lawyer who is a perfect fit for your friend or neighbor might not be for you. We lawyers are all different. The first rule of the relationship is that both the lawyer and the potential client must be comfortable with each other. Never rely merely on statistics.

Gerald William Napleton

Gerald William Napleton

Posted

Well said.

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

Thank you!

Posted

The best way to find an attorney is to find someone who'll return your calls, that has some experience in the issues of your case, and that you interact well with. It's really no different than the process for picking a babysitter -- you interview a few and see who you are willing to trust with your children.

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This answer is intended as informational only, and does not constitute legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship between us.

Posted

Try reviewing a specific area of law on the "super lawyers" website in your state. To be a "super lawyer", among other things, you have to obtain recommended legal elite status from your peers. That would be the first place I search.

Good luck.

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

It is not necessary to be a member of the "Super Lawyers" group to be an excellent attorney. Those lawyers, most of whom are outstanding, campaign all year to be named as Super Lawyers. There is no need to be a member of an elitist group known mostly to other attorneys to be highly skilled and respected on the community.

James Austin Davis II

James Austin Davis II

Posted

Good point Judy. I agree there are fantastic attorneys that are not named as a "Super Lawyer." Word of mouth is probably the best source. However, if you aren't familiar with the court system (and don't know anyone who is), the super lawyers website may be a good place to start.

Judy A. Goldstein

Judy A. Goldstein

Posted

In Illinois, it might be better to start with referrals from the local bar association, or even by clicking on the Find a Lawyer link at the top of every Avvo page.

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