If you’re in the construction business, you need to make sure you have a good lawyer on retainer. You never know when a legal issue will crop up, and having a lawyer standing by will let you get a jump on things. If you’re still looking for a lawyer, you don’t need to despair. Below are a few tips that will help you find a great attorney.
1- Ask the Right Questions
When you’re looking for an attorney, you need to know the right questions to ask. The wrong questions to ask are about how often the attorney wins – that’s not really relevant to your situation. Instead, you want to know how the attorney practices. Find out who would handle your business, how long that person has been practicing, and if he or she has real experience in construction law. Those questions will tell you more about how the lawyer will handle your case than any kind of win/loss record. You need to know facts, not just random statistics.
2- Check Out the Background
Another good way to find a good construction attorney is to check out his or her background. Has he or she ever actually worked in construction before? Has he or she worked with a firm the size of your own? The more experience he or she has in working with business like your own, the more likely he or she will be able to help you with your current legal problems.
3- Get a Referral
The best person to ask about a lawyer’s ability is someone who has worked with him or her before. If you know someone else in the construction business who has worked with an attorney, ask to get a referral. If he or she can’t help you, try talking to another attorney you trust. He or she might have connections to someone who handles construction business, and thus might be able to help you find a lawyer who will better fulfill your needs. As with most professional services, word of mouth is usually the best way to find a great attorney.
4- Ask About Fees
Once you’ve narrowed down your search, it’s often a good idea to talk about rates. While you might feel uncomfortable talking about money up front, it’s often the best way to figure out if a lawyer fits with your financial profile. Ask your questions early on about how you might be billed, any retainer costs, and other fees you might incur. If you can’t afford to work with this particular attorney, he or she might refer you on to someone with different rates. You should expect to spend money on a good attorney, but you shouldn’t have to break the bank.
5- Check With The Bar
It’s also a good idea to check with groups like the local Bar association or referral groups to learn a bit more about an attorney before you agree to work with him or her. These organizations are not only great for giving you realistic recommendations, but you can find out quite a bit about an attorney’s background through them. The Bar is especially useful for making sure that your attorney has a good legal reputation in the community. The last thing you want to deal with is an attorney who frequently finds himself or herself in trouble.
6- Use Your Gut
Finally, go with your gut. If you feel like you’re not working with the right attorney, it’s time for you to move on. While legal knowledge is always important, your relationship with a lawyer matters quite a bit. It’s perfectly acceptable to keep looking for a lawyer until you feel like you’ve made the right connection. It might not be the most scientific way to do things, but it’s probably one of the best choices you can make for your business. Sometimes, it’s just better to work with someone with whom you feel completely comfortable.
Finding a good lawyer who specializes in construction law can be difficult, but it is possible. Get recommendations, ask the right questions, and feel free to go with your gut to make the right choice. Once you have the right attorney, you’ll know that the legal aspects of your business are well looked after.