Author: Mark Hines

6 Steps to Find the Best Personal Injury Lawyer for Your Case

When you are involved in a personal injury law case, it means that you got injured or incurred damages that were caused by someone else or you are being sued for causing injury and damages. No matter on which side of the equation you are, you will need a personal injury lawyer. Choosing the lawyer that will be best for you is very important. You need to put a lot of time and research into your decision. Your lawyer should be someone you feel comfortable with and trust to do what is best for you.

Before I get into the steps, I want to mention how I came up with the list.  I was at the ABA Techshow when I got to talking to a lawyer by the name of Chris Stoy. He is a personal injury lawyer in Fort Worth and from what I could tell was one if the best in Texas. We started discussing this topic on how people around the Dallas – Fort Worth area find personal injury attorneys and most of what is covered below was discussed.

To choose the best personal injury lawyer for your case, follow these steps:

Step 1: Do your research

You should find out what exactly the personal injury lawyer does and should be able to do. Make sure you understand what type of skills and qualities you need in your lawyer. Once you know this, you can go online and research lawyer firms and private practices to gather names of potential lawyers. Use online sites that review firms and lawyers to see who is the best. Ask friends, family, colleagues, and even social media connections who they would suggest.

Step 2: Make contact

Start calling people to narrow down your list. Phone the firms for which your potentials work and ask the questions you want answers to. Also, call your state’s bar association and ask for referrals. They usually have specific numbers for referral requests.

Step 3: Create a shortlist

Once you have contacted everyone, asked questions, got referrals, and did your research, you should be able to create a shortlist of about three lawyers. The choices should be the people who made an impression, who answered your questions, who has a good reputation in the community, and who you think you will feel comfortable with.

Step 4: Make a list of questions

Draw up a list of questions that you want to ask your shortlisted candidates. You should ask about their area of specialization, about your case’s statute of limitations, experience, and more information about the potential outcomes of your case. It doesn’t matter how long the list is. This is your chance to ask thorough questions to get clear answers.

Step 5: Get all your paperwork ready

Before you go to meet your candidates, you should make sure that you know the details of your case. You should make sure to have any and all documentation that may be relevant ready and with you when you meet with the lawyer. The better prepared you are, the easier it will be for the lawyer to help you.

Step 6: Meet with your top candidates

Before you meet with a lawyer find out of their first consultation is free of if you will have to pay a fee. You don’t want to walk in unprepared for such a situation. A meeting with the lawyer does not mean that you have to hire him or her. You can meet with as many as you need to to find the one that is right for you.

After the meetings, you should be able to make your final decision. Once you have decided, you will have to sit down with the lawyer again and discuss fees, payments, and other relevant topics and procedures. If you are happy with everything, hire the lawyer of your choice and get ready to defend your case.

Infographic by: www.avvo.com

6 Essential Skills of a Successful Lawyer

Every career or job role requires certain skills to be successful. Being a lawyer is one of the toughest careers that you can pursue and it takes a lot of time and money to get there. To be a lawyer there is a unique set of skills needed to be successful and reap the rewards of all the years of studying. These skills can be developed and honed. If you are looking for the best lawyer, you need to look for the following skills:

Analytical Thinking

Being a lawyer involves working through a lot of information and making sense of it. All this information need to be distilled into an argument or conclusion that makes sense and is logical. Oftentimes, the outcome of analyzing information can have more than one logical conclusion. A good lawyer will be able to work through the data and use his or her analytical skills to get to the best conclusion to resolve a situation.

Excellent Communication Skills

Communication is one of the most prominent parts of being a lawyer. A good lawyer has great speaking, listening, and writing skills. A lawyer needs to be comfortable with public speaking and be articulate enough to convince people of their views. He will also need good listening skills to pick up and analyze things people say in court to use them in your favor. Lawyers also write a lot of legal documents and need to have good writing skills.

Good Research Skills

Becoming and being a lawyer involves a lot of reading and research. It starts in law school and never ends. A good lawyer must be able to do research fast and effective to prepare legal strategies, know their clients’ needs and histories, etc.

Good Judgement

A big part of a lawyer’s job is to draw conclusions that are reasonable and logical. They may sometimes have little information and little time to do their jobs. Critical judgments are essential in preparing a case and also in seeing weaknesses in your opposition’s case and arguments. Being able to make quick, critical, and logical judgments are something every lawyer needs.

Great People Skills

Lawyers work with people and therefore, good people skills are a must. A good lawyer is able to read people, persuade them, and make them feel at ease. Clients need to trust them. They need to be able to read when people are lying and also the reactions of witnesses and jurors. Persuasion is important to convince a client to take good advice.

