Whether you find yourself in trouble with the law or simply in need of advice, being in a position of needing legal help can be terrifying. A lot of the fear of needing legal assistance is the anxiety over the cost of legal services. The other worry is the outcome of whatever your situation is. These fears make many people put off finding a lawyer when they need legal help.
However, instead of procrastinating when you need help solving a problem or legal service, it is best to dive in and get the help you need. Some things to do when you need legal assistance are:
Start Looking Immediately
When faced with a situation where you need legal help, do not let your fear paralyze you into inaction. Identify why you need help and get started. That means, if you are in trouble with the law, you’ll need a criminal lawyer. If it’s a matter of principle or policy, you may need a civil lawyer. In either event, please don’t sit on the problem thinking that it will go away. Get moving and start looking immediately. Starting early will not only give you time to find a lawyer to help you, but it will also give you time to develop a trusting relationship that you are confident in.
Look for Specific Characteristics
When you need legal help, any attorney who wants your business will do and say all they can to charm you into signing a retainer agreement. However, before you sign and start writing fee checks, you want specific characteristics in whomever you hire for legal help. Some of those characteristics are:
- Knowledge of the law
- Compassion for their clients
- Great communications skills
- Willingness to listen
- Strong writing abilities
- Passion for law
- Good judgment
Sometimes it takes time to build a relationship to find out these characteristics. When there is a crunch for time, you want to pay attention to how the attorney responds to your phone calls and emails, how they speak to you during appointments, ensure that they are listening to details of your situation, and treat you with integrity and respect.
Talk to Family and Friends
Talking to family and friends does not mean that you have to divulge your problems or situation to them. Many families have a lawyer that they have used to deal with different situations for decades. That lawyer can either help or offer a referral. If you are in a position that your family doesn’t know about, simply tell them that you are asking for a friend until you are comfortable sharing your situation with them. You can also pose your situation as a hypothetical question for family and friends. Another reason why family and friends are good sources is that you’ll likely get an honest, opinionated reference.
When you are looking for legal help, seek a lawyer specializing in a specific area of law. No one can specialize in everything so seek out a lawyer who has expertise and experience with what you are dealing with, like an L&I lawyer for a workman’s compensation case or Angelos Firm for asbestos litigation. You want a lawyer who has done whatever you need to be done before. Everyone starts somewhere but you don’t want a lawyer who has never dealt with a situation like your case before. You also don’t want a divorce lawyer handling a criminal case or vice-versa.
Check Online for Free or Low-Cost Legal Help
If the expense of a lawyer is causing you anxiety, check online for free or low-cost legal help, services, or programs. Many states have legal aid and other individual programs to see if you qualify for assistance. Many courts have self-help centers that will allow you to speak with lawyers. Even if these lawyers can’t help you, they are full of resources to point you in the right direction.
When you need help solving a problem, legal assistance, it is best to dive in and get the help you need. When you need legal help, some things to do are to start looking immediately, look at the characteristics of the lawyer, talk to your family and friends, seek a specialist, check online for free or low-cost legal help.
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