How do I find a good lawyer?

A question that many people ask themselves when they are looking for a lawyer. After all, many people only need a lawyer once or twice in their lives. That is not very often, so looking for a good lawyer is not an everyday activity.
Which lawyer should you choose? Most lawyers will profile themselves on their website as “reliable”, “experienced”, “knowledgeable”, “honest” and “with a heart for the case”. If you’re honest: meaningless. No one will state on their website that they are unreliable, inexperienced, and not knowledgeable. In short, it is not easy to choose a lawyer who can help you properly on the basis of a separate web page. How?
A number of themes are important when choosing a good lawyer:
Value for money;
The complexity of the case;
Experience;
References;
A click’.
The latter is not important in terms of content, but it does affect your state of mind – (legal) problems are usually not pleasant, you are worried about the outcome of the case; a committed lawyer who understands you is therefore very pleasant. How do you find out who is the right lawyer for you? Answer: not that easy. Most lawyers will indicate that this is possible when you ask if they can help you. After all, a new assignment means a new invoice, and therefore income. A lawyer – especially the lawyers who have a “general practice” – will therefore not easily sell a “no” if you ask them for help. No problem if your case is very clear, a little lawyer can assist you perfectly. It gets more complicated when the matter is complex; your case is open to multiple interpretations and you are looking for a lawyer who – for you – will get the most out of it.
We discuss a number of the mentioned themes in this blog.
What does a good lawyer cost?
Lawyers’ hourly rates vary widely – roughly, rates are between $ 120 and $ 300 an hour. At the top end of the market, there are peaks at $ 600 an hour. The difference in price has to do with experience In the domain, knowledge, and also the name of the office to which a lawyer is affiliated. Another factor that can play a role is the (financial) importance of the case. A team of attorneys dealing with an international transaction involving many millions for months will charge a higher hourly wage than the local attorney nipping a minor conflict between a tenant and his landlord in the bud. This has to do with the aforementioned experience, knowledge, and office name; but the importance of the case, the impact, also has an influence on the price.
The answer to the question of what a good lawyer costs should be: it depends. If you want to file for divorce and your partner and your person separate in good consultation and there is little capital, then you need a lawyer who will point out the conditions and regulations surrounding a divorce, indicate where possible conflict may arise, draws up a neat division of property and – in consultation – sets this down in a divorce agreement. In principle, any lawyer in personal and family law can arrange this without any problem, including the juniors among them. That means that the top price does not have to be paid for a certified divorce lawyer. However, such a specialist will come into the picture if, for example, you want to divorce from your foreign partner, if there are considered joint assets and you do not separate in good harmony. In this case, the case is much more complex, the financial importance is greater and there is a conflict situation: all reasons to hire an experienced, specialized lawyer. That means a relatively high legal hourly rate, but at the same time the chance of a favorable outcome – for you – is also greater.
It is therefore important in finding a good lawyer to form a picture of the size of your case, its complexity, and also the importance involved. We can also help with that. Because we have people on the line every day who are looking for a lawyer, our employees can estimate which type of lawyer matches your case. In doing so, we look at the expertise, of course – but also at the ratio between price and quality. Because we know all our lawyers personally and visit all participating offices, we can – probably better than you – estimate the required experience and expertise. We will find a lawyer for you who has sufficient knowledge and experience to represent your interests and charges a reasonable price.

Is an experienced lawyer always better?
It has already been mentioned in the paragraph above that an experienced lawyer is not the right one for every situation. In relatively simple cases, you can do fine with a good junior lawyer or a lawyer with a so-called “general practice”. A lot of experience is not always necessary, and that also applies to a specialized lawyer. The title of a specialist is not protected by the way. An attorney may call himself a specialist in any jurisdiction. That makes searching for the right lawyer somewhat opaque.

