If you watch TV at all, you’ve probably seen at least one ad for a law office or a lawyer referral service. Many of the lawyers in these commercials have become so famous that their names get mentioned in everday conversations, by people who aren’t even looking for an attorney.
But does their fame and popularity mean that you should hire these lawyers when the need arises?
This is a tricky question. True, there are many honest and well-qualified lawyers that choose to advertise their services on the television. But many of the lawyer ads that you see on the TV are run by lawyer mills, basically. Many times, lawyer referral agencies will run the ads, and then distribute all of the cases that they receive between member attorneys. Or, one law office will run an ad, but they will be so big that they often give their cases to partner firms, who may have helped pay for the ad in the first place.
The better, more experienced lawyers will take cases that are worth a lot of money, and the less lucrative cases will get passed on to other lawyers that are available.This often results in a lack of personal attention to your case, or your case being handled by a lawyer other than the one that you saw on the television.
Like I said earlier, this is not the case with all law firms. Many firms that advertise on television will treat your case with a great deal of personal attention, and will work hard to get you the money you deserve. My advice is to seek out an attorney based on word-of-mouth recommendations, or to do your research and find a law firm that has a great deal of experience in your field, even if they haven’t put a fancy ad on the TV.
With social media the way it is today, you can interview your attorneys without even talking to them. You can find them on facebook, twitter, linkedin, avvo, superlawyers, blogs such as this one, or various other websites. You can find testimonials from clients or endorsements from other attorneys. You can e-mail or tweet them with questions.
Regardless of the attorney you hire, you need to make sure that your goals for your case are in alignment and that you have a strategy for pursuing that case. You and your attorney are on the same team, and you have to work together so make sure you not only have confidence in your attorney’s abilities, but also make sure that you trust the attorney and that you can communicate with your attorney.