Where to Find a Lawyer
The best way to find a lawyer is word of mouth. Ask trusted friends, family, and/or business or professional associates who have recently used one. Then ask if they would use him or her again and if their legal fees were reasonable
- Internet legal directories: The Internet is an excellent source for finding attorneys in your community. Because of the interactive nature of the Internet, lawyers and law firms are able to provide much more detailed information to potential clients. For example, Attorney Pages.com allows visitors, for free, to browse through its listings and pick an attorney based on your geographic area and/or type of practice. Many of those listed have websites to give you a broader picture of the attorney’s skills. The site provides complete contact information so you can easily phone or email the attorney with your questions. Using the directory, you can also find a lawyer across the country to handle your college son’s landlord or traffic problem.
- Local or state bar association’s referral services: Most bar associations offer referral sources at no charge or for a modest fee. Phone and tell them the problem and they will hook you up with a participating attorney who handles legal problems such as yours. Keep in mind that only a small portion of the legal community signs up and the association generally make no claims as to the attorney’s expertise or skills. For a list of state bar associations, go to http://www.abanet.org/barserv/stlobar.html.
- Employer-Paid Legal plans: Many employers, unions and credit unions offer pre-paid legal plans. These plans are given as benefits to employees and may entitle you to free or reduced cost representation on certain matters. You should check with your office administrator about whether you are enrolled in such a plan.
- Legal aid: You may qualify for legal aid representation at low-cost/no-cost. Legal aid primarily services low-income individuals and the qualifications for such aid can be based upon where you live, your income and family size. Legal aid representation tends to focus on landlord-tenant issues, credit, utilities, family issues, and unemployment. To find a legal aid office near you, call your state bar , your county court house , or try your local yellow pages under “legal aid,” “legal services,” or “legal assistance.”
- Nearby law schools: some have low-cost, no-cost clinics that provide a limited amount of legal services.
- Print Directories: For many decades the “Yellow Pages” were the traditional, and well-thumbed, source of listings. However, yellow page listings and/or ads do not give information about lawyer’s ability or competence. Other directories, such as the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, found in many public libraries, lists lawyers by state and city and give biographical details on each lawyer and rating information.