Legal advice is written or oral counsel provided by a licensed attorney who has the knowledge, education and professional experience to assist clients. It can help them navigate legal complexities or settle civil disputes.
Avvo is a great online resource for individuals seeking legal advice. They have a lawyer directory and free Q&A that helps people get answers to their questions.
1. Look for Experience
Whether it’s an attorney or another licensed professional who’s giving you legal advice, make sure they have the right amount of experience. The best lawyers will take the time to ask questions, look up previous case settlements, and review federal and state laws before offering their opinion. If you’re on a budget, it’s not always necessary to pay top dollar for legal advice. However, you shouldn’t go cheap either because the cheapest lawyer may not have the knowledge and skills your business needs to succeed.
If you’re looking for legal information, online forums such as Avvo or the Legal Advice subreddit on Reddit can help. Just remember that these answers don’t constitute legal advice and should be used as a guide. Instead, schedule a consultation with an attorney.
2. Ask for Referrals
The best way for a rising law firm to increase business is by building a strong referral network. But where do you start? Clients won’t send their friends, family members and neighbors to total strangers, so it makes sense that a new lawyer should focus on cultivating a network of people that are likely to refer new business. Certainly, delivering quality service will help to generate some of this business, but it’s much easier to tap into the potential for referral business when clients know and trust your work.
Getting a referral can be as easy as asking your current clients for a recommendation. Of course, this can feel uncomfortable for many attorneys, but the right approach can make all the difference. The key is to frame the request in a way that feels natural and friendly, not pushy or salesy. For example, instead of simply asking a client for a referral, try saying something like “I’m grateful that you’re recommending me to your friends and colleagues. If I could ask for one more favor, would you mind passing my name along to any contacts you think might need representation?”
Keep in mind that there are some important ethical considerations when it comes to getting referrals. For example, it’s generally a good idea to avoid giving anything of value in exchange for a referral (such as sending a gift or a dinner). In addition, you should always ensure that your clients understand that you have an interest in their case and that any referrals will be handled with impartiality.
For this reason, it’s important for a lawyer to have a streamlined system for tracking referrals. This can be as simple as a spreadsheet or practice management software that is updated regularly, but it’s important to ensure that you don’t lose track of any referred clients.
Getting the best legal advice is not as hard as it seems. By choosing a qualified lawyer, taking the time to find out about the firm’s experience and reputation, and asking for referrals, you can be sure that your legal issues will be in the best possible hands.
3. Schedule a Consultation
In order to get the best legal advice you need to have a consultation with an attorney. Some attorneys offer free consultations while others charge for them. In either case, the first meeting with a lawyer will give you a good sense of whether they can help you resolve your legal question or not.
To find a qualified attorney, ask your friends and family for referrals. You can also check online attorney databases, such as LegalMatch, which allows you to select the type of legal work you need and then connects you with a screened attorney. In addition, you can find an attorney through a local bar association, a lawyer referral counselor, or other organizations that focus on helping individuals or businesses with their legal questions.
When you schedule a consultation, make sure to bring copies of all documents related to your legal matter. This will save time, as the attorney will not have to spend time making copies at the appointment. Additionally, it will ensure that you have the necessary documents with you to discuss your question in depth.
During the consultation, it is important to be clear on your legal issues and what you hope to accomplish with respect to them. This will allow the attorney to provide you with more targeted and useful information and advice.
While you may be tempted to bring a friend or loved one with you for support at your initial meeting, it is generally best to meet with the attorney alone. Bringing another person can distract you from the discussion, and it can compromise your confidentiality. Additionally, if your situation is of a criminal nature, the other person may be subpoenaed to testify as to what was said during the conversation.
Some lawyers also offer limited legal services, sometimes referred to as unbundled legal services, for people who are representing themselves. This may include a consultation and review of documents, but does not mean the attorney will be officially representing you in your case. The lawyer should clearly explain this to you before your appointment.
4. Take Action
If you are a business owner, seeking legal advice is critical. You need guidance to ensure you comply with federal laws, protect your investments, and minimize risks. If you aren’t prepared to pay for a lawyer, there are other resources available. Online legal forums such as Avvo and the Legal Advice subreddit on Reddit can provide answers to your questions from attorneys and knowledgeable lay people. Additionally, the Small Business Administration and SCORE can offer workshops and free or low-cost consultations for small businesses.
Before you start looking for legal advice, decide what your goals are. It’s important to understand that legal action is rarely a win-win situation. Even if you win in court, there’s a good chance that the other party will appeal the decision and you may need to go back to court to get what you want. Consider your situation, the strength of your case, the stubbornness of your opponent, and the costs to society if you don’t succeed before taking action.