“actual” specialists are in reality the ones lawyers who’re affiliated with an expert association. Most jurisdictions have such an association, whereby the affiliated lawyers must meet the standards of this association, continuously train themselves in the relevant area of ​​law. Well-known associations are IFAS (personal and family law), VAAN (employment law), NVSA (criminal law), and LSA (personal injury). Membership of such associations presupposes a certain level of quality of the lawyer concerned, which is also continuously tested. in the public database of the various associations, you could check whether an attorney is without a doubt a consultant.

Again, many legal matters do not require a specialist at all. Experience, on the other hand, is recommended. If only because the Dutch Bar Association reasons as follows when it comes to fees charged by lawyers:

The higher the charge, the greater experience (an experienced lawyer is usually more costly than a beginning attorney). However, with this experience in his or her baggage, it can be assumed that a lawyer can – on average – handle a case faster than a lawyer with less experience. This means you are not more expensive on balance. After all, fewer hours at a high rate comes to the bottom of the line, approximately, at the same final balance as more hours at a lower rate. An equal quality, and thus a fair course of the law, is thus guaranteed – for all parties.

That’s the theory. It is difficult to measure whether this always applies in practice. There are also voices that suspect that certainly in large international business transactions, the right can be ‘bought’. Expensive lawyers who master the art of endless litigation and thus try to smoke out the opposing party. It is also said on a smaller scale than a local lawyer often has to compete with a chic lawyer from the Amsterdam Zuidas. Whether that is true? See, in practice, the law should prevail and not the most expensive lawyer. Moreover, evidence for the preceding statements is lacking. on the other hand, as defined above, a combination of information, revel in, and “office name” determines the hourly charge of most lawyers. This means that an expensive lawyer usually has a lot of knowledge of a certain area of ​​law and is also an experienced advocate.

Which lawyer should I choose?
Advocaten.nl believes in references. It must be because we are an internet platform. And of these, in a general sense, it can be said that they exist by the grace of references. It is also nice for potential clients of a lawyer to learn from other clients how they experienced the work of the lawyer in question. Was the lawyer easily accessible by e-mail? By phone? How was communication about the route to be followed?

The latter is an important point. It is wise to inquire about the expected amount of hours that a lawyer intends to spend on the matter at the start of a process that you are entering into with a lawyer. Often a very reasonable estimate can be made. This allows you to consider whether initiating legal proceedings before a court is worthwhile. A possible appeal following the procedure in the first instance can also be included in this estimate.

At the same time, the lawyer must of course keep a close eye on things. If things come up during the procedure that was not foreseen before and that have a significant effect on the case, it may be that a (substantial) number of extra hours will have to be charged for this.

But as said: in many cases, an excellent estimate can be made of the expected costs. A good lawyer must be able to make this assessment and also explain in which cases and under which circumstances the case increases or decreases in size. The advantage of this part of the legal profession is that it is fairly easy to review. By simply asking clients who preceded you: to what extent could the lawyer give a good estimate of your chances and the scope of the case? That is what Advocate Search does, and partly on the basis of this, we make the match between your assignment and a suitable lawyer. Because we know: a good match increases the chance of success!

Do you need to click with your lawyer?
Much has already been written about the “click” elsewhere. There are even studies of its importance. And they show that lawyers think that a client chooses him or her mainly because of certain expertise, but clients choose, according to the researchers, a lawyer mainly on the confidence they have in collaboration. Indeed, trust is an important part of the relationship between a client and a lawyer. You take a vulnerable position because personal facts are brought up or because a lawyer gains insight into the figures of your company, etc. Moreover, there is something going on, there is a counterparty in the game with whom a conflict has arisen. Under these circumstances, it is logical that you want to feel good about the lawyer who is assisting you. On the other hand, this shouldn’t be exaggerated either. Every relationship is partly based on trust, that between client and lawyer is no exception. Still, you may wonder whether trust really should play a decisive role. In essence, you hire a lawyer to provide legal assistance to you. That is what he or she should be primarily judged on.

How do I choose a good lawyer?
You can of course, with the above tips in hand, look for a suitable lawyer yourself.

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