How to Know a Lawyer Is Legitimate
There are thousands of lawyers in the United States, most of which look like they’re acting in their clients’ best interests at a surface level.
Your lawyer might also look the part with an expensive suit and a well-established business location. However, a lawyer can look respected and legitimate, but that doesn’t mean they are. Gain confidence in your hiring decision by looking for the following essential details.
A Professional Website
A professional website can say a lot about a lawyer or law firm. Most importantly, look for ‘https’ at the front of their website, indicating that the website has a security certificate.
If you see a padlock, click it to reveal information about a secure connection and to confirm that details, like credit card numbers and passwords, are kept private during your site visit. No matter a lawyer’s area of expertise, the most reputable lawyers don’t skimp when it comes to your online security and privacy.
Third-Party Review Sites
Lawyers and law firms can control negative press on their own websites. They can simply publish the testimonials that paint them in a positive light and ignore the ones that don’t. However, they don’t have any control over what is said about them on third-party websites, especially when what people say are their own experiences.
If you’re unsure about a law firm’s legitimacy, experience, or reputation, check out review websites with comments and testimonials from real clients. You might then gain insight into their positive and negative attributes before making a hiring decision.
Bar Association Profile
A lawyer can say they are legally licensed to practice law in your state, but you don’t have to take their word for it. If you’re worried about your lawyer’s legitimacy, look for their name on your state bar association’s website. If a lawyer is licensed to practice law in a specific state, they will have their basic information included on the website, including:
- State bar number
- The firm they work for
- Contact information
- Law school location and graduation date
- Public disciplinary history
Friends and Family
A lawyer can be licensed to practice law and have a professional-looking website, but that doesn’t mean people they have represented in the past would hire them again. Be more confident in your hiring decision by talking to friends, family members, and acquaintances who might have previously required legal services. They might be more than happy to recommend lawyers they’ve used in the past, especially if they’ve had a positive outcome in their cases.
Search Engine Results
You can’t believe everything you read on the internet, but don’t be afraid to type your preferred lawyer’s name into a search engine and see what comes up. You might be able to read articles about high-profile cases they’ve been involved in, awards they’ve received, and even potential disciplinary action. The more you know about your lawyer, the more confidence you might have to hire them.
Not all lawyers will be suitable for your needs, nor will all lawyers be highly regarded or respected in the legal profession. You might improve your chances of hiring a legitimate and experienced lawyer by taking some of these actions above.