If you are facing a serious and complex legal Problem, you need to find the right lawyer, and this might be the most important step you take towards winning a legitimate case. Therefore finding the right lawyer should not be a burden.
Legal talent is abundant in our country. As per the Right To Information (RTI) response by the Bar Council of India (BCI) to Delhi-based advocate Kush Kalra In 2011, there were 1.3 million lawyers in India. Keeping this huge number in mind, it becomes way too important to find the right lawyer.
Indeed there is no straightjacket formula to choose the right lawyer. Choosing the wrong lawyer can be tragic and painful. Therefore you will need to take as much time as necessary with the quest. This Article deals with whole areas of approach on how to find a good lawyer.
WHO IS AN ADVOCATE?
An advocate is an independent professional trained in the skills of professional advocacy. An Advocate speaks in favour of, recommends, argues for a cause, supports or defends, or pleads on behalf of others. He is learned in the field of law and has a license to practice.
The official term “advocate” as prescribed under section 2(1) (a) of The Advocates Act, 1961 as “means an advocate entered in any roll under the provisions of this Act”.
HOW TO FIND A GOOD LAWYER
- Examining what type of Advocate you need
There are different types of advocates, and it is always advisable to choose an advocate who is particularly expert in the practise area that your case also involves an advocate who understands your business and market. This will prevent the communication gap, and your Advocate can best represent your interest.
The list of types of lawyers is exhaustive. Below is the list of categories you may choose to fit in your case:
- FAMILY LAWYER: The family lawyer performs a diverse range of legal duties concerned with the family. His/ her services prove very beneficial when a family confronts problems such as divorce, child custody, and guardianship.
- CRIMINAL LAWYERS: A lawyer dealing with IPC/CRPC. And having specialized in Criminal laws.
- CONSTITUTIONAL/ CIVIL RIGHTS LAWYER: A lawyer dealing with Civil Rights Laws and having specialized in Constitutional Law, Discrimination, Civil Liberties Gay and Lesbian Rights, Voting Rights, Human Rights, etc.
- BANKRUPTCY LAWYER: A lawyer dealing with banking laws. And having specialized in Bankruptcy, Debt related laws, etc.
- INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAWYER: They are specialized in intellectual laws that mean the things that we couldn’t touch. That includes copyright issues, trademark, and patent dealings.
- MILITARY LAWYER: In India, they are recognized as CAG Officers. They practice primarily in the field of Military, Veteran's Benefits, Military Law Basics.
- EMPLOYMENT LAWYER: As the name indicates, lawyers deal with Employment labour issues. Mostly these lawyers deal with the documentation process when they are hiring employees.
- Finding your future Advocate
- PERSONAL REFERRALS: One of the most reliable sources is friends, family, co-workers. Ask them to recommend an advocate for you. Including a friend who is a lawyer and work in the legal field ask them for opinions on the lawyer or the firm. Lawyers know other lawyers, use them for recommendations.
- STATE BAR ASSOCIATION’S WEBSITE: State bar associations have a list of advocates in your area. They also make sure whether an Advocate you are looking for is an active member of the bar and he/she has not been suspended, disbarred for any contempt or disciplinary actions.
- ONLINE SERVICES: Websites such as advocatekhoj.com, vkeel.com, lawRato.com, etc., helps you to connect with qualified advocates. They also provide access to the Advocate's background information, education, experience, and field of expertise.
- Choosing an Advocate
- Qualities to look for in your future Advocate:
- EXPERIENCE– It is very important to look for an Advocate who is experienced in the field of law, especially in the area of law you required help. This will make sure that the Advocate is confident and help you to win the case successfully.
- HONESTY– Honesty between a client and an advocate is very vital in any case. Your Advocate should be true to you about the probability of getting success in the case. The client should weigh the credibility and moral character of the attorney while deciding which Advocate to hire.
