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When the time comes for hiring a lawyer, whether it’s a divorce lawyer or a whistleblower lawyer, you want to be sure you have the right representation on your side. That means knowing what to look for as you start shopping around for the best attorney to take on your case.

Electing to go into any court matter without skilled representation on your side can put you at a significant disadvantage. You can bet the other side has smart and savvy legal representation looking out for their interests. Failing to have the best possible legal team behind you can result in you losing out on compensation you deserve or losing a case that could impact your finances or your freedom.

So, when you are seeking out the best lawyer to take on your case, you want to look for five things that are the most important for knowing that your attorney has what it takes to win in a court of law. Let’s take a look at these five essential factors that can give you the advantage in taking on any legal matter:

1. Relevant Knowledge and Expertise

Your legal case is unique. No two clients are alike even if they are both dealing with similar matters before the court. But you wouldn’t hire a probate attorney to defend you in a criminal matter. That’s why it’s so crucial that you have a lawyer on your side who is especially qualified to handle your case.

The law can be very complex and the difference between victory and defeat may very well come down to your attorney’s knowledge of the law…or lack thereof.

2. Referrals

You definitely need to ask around about the lawyer who could potentially handle your case. Whether you talk to other lawyers about his or her reputation, discuss their skills with previous clients, or even read online reviews of those who have worked with the lawyer in the past, you want to get some unvarnished opinions from others.

3. Get A Look at The Law Office

You want to know what to look for? Check out where your attorney hangs his or her shingle. The office can say a lot about anyone but for lawyers, the state or condition of the office could be a red flag as to how your attorney will be prepared to handle your case. An office that is unkempt, in disrepair, or inefficient (heck, even if the place is falling down around them), could signal what you might expect in their handling of your case.

4. Conduct A Background Check

You should do a background check into any lawyer you plan to hire, if for no other reason than to ensure they are an actual member of the bar. You can track down any of the major legal directories to see if your potential candidate is listed in them, while doing some much-needed research into their track record for professionalism, ethics, and if they are currently or have ever been the subject of disciplinary action.

5. Your Comfort Level

Simply put, you need to feel comfortable working with the attorney you hire. If your personalities don’t gel, you’re going to have a difficult time going into court side by side.

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