The title of this article is one you have currently heard on many occasions, so much so that it is frequently ignored. But when it comes to the issue of lawyer advertising, you would be well-served to pay close attention. Caution is advised.
Have you noticed the devices lawyers are using to attract your attention? You can hardly go anywhere without observing or seeing some lawyer begging for your business. You see it on television, on park benches, on the front, back and side of phone books, and on top of cabs. You will hear snappy slogans and phrases to stimulate your mind and memory. However, the most important thing to consider is that the mere fact that a particular lawyer has caught your attention through savvy advertisements does not mean that the lawyer will be competent, trustworthy, and aggressive in his or her representation of you. in fact, it may mean that the lawyer is better at marketing than at lawyering, and if that is the case, then you are in trouble.
The purpose of this article is not designed to attack all lawyers who advertise extensively. Sadly, however, many people base their selection of a lawyer solely upon advertisements, a decision which can have harsh consequences.
Selection of a lawyer should be based upon a number of considerations, some of which include:
1. What do other people have to say about a particular lawyer? World-of-mouth is a huge indicator of whether a lawyer is competent and trustworthy.
2. Does the lawyer return phone calls or otherwise make himself/herself available for appointments?
3. When you contacted the lawyer’s office, were you able to meet or speak with the lawyer as opposed to a non-lawyer?
4. What experience does that lawyer have in cases similar to your case?
5. How long has the lawyer been present in your community? Would you prefer to have a lawyer who is familiar with the local court or someone who has his or principal office outside of the community?
6. Do you personally feel comfortable with the lawyer? Is he or she someone who appears to have a genuine concern for you and your case?
The big thing to keep in mind is that an advertisement is simply one piece of a puzzle when selecting a lawyer and it should not be considered a major piece of that puzzle. By our thinking, the most crucial determining factor in choosing a lawyer can be summed up in one word . . . TRUST. And the best tool for deciding who to interview as a prospective lawyer is by talking with your friends, family, neighbors, or co-workers.
Beware! Do not allow yourself to choose a lawyer based solely on advertisements.