Know how to find good lawyers in your area

How do you choose a lawyer? Word of mouth? On a billboard? The Web? My friend especially likes the lawyer ads she sees on the side of trash cans; she says that she really puts the whole lawyer thing into perspective. Obviously, she’s not a fan of lawyers. But in today’s world, where lawyers can advertise, you are inundated with ads in many different forms: the park bench you sit on, the radio you listen to, and yes, the trash can you throw your trash into! !

The first thing you should do is familiarize yourself with the laws in your state. Websites are great for this. A good website can give you a great overview of the laws in your region. With all the data available on the web, there is no excuse for being uninformed.

Here are some of the best resources for finding good attorneys in your area:

Local references and recommendations

If you know other business people in the community, you may want to ask them for referrals and recommendations on good business law firms and business attorneys in the community. Although you’ll want to compile these recommendations, you’ll also want to take them with a grain of salt because you can’t be sure if the recommendation is informed. If you come across lawyers with specialties you don’t need, you may want to ask them for recommendations.

Law Firm Websites

Almost every law firm has a website. Law firm websites vary considerably in their quality and the amount of information they provide. Some law firm websites provide an extremely limited amount of biographical information. Other websites provide full biographical information as well as posts and sometimes even blogs and podcasts.


LinkedIn is a social networking site for professionals. LinkedIn allows a user to post a detailed profile. Many lawyers are on LinkedIn. Some have published detailed profiles, others have not. LinkedIn is growing, and more lawyers seem to be taking it seriously. As of this point, LinkedIn is hit or miss when it comes to information on attorneys, but it’s worth checking out.


Once you have the name of a particular attorney you want to research, Google (as well as Bing and Yahoo) can be valuable. By “Googling” a lawyer’s name, you can often find other information about a lawyer, sometimes including links to articles the lawyer has written or links to cases the lawyer has handled. Google’s “advanced search” feature can be helpful in narrowing down the results.

paid services

There are many subscription services that give access to all case law and many legal publications, as well as news and information. These databases can be used to search for cases that have been handled by a lawyer. However, most entrepreneurs do not have access to these expensive resources. Therefore, I mention them as possibilities for deep investigation, but they are not really necessary to locate a good lawyer.

In all of your research, keep in mind that if you hire a lawyer and sign a contract for their services, you are responsible for their fees, plain and simple. The lawyer can sue for the part not paid. Certainly, on the other side of the coin, the lawyer has done the service and should be paid. But you should know that when you sign up with the attorney, you’re pretty close at the hips. It is not as easy to get rid of your lawyer as it is to hire one. So don’t make this decision when you are in the emotional/irrational stage.

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