Finding The Ideal Legal Counsel For Your Needs

Updated January 16, 2024
14 min read
Finding The Ideal Legal Counsel For Your Needs

So you're in the market for legal counsel! Let's begin with a reality check. Expect to be somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer range of legal services available.

The United States, consisting of only 5% of the world's population, houses 70% of its lawyers. As a result, the United States boasts an impressive attorney-to-citizen ratio of one lawyer for every 200 citizens. Yet a flip side to this fact is that identifying the most suitable attorney for your distinct legal requirements can resemble searching for a needle in a haystack. You require an accomplished attorney who can effectively advocate for your interest in court.


Strategy, in such cases, plays a pivotal role. Occasionally, an attorney able to craft an exceptional strategy for an ostensibly weak case proves to be a superior choice to an attorney who loses a strong case owing to inadequate preparation and planning. Without a talented attorney with an effective strategic plan for your case, you may find yourself on the losing side, an outcome that could have dire consequences. 

Have you considered your strategy for attorney selection? Most often, the ideal lawyer is secured through referrals or word-of-mouth. Your best attorney hire might be just around the corner, following a strategy we outline for you in this article. Are you keen on discovering how to select the best lawyer for legal assistance? Read on to gain comprehensive insights.

Finding a Competent Attorney: Crucial Tips

People seek legal counsel for many reasons. Identifying the best-suited attorney to manage and win your case efficiently can be daunting, especially when dealing with a complex situation.

Individuals often need to pay more attention to asking basic yet critical questions that could assist in determining which attorney is the optimal choice. The ideal strategy to evade the intricate web of legal intricacies involves honing your ability to discern the best attorney to hire.

Recognize Your Issue and Select a Specialist

Remember to pause and assess the exact problem you’re confronted with. Understanding your specific issue allows you to sift through lawyers until you narrow down those who specialize in your area of concern. This tip is crucial, as diverse legal issues demand specific specialties and subspecialties. So, before you commence dialing numbers for various lawyers, securing a preliminary list of prospective attorneys well-suited to handle your issue makes sense. 


A strong defense can be ensured only with the aid of an expert attorney. The most appropriate attorney for your legal issue is typically a specialist well-versed in all extant legal changes and amendments relevant to your case.

Depending on your distinct needs, you might require a lawyer specializing in any of the following legal domains:

  1. Criminal law.

  2. Corporate law.

  3. Family law.

  4. Intellectual property law.

  5. Personal injury law.

  6. Real estate law.

  7. Employment law.

  8. Immigration law.

  9. Environmental law.

  10. Tax law.

Out of almost one million lawyers in the US, fewer than 50,000 possess expertise in divorce cases to provide substantial aid to an emerging entrepreneur or someone going through a divorce. As such, engaging a specialist with in-depth knowledge in your area is crucial. Due to their extensive experience and expertise, specialists provide more bang for your buck. Additionally, the potentially decisive edge offered by a specialist lawyer in fully understanding your legal situation far outweighs what general lawyers might bring to the table.

Reconfirming an Attorney's Relevant Experience

As mentioned, a surefire way to assess whether an attorney is ideal for your legal needs is by verifying their relevant experience and track record in dealing with your specific legal matter. Aspects that delineate a lawyer’s experience can include their service duration, regional expertise, the number of specialized cases they have handled, and the precedence of prior results.

If your prospective attorney has previously won cases for clients confronting similar issues as yours, you can be confident of receiving excellent legal representation. Other crucial factors include familiarity with the adversaries and personalities related to the case, cumulative wisdom, and perspective to evaluate risks and develop winning strategies specific to a particular issue.

An attribute typical of attorneys optimally suited for your case is their confidence in guiding you through the complexities of the legal process. 


A law firm's website can provide some insight into its track record, the values of its lawyers, its areas of expertise, and legal experience. Ideally, your lawyer's website will provide sufficient confidence that they are the best match for your chosen brief, following which you can engage their services. 

Ensuring Attorney Is an Effective Communicator

The ideal attorney possesses an impressive ability to communicate, given that communication ability with their clients is integral to their expertise in handling cases. They must be skilled in communicating with you, their adversaries, and those adjudicating their case.

A proactive attorney, anticipating your queries and keeping you updated with the progress of your case, is preferable. An optimal attorney in legal proceedings may advise you to make a particular decision or take a specific action. They should elaborate on all available options and illustrate the merits and demerits of each potential course of action. So, when hiring an attorney, ascertain that they can communicate clearly and effectively.

Choose a Highly Professional Attorney

When determining if a lawyer is ideally suited to your legal needs, remember that their suitability is not determined solely by their personality.

It also relies heavily on professionalism, differentiating the ideal lawyer from the crowd. Here's a list of professional traits that are indicative of an experienced attorney:

  • Zealously safeguards your interests.

  • Arrives punctually to meetings, equipped with necessary preparation.

  • Respond promptly to your telephone calls and emails.

  • Maintains a neat appearance and projects a successful image.

  • Provide prompt follow-up as warranted by the case.

  • Advises on alternative dispute resolution.

  • Respect everyone irrespective of their role, status, or position.

  • Displays suitable etiquette in all situations.

  • Adheres to all applicable laws and ethical canons.

  • Avoids behavior that might indicate impropriety.

The traits of professionalism are critical markers of an attorney's competence. Be observant, demanding, and discerning, and eventually, the lawyer best suited for your case — one who embodies these high professional standards — will undoubtedly stand out from the rest.

Deciding on Hiring a Local or a National Attorney

There are various approaches to finding the optimal attorney for your case. Nevertheless, grounding your decision-making in certain key factors can be fruitful. Typically, the nature and complexity of your legal issue should be your first consideration.

Local experts usually handle matters such as real estate, for example, Real Estate Purchase & Sale Agreements or workers' compensation, as they are well-versed with regional laws and procedures and are better acquainted with area-specific judicial and administrative authorities.

However, national experts are ideal for wage and hour disputes, labor law, and other complex federal law issues.

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Obtaining References From Previous Clients

Referrals are a shortcut to successful attorney hiring. Although the tips provided in this post can streamline your search for the best-suited attorney, the challenge remains.

Credibility is often best gauged from word-of-mouth referrals. You gain valuable insight without first engaging their services by contacting the attorney’s previous clients and hearing about their personal experiences working with them. This will give you a clearer perspective on whether the attorney is as competent as they claim and if they would be a good fit for you.

Given the potential that attorneys might only reveal their most favorable references and reviews, it's wise to delve further. Look at the attorney’s profile on platforms like Facebook and Google reviews to decide if you would entrust your case to them.

How To Kick-Start Your Search for the Perfect Attorney

If you’re planning to hire an attorney, there are several steps you can take.

  1. Contact your local bar association for qualified attorneys in your area.

  2. Review online listings of attorneys.

  3. List potential attorneys based on your area research.

  4. Review each attorney’s website.

Following these steps, narrow your list to a few potential options, and then, establish initial consultation meetings to understand each attorney's approach better. Feel free to ask questions pertinent to your case, and choose the attorney who aligns best with your needs and values. 

To Wrap It Up

Now that we’ve armed you with key strategies to expedite your search for the ideal attorney for your case remember that attorney-client relationships are interactive — not a mere hand-off of responsibilities.

Ensure you equip your attorney with all the facts about your case (including positives and negatives), supply requisite documents, and ensure your presence in court when required. 

If your lawyer repeatedly misses court hearings, overlooks critical filings, refrains from providing obligatory updates on your case, avoids proper communication, or proves dishonesty, it may be time to dismiss them.

In conclusion, the golden