- COMMUNICATION SKILLS: Communication is an important part of every individual. Clients must be able to speak freely with their lawyers at all times. The Advocate should be open with his client and should ask more questions to make sure he understands your legal matter. Your Advocate should listen to you more than talking and should be interested in you. Good public speaking skills are essential as they have appeared and argue in the courtroom. Lawyers must also be able to write, persuasively, and concisely, as they must produce a variety of legal documents.
- RAPPORT: Your Advocate should be the one with whom you can develop trust. This will allow each of you to identify needs and leaves room for suggestions to resolve issues and concerns. Better relationships will ensure better results.
- AVAILABILITY: Advocate should be the one who is available for you whenever you need them. Your Advocate should have the time and resources to deal with emergencies and unexpected concerns that come in your case.
- REASONABLE FEES STRUCTURE AND AFFORDABILITY: Different Advocates have different fees structure. It varies with the location, size, and image of the firm as well as the lawyer's standing and reputation. Look around for the one who is clear, truthful as well as rational of his fee. Also, look for a firm whose lawyers are available for a free or an affordable initial consultation.
- Questions to ask your future Advocate:
- HOW LONG HAVE YOU PRACTICED LAW?
At a minimum, you'll want to know about the lawyer's expertise. You must find advocates that have at least 10 to 15 years of litigation experience, particularly if you expect to go to trial. Ideally, your lawyer would have twice that amount of years practising the law under their belt.
- WHAT IS YOUR AREA OF EXPERTISE? This question plays a very important role as the field of law is very broad. It encompasses all industries, which is why you should be specific in your search for an advocate; the professional you should hire must be adept at handling cases that are similar to yours.
- DO THEY HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS OR CERTIFICATIONS? Matters such as copyright, patents, competition law requires specialization. So you must make sure that your Advocate has special skills and knowledge in these matters.
- DO YOU HAVE PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE HANDLING A CASE, PROJECT SUCH AS MINE? It’s not just the amount of experience that matters, but the relevant experience. Ask the Advocate about the details of his experience.
- WHAT DIFFERENT OUTCOMES CAN YOU PREDICT FOR MY CASE? It is fair game to ask the attorney whether you have a good chance of winning your case. You are not looking for the "right" answer, just an honest one. Before you dive in and begin spending money on a lawyer’s services, it’s important to see if they honestly believe you have a case and one that is also winnable or at least worth the risk.
- WHAT BE MIGHT ALTERNATIVES TO A LAWSUIT CONSIDERED? It is often possible to achieve the best outcome without the help of a judge. Arbitration, mediation, and good old negotiation are all alternatives to formal court proceedings.
- WHAT IS YOUR APPROACH TO WINNING OR REPRESENTING A CASE? You have to be familiar with the working style of your lawyer so that you'll know what to expect when you go to court. Moreover, it would help if you were comfortable with their personality since you'll be working closely with them.
- HOW WILL YOU INFORM ME OF THE CASE'S PROGRESS? Communication is key when working with a lawyer. Ask the lawyer how often and under what circumstances you will hear from him or her. You'll want to know how your case is coming along and about other important dates.
- HOW LONG SHOULD I EXPECT TO RETAIN YOUR SERVICES? It is important to make queries as to the estimated timeframe of legal actions. Again, it may be not easy to ascertain an exact figure, but having a rough idea of how long a resolution will take can help you prepare for the road ahead, particularly when it comes to budgeting.
- HOW OFTEN WILL I BE BILLED, AND WHAT'S YOUR ESTIMATION FOR FEES AND SERVICES? Of course, you have to consider the money that you’ll be spending on legal representation. You need to ensure that a prospective lawyer’s arrangement won’t put too much strain on your budget. This is also the time to ask about payment options and how often, and under what circumstances, you will be billed.
Living in today’s complex and chaotic society, there will be such circumstances when each one of us requires the services of an advocate. Finding, selecting, and hiring an advocate that best fits you is a task in itself. When you have a serious legal problem, the role of Advocate will have to come into play. The right Advocate protects you from an unfair trial. They protect your life, your family, and your livelihood. Therefore choosing the right Advocate becomes very crucial.