Creativity

Creative problem solving is what sets the great lawyers apart from the rest. For a lawyer, the solutions will not always seem clear or forthcoming. This is when creative and out-of-the-box thinking is needed. Most high-profile cases that have made history, was won by using tactics and strategies that no-one expected.

If you want a good lawyer, you should be looking for these skills. These skills are what will set your case lawyer apart from others and guarantee the best results for your case.

8 Tips from the Experts for Lawyers Who are Just Starting Their Careers

When you start a new job, you know there will be lessons to learn and that you will make many mistakes before you find your feet. It is no different for a new lawyer who is just starting out. We spoke to a few experienced lawyers to get some good advice and tips for those of you are braving the new challenges of being a lawyer. We hope these tips will make the learning of tough lessons easier and reduce the number of rookie mistakes you make.

Don’t be afraid to ask and accept help. There are many people around you who have been doing the job longer than you and know things you still need to learn. Ask for help and allow them to help you. You don’t need to know everything all the time.

Never say it can’t be done. Your answer to a question or request should never be ‘no, you can’t. Instead, you should answer something like ‘ok, let’s find a way’ or ‘yes, let’s figure out how you can do that’.

Return phone calls as soon as possible. Being a lawyer is a fast-paced job and you will rarely be doing nothing. Make sure to return phone calls promptly as you never know when it is an emergency or important information pertaining to something you’re working on.

Paying your dues is inevitable. You may not like starting at the bottom, but that is where everyone starts. You may feel the work you’re given is beneath you, but it is part of what you need to do to get to the good stuff. Making coffee, having good ideas that other take credit for, and generally being an errand boy will get you to the top in good time.

Getting the facts is your job. Getting facts and doing research is a very big part of being a lawyer. It is your job to find the facts and information that is needed regardless of whether people want to give them to you or not. You will have to find a way to get those answers no matter what.

Under-promise and over-deliver. This is true in any job, but especially so for lawyers. Being realistic, but hopeful can be difficult, but it is often what your clients need. Never make promises you know you can’t keep and never fail to deliver what you promise.

Always be early for appointments. This shows that you are professional, timely and that the other person is important. If you are running late, call ahead and let them know you are on your way. This shows respect and professionalism that will win you a lot of points.

Find the big picture first. Lawyers work through a lot of information and need to see a lot of pictures, big and small. The most effective strategy is to see the big picture and then focus on the little pieces. Building the picture from little pieces can sometimes seem and be impossible.

Always pay attention to how you interact with people and treat them with respect. If you start your career as some that are reliable, sharp, and creative, you are building a solid foundation for future success.

5 of the Top Lawyers of All Time

No matter what people think of lawyers and how many jokes they make about them, they will always be needed. Lawyers help shape the laws that rule a country and they are a key part of making countries run properly. A lawyer can either work to your advantage or against it, depending on which side of the law you are on. Some lawyers stand out in the profession and are known across the world. These guys are the ones that have made history and the ones you don’t want to be your opposing counsel.

The top lawyers of all time include the following people:


1. Joe Jamail – Joe Jamail is a billionaire thanks to his success in the courtroom with several high-profile cases. He has been nicknamed the ‘King of Torts’ and won the case of Pennzoil vs. Texaco and walked away with $335 million dollars. The $10.5 billion verdict that was a result, in that case, is the biggest that a jury has ever awarded. No matter the fact that he is known as abrasive, rude, and vulgar, he is one of the best lawyers of all time.


2. Abraham Lincoln – Most of the US presidents in history were lawyers before they were elected into office. Abraham Lincoln is also known as ‘Honest Abe’ by his clients because of how he treated them. He was the first American president to hold a patent and was involved in many important cases. He was truly one of the greatest presidents ever.


3. John Adams – Sticking with the presidents, we also add John Adams, the second president of the US, to our list. He was also a founding father and a well-respected lawyer who defended soldiers accused of taking part in the Boston Massacre. He cleared the names of 6 of the soldiers and got two charged with manslaughter instead of murder. He was one of the most influential people in history and his work had many positive effects on business and areas of importance.


4. Johnnie Cochran – The name is well-known in America and everywhere else in the world. Johnnie Cochrane was known to fight for the underdog and worked a lot with clients who were victims of police brutality. His best-known case is probably the OJ Simpson trial where he became famous for the words ‘If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit’. He also represented many other famous people like Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur, and Sean Combs.


5. Mary Jo White – The now chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is feared in courts across the country. No lawyer or attorney wishes to face this powerful lawyer in court because they know they will get whipped. Mary Jo White is a well-respected and very successful lawyer who is often called upon by the Attorney General to investigate high-profile cases.

There have been many other powerful and well-known lawyers in the world and there will be many more. The lawyers on this list made history and some of them are still feared today. You don’t want any of the lawyers on this list to be against you.

Dealing With The Complexities of Personal Injury Claims

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