Importance of Legal Representation
Life can come at you in many different ways. Sometimes it approaches you calmly, or sidelines you violently. Sometimes it bears many gifts. In addition, at other times, it assaults your happiness. We cannot predict life, or tell where our actions eventually lead us. However, we can work with each other to preserve some form of humane justice, to ensure that if life – or a person – decide to take everything away from us, we have a chance to fight back and retain our dignity, and more.
The law is not perfect, and neither is our justice system. However, if you align yourself with the right firm and the right person for the job, you have a better chance of recuperating from your losses. However, half of the challenge here is finding that right person. Lawyers and law firms have a reputation for either being outstanding or sleazy, but given the competitive spirit of the internet and the nature of online misinformation, it can be very difficult to differentiate between the two, as reviews and testimonials blur the lines, and you only end up frustrated and confused.
When choosing legal representation, especially to “lawyer up” for a specific upcoming case or charge, it is important to stick to the local lawyers. Not only can you massively narrow down your list by finding a specialist in your area, there are also many advantages to working with someone out of your own neighborhood or close surrounding areas, rather than somewhere else in the state.
Law Is Local
There is no doubt that law is local – in almost every sense. A lawyer can only legally operate in the state he is licensed for, because every state has very distinct and different state laws. However, law being local is about more than just state law.
Lawyers and judges know each other, prosecutors and lawyers often were once friends, and anyone important is going to have a reputation around city hall and the courthouses. If your legal representative is someone with a certain kind of reputation, chances are they can use that to their – and your – advantage.
That might sound like some form of sinister Machiavellian approach to settling legal disputes, but it is simply a matter of insurance and reality. Your cause for going to court could be undoubtedly just, but there are still many factors that go into a judge’s final decision. If your legal representative has the right connections and a reputation for excellence in the legal community, then you simply mitigate the risk of a bad result in court – or ideally, you don’t even have to go to court at all. That doesn’t imply favoritism, but rather that a skilled, respected and well-known legal representative would be trusted better by the courts. If you have a business, consider getting in-house legal counsel.
A great lawyer will win most cases, but the best lawyers help their clients settle before the battle even begins.
The Unwritten Code of Conduct
When to speak? When not to speak? Whom to call? What to do? Any lawyer will understand the basics of how to operate in a courtroom, and can conduct himself or herself professionally and honorably. However, only someone with a long record in a given courtroom can own that courtroom with their experience and their presence, and take advantage of that ability to better plead their case.
Experience matters, not only insofar that your chosen legal representative has spent many years helping clients win cases, but insofar that a lawyer with local experience can be completely comfortable and in his or her element.
Consistent and Frequent Communication
If you are going to lawyer up for something important, then having access to your legal representative is a massive boon. You don’t want to have to travel halfway across the state to visit your lawyer’s offices each time you two have to discuss something confidential, or something neither of you would want to talk about on the phone or through email.
Having regular face-to-face conversations with your legal representative over the course of a case is quite important, and making that logistically more convenient can have an impact on both your finances and the case.
Looking to it that your legal representation is specifically based in or around your area can make your life much easier, and gives you the edge of working with someone who has the experience, know-how, and connections to win cases not only on the merit of their argument, but on a long history and outstanding reputation as a stellar lawyer in the area.
However, local is not everything. While narrowing your list down to the most likely options can help save you a lot of time and resources, it is ultimately still on you to make the final decision, which involves weighing the pros and cons of each representative. Read testimonials, call individuals who know the attorneys/law firm, ask around and get word from former colleagues.
A respected local law firm may be famously outstanding at representing their high value clients, but if they delegate all smaller clients too far less experienced lawyers, then perhaps look for a smaller firm with fewer clients. Alternatively, just because a law firm does not put you in touch with its most senior lawyers does not mean you are getting low quality legal representation. There is no way to make the choice for you, and it depends highly on your options and circumstances, as well as the legal matter at hand.
Finally, it is important to work with someone you can trust. Teams, not individuals, win cases and one example of a team that must work well together is the team between the lawyer and their client. The trust has to go both ways – and if it does, then your chances at a good outcome at the end of the day are much higher. Pick a local lawyer with a good reputation. Pick someone who spent years specializing in the areas of the law relevant to your case. Work together to establish a bond of trust between each other. Trust that he or she will tell you the truth about your chances, and trust them enough to tell you everything they need to know about the job.