Q How can I tell if my lawyer is doing a good job?
AThere are a number of ways you can check what progress your lawyer has made and evaluate how he is doing:
- 1. Check the public record. Active court cases are on public record, so you can check to see that your case has been filed and that the information seems correct and up to date with your lawyer's claims. New York State and many jurisdictions around the country now have the cases available online. If your jurisdiction is not online, you can go to the court house to look up your case.
- 2. Get the records. Ask your lawyer for a copy of your case so you can see what he or she has done.
- 3. Ask for a face-to-face meeting. A lawyer should be willing to fully discuss any questions or concerns you have.
- 4. Do online research. Check your lawyer on legal sites such as Avvo or Nolo, as well as on general sites like Google Places and Yelp! to see what other clients have to say. Search peer-review online databases such as Martindale.com to see comments and opinions from other lawyers.
- 5. Get another lawyer's opinion. If you have doubts about your lawyer, you can also meet with another lawyer and see what he has to say about your case. If at any time you want to change your lawyer, you are entitled to do this without being financially penalized. It is up to the lawyers to come to an agreement on how to split any fee that is owed if you win your case.
- 6. Make sure that any lawyer you're considering has adequate experience, not only in law, but also in the specific cases of your type. Have they published any reports or written articles and blogs? Check out their website.