Finding the Best Lawyer for Your Case in Five Steps

No lawyer can say he or she is the best lawyer for a client’s case, but can spend thousands of dollars on lawyer ads to try to convince the public. Unlike other Fairfax injury attorneys, I don’t use misleading or gimmicky advertisements to try to convince people I’m the best lawyer in the area. I let my lawyer credentials, actions and client testimonials reflect on my qualifications.

If lawyers can’t claim they’re the best in Fairfax, how do clients find the best lawyer for their case? After years of practicing law in Virginia and asking clients how they made the decision to hire me, I can break it down into five steps: 

  • Step 1 – Research your legal issue.
  • Step 2 – Make a list of possible attorneys.
  • Step 3 – Contact the attorneys and request information about their services.
  • Step 4 – Arrange a consultation (in-person) and ask good questions.
  • Step 5 – Rank the attorneys based on what is most important to you.

Step 1 – Research Your Legal Issue

Learning about your legal problem is the first step because you need to be aware of the basics of the case for which you are seeking counsel. Be aware of the basics of injury cases, divorce, or whatever your legal need is so you can make informed decisions.

Searching specifically for your legal issue, let’s say personal injury, often turns up “information hubs” with legal guides. Look at the authoring lawyers’ credentials to make sure that the information they’re giving in an article is legitimate – remember that even the best lawyers can only give suggestions and factual information – they can’t give legal advice online.

Step 2 – Make a List of Possible Attorneys

Finding lists of attorneys is as simple as pulling up a lawyer directory online. They’re a dime a dozen on the Internet, but my personal favorites are searching the National Board of Trial Advocacy, AVVO, Best Lawyers in America, Martindale-Hubbell, and SuperLawyers. Lawyers in these directories are rated by their peers and can’t pay for a spot on these lists.

Step 3 – Contact the Attorneys and Request an Information About Their Services

A lot of lawyers have written informational guides, published an eBook, or developed a video series about their area of legal practice. The best lawyer for your case should be one that has information readily available that helps you learn about your potential case and how their office can help.

A good information packet contains information on your legal issue, easy-to-understand basics of the laws that affect your case, and promotional information on why that attorney is the best lawyer for cases like yours. Based on this information, you should know if you want to meet with them to discuss your case more specifically.

Step 4 – Arrange a Consultation (In-Person) and Ask Good Questions

I highly discourage hiring a lawyer without having a face-to-face meeting first. Big law firms are notorious for taking cases and handing them off to paralegals to handle. Not to say that paralegals aren’t wonderful, but you want the best lawyer for your situation – not whoever comes up in the queue to take the next case.

During your meeting, ask the questions you know will help you determine if the lawyer is qualified to handle your case. If he or she is unwilling to disclose things like lawyer credentials, case and trial history, or legal fees, it may be cause for concern.

Step 5 – Rank the Attorneys Based on What is Most Important To You

Finally, consider all of the attributes you are looking for in a lawyer. Now that you’ve met a few, look at the lawyers on your list and rank them in order of how well they embody those attributes. This should help you discover the best attorney for your case.

Finding the Best Lawyer for Your Case is Tough

Lawyer credentials can only say so much. You need to know exactly what you’re looking for and the right questions to ask to determine if the attorney you’re talking to is the best fit for your needs.

To help you make a more informed decision, I wrote the book, The Truth About Lawyer Advertising. Make sure you request a FREE copy by visiting my website or calling 703-584-7277. Learn how to protect yourself from deception or frustration from bad lawyer ads!

Ben Glass
Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney