Choosing a Lawyer in Charleston, SC

Apr 2, 2018 by

In the same way you get several quotes from different contractors for your beach house improvement job before making an informed decision, you want to shop around for the right lawyer around the Charleston area based on your needs. The first thing to narrow down your search is get referrals for lawyers with the appropriate expertise. If you want to draft a will to leave your beach property or downtown Charleston real estate, for instance, you want a lawyer who understands how to protect your resources for future generations. A quick search for a real estate lawyer in South Carolina will get you moving in the right direction. Similarly, a worker’s compensation lawyer can help you settle any injuries you’ve ensued on the job, from working in a downtown Charleston restaurant to construction. Law is a wide field, so find a lawyer who specializes in your need.

Do Your Research

Secondly, research your candidates thoroughly. For example, if you’ve been charged with a crime you will need a criminal defense lawyer in Charleston, SC who has the skills and expertise to defend you. Peruse the lawyer’s website for services they offer, then dig deeper. Other attorneys in Charleston know other lawyers better than the information you will find online, so ask them about the lawyer’s ethics and reputation. Did you know you can perform a background check on the lawyer in question? The state of South Carolina has a lawyer disciplinary agency that can confirm if your lawyer is in good standing. Check online for peer reviews, which will give you insight into each lawyer’s professionalism and ethics. After thorough research, go with your gut. You will know which lawyers are competent to represent you in your case.

Interview Your Candidates

When you have narrowed your search down to 2 to 3 potential candidates, set up phone interviews with each of them. For most lawyers, interviews are standard procedure, so they should be willing to consult with you for an hour at no charge. As with any interview, prepare yourself by writing up questions to ask. Ask each lawyer how long they’ve been in practice, both in Charleston and in other cities, and the experience they have had dealing with a case like yours. Ask the lawyers to go over their pay structure with you. What are his or her basic fees, and what additional fees can you expect? The interview is a good time to ask the lawyer for further references if you feel like you haven’t acquired enough already. Lastly, make sure the lawyer carries malpractice insurance. Ask them how much they are insured with. Right after the interview, take a few minutes to jot down your impression based on whether he or she was responsive. Ask yourself if you think they could defend you well and if you are comfortable moving forward based on their cost and qualifications

See For Yourself

If you are still undecided on which lawyer to hire, go to their law office in the Charleston area and see first hand how they operate. The person on staff at the front desk should be able to offer you a quick tour to show you around. You tell a lot about a lawyer by the staff they hire. Are they friendly and happy or pushy and rude? Do the local staff take pride in their work by keeping the office neat and organized? Hiring a lawyer is one of the most professional deals you will make, but it doesn’t mean that personal qualities are not important, too. Once you’ve seen the work environment, you should have all the information you need to make a decision.

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