1) Get started. Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start. Make a phone call to a lawyer, send an e-mail to an attorney, or search for lawyers on Google. Lawyers.com is an excellent place to start your search. Once you find a lawyer you are considering, check out their profile on the State Bar of Texas website to make sure they haven’t gotten themselves into trouble.
2) Don’t hurry. Don’t waste time getting a lawyer, but make sure that you are comfortable with your decision. Picking a lawyer is a very important decision. If a lawyer makes you feel rushed, don’t feel bad about walking away.
3) Make sure your lawyer has experience. Don’t let a lawyer get his experience at your expense.
4) Pick a lawyer that focuses on the area of law with which you need help. You wouldn’t pick a foot doctor to operate on your ears. It is the same thing with an attorney. Sex crimes, white collar crimes, real estate, immigration by investment, class actions and civil lawsuits all have unique caselaw that an experienced attorney knows.
5) Get a trial lawyer. Even if your case is probably going to settle out of court, having a real trial lawyer is a huge advantage. Other attorneys know which attorneys can and will take their cases to a jury and which attorneys are bluffing and will eventually take whatever they are offered by the other side’s attorney or a prosecutor. In San Antonio, most top trial attorneys are members of the San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association. You can’t just pay money and join. The selection process is strict. Stephen Foster is a proud member of the San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association. Stephen Foster is also a member of the Texas Trial Lawyer Association, which has a similar selection criteria.
6) Be open and honest with your lawyer. The more your lawyer knows about your case (good and bad) the more the lawyer can prepare.
7) Spend a few minutes writing down a few details (names and phone numbers of people involved and a brief description of what happened) for your attorney. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or typed, but giving your attorney somewhere to start is always appreciated.
8) Interview attorneys until you find one you trust. I spend a long time interviewing people that want to work for me. You should do the same when choosing a lawyer.
9) Pick an attorney that listens . . . not just talks. In order to represent you, your lawyer needs to know what you want, what you don’t care about, etc. If a lawyer doesn’t listen, he won’t be able to give you what you want, need and deserve.
10) Pick an attorney that cares. Your case is the most important case in the world to you. Why would anyone pick a lawyer that didn’t understand that?