Lawyers. Accountants. Doctors.
No, this is not the setup for a “walks into a bar” joke. My clients who move frequently tell me that these three professionals are the ones whom they make a priority to form relationships with when they relocate to a new city.
Finding an attorney and forming a long-term relationship with that person is vital. An attorney can help you through happy times (like buying a house or adopting a child) and difficult times (like the loss of a loved one or facing financial issues such as bankruptcy or foreclosure).
And, it feels good to say “my attorney” – it’s not a status thing, it’s peace of mind.
Finding an attorney who’s right for you
Talking to family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances is a great way to help select an attorney; glowing recommendations from people you know can help you find the right lawyer for you.
A special review site, Avvo.com, is dedicated to attorney reviews from clients who have actually used the attorney’s services. Avvo can be used to research attorneys in your area (for instance, you can search “estate planning lawyers in Bellingham”) OR you can check out the reviews for a specific attorney you are considering by searching that attorney’s name on Avvo.
With a few exceptions (usually attorneys who work on contingency such as injury, accident and disability cases) most lawyers do not offer free in-person consultations. However, Limitless Law (formerly Next Generation Legal Services) offers a free 15-minute phone consultation to each new client. This is a great way for attorney and client to get to know one another, ask questions and determine if they are the right fit for each other.
It is a good idea to have a list of questions and concerns prepared when you call an attorney. Stuck on what to ask? Here’s a link to a helpful article to get your started: hirealawyer.findlaw.com/choosing-the-right-lawyer/interviewing-a-lawyer.html
With a little research along with asking the right questions, you’ll be sure to find the right attorney to form a happy professional relationship with for the long haul.