There are many ways to find a lawyer. Some say the best way to find a lawyer is word of mouth. However, many people don’t know anyone who has needed the services of a personal injury attorney. In that case, people may not know where to turn. Of course, there are lots of online attorney review web sites. However, not all online attorney review web sites are equal. Some ranking sites allow attorneys complete control of their rankings. Others, like Avvo, rank attorneys based on a number of factors, including some the lawyers have no control over, and is a good place to start.
Avvo ranks their attorneys based on several different factors. First, Avvo considers whether an attorney has had disciplinary action by the bar association. Second, Avvo considers an attorney’s experience. Finally, Avvo considers industry recognition. This includes things like publications, speaking engagements and the like.
Additionally, Avvo has two ratings features. The first rating feature allows other lawyers to rate each other. Lawyers are not required to rate each other. Consequently, a lawyer recommendation has some value.
The second rating feature allows past or current clients to rate the lawyer. Lawyers have no control over this feature. They can respond, but they cannot get a negative comment removed from the site. While you should expect some disappointed clients to grumble, client reviews should show a pattern. When you see a series of positive reviews, take this as a good sign.
Interviewing an Attorney
Avvo is a good starting place for determining whether an attorney might be a good fit for a given situation. However, there is no substitute for an in-person meeting. As an injured party, you are looking for a lawyer who knows what they are doing. But you also want a lawyer who you can work with. The American Bar Association (ABA) states, “the first qualification is that you must feel comfortable enough to tell him or her, honestly and completely, all the facts necessary to resolve your problem.”
The only way to know whether you feel comfortable with an attorney is to meet with them in person. Attorneys understand you are looking for the attorney that best fits your needs. You can treat your first meeting as a job interview. You are encouraged to take some time to think about what is most important to you. Some things many people find important when hiring a personal injury attorney include the following:
- Someone who makes house calls;
- Someone who is available on weekends;
- A lawyer with support staff to assist in the case;
- An attorney who has ties to the community;
- An attorney recognized by their peers;
- Significant past experience;
- A history of settlements and trials on behalf of other injured people;
- Someone who treats them like a person, not a number;
- Someone who is easy to talk to; and
- A person they can trust.
Consider The O’Brien Firm
If you have been injured, please consider The O’Brien Firm. We are happy to come to you – at your home or at the hospital – to talk to you about your case. We also want to talk with you about your particular situation, including your family, your immediate needs, and your long-term concerns. At The O’Brien Firm, we understand each case is different, and every client is special. We value your business. We never charge a fee unless we win your case.