Struggling with a legal issue? Three tips to find a good lawyer.

Finding a good attorney does not have to be difficult. These tips can help you better ensure the lawyer you retain is the right one for the job.

Legal issues can arise in any number of situations. You may need to see an attorney because you were injured in a car accident, have a family law issue or want to make sure there are no legal concerns with a real estate investment. Whatever the reason behind the need for an attorney, it is important to find the right attorney for your legal matter.

How can I find a good attorney? Here are three tips that can help to better ensure the lawyer you retain is a good one:

  • Shop local. The shop local campaign is pushing for people to buy their food and goods from local merchants. The same is true when looking for an attorney. The most important reason to shop local for a lawyer has nothing to do with the health of the local economy and everything to do with the likelihood of building a successful case. A local attorney is more likely to be well versed in the local laws that will impact your issue.
  • Experience matters. A flashy ad campaign for a new attorney may seem tempting, but when it comes to resolving legal matters experience is far more important. The American Bar Association notes that "expertise and prior experience" are two of the most important factors to look for when finding an attorney. Ask if the attorney has handled similar legal issues in the past and how long he or she has been in practice. Remember, you are hiring the attorney. Treat the first meeting like an interview and ask questions to help ensure the attorney has the needed experience to build a strong case.
  • Check for honesty. It is likely a red flag if an attorney promises your case is a slam dunk. Every case has some level of risk. An attorney should discuss the pros and cons of moving forward with the case so you can make a well informed decision.

Call up a potential firm and ask if they offer a free initial consultation. If so, take advantage of the opportunity. Interview the attorney. Ask your questions. Get a feel for whether or not you are comfortable working with the lawyer before making your decision.

As noted above, legal issues can arise in a number of different situations - accidents to contract reviews to family law issues and everything in between. An attorney is a professional that you may need not just for your current legal matter, but for other issues that arise in the future. If you put a little time and effort into finding a good one the first time you need legal assistance, you can return and rest assured that your legal matters will be handled with competence and integrity.