Chicago lawyers and attorneys do more than dispense Illinois legal information, they offer strategic advice and apply sophisticated technical skills to legal problems. It is best to work with a Chicago lawyer who is already familiar and skilled in practice areas where you need legal help.
Finding A Chicago Lawyer
You can locate the names of Chicago attorneys from a variety of sources. You may seek advice and referrals from friends, family, and colleagues. You can look in the Yellow Pages, contact the Illinois State Bar for a Chicago lawyer referral service, or look in an online Illinois legal directory. There are many ways to locate a lawyer, but finding the right Chicago lawyer for your case will take some effort.
Don’t make a decision about a Chicago lawyer based only on another person’s recommendation. Different people will have different responses to what areas of practice they needed help in and to an individual lawyer’s style and personality; don’t make up your mind about hiring a Chicago lawyer until you’ve met the lawyer, discussed your case, and decided that you feel comfortable working with them.
An easy and helpful way to find an attorney is to consult with another Chicago lawyer you already know and trust. If you do not know any attorneys, ask your friends and family for names of Chicago lawyers they’ve worked with and have a good relationship with. As a jumping off point, it’s not necessary that the lawyer you contact for a referral is is the same practice areas that you are seeking.
The Importance Of Experience, Qualifications and Practice Areas
Once you’ve created a short list of prospective Chicago lawyers for your case, call and interview each one. Speak with each one personally, or whoever in the firm would be handling your case. It is helpful to outline your needs in advance. Pay attention to the personal chemistry between you and your Chicago lawyer. Inquire about their experience, qualifications and areas of practice.
Regardless of how experienced and well-recommended a Chicago lawyer is, if you feel uncomfortable with them during your first couple of meetings, you may never attain an ideal lawyer-client relationship. Trust your instincts and seek a Chicago lawyer whose personality is compatible with your own.
Ask all prospective lawyers how you will be able to contact them and how long it will take them to return your calls, emails or other correspondence. Don’t assume that because the Chicago lawyer seems friendly and easy to talk to that it’s okay to overlook this step.
Consider the following:
- When you call the firm, is the attorney you speak with directly involved with your case?
- Will delays in communications hurt your case, disrupt your schedule and make appointments difficult to keep?
- Is the lawyer prompt and able to show they’re capable of working hard on your behalf… all of the time?
Ask Your Chicago Attorney Questions
When interviewing potential Chicago lawyers for your case, pay close attention to their responses. Do they answer your questions completely and in terms you understand? Ask for clarification if needed. Their ability to communicate effectively with you will often reflect their willingness to work with you on your case. Remember that you’re paying the attorney and that they, or their Chicago firm, work for you.