How do I know if I need a lawyer?
Anytime you believe that your rights, finances or freedom may be jeopardized, it’s a good time to call a lawyer for a free consultation. All too often people attempt to handle their legal issues themselves, thinking that they can hire a lawyer if things go wrong. Unfortunately, the legal system usually doesn’t give you a second chance.
By the time you realize that things have gone wrong (whether in family court, criminal court or in negotiating a settlement or contract), you’ve waived your legal right to an attorney and you are stuck with the court’s decision.
NEVER sign anything without having it reviewed by a lawyer you trust and never attempt to represent yourself in Court if the decision to be made will have a significant impact on your life, finances or family.
How do I know which attorney to hire?
The attorney you hire can make all the difference in your case and your life. Don't simply pick a name off the TV or from some referral website. Talk to people who have been through legal issues – see who they would (and wouldn't) refer. Get as much information about the attorneys you are considering as possible, including their disciplinary history and experience, and take the time to have a consultation with more than one lawyer.
In making the final decision, make sure the person you choose is knowledgeable, approachable and that you feel confident in their abilities. Your lawyer will be making decisions and taking actions related to the most important things in your life – if you're "not sure" about an attorney or law firm, move on. It's also helpful to hire an office with multiple attorneys and staff members to ensure that your needs are taken care of as things come up and without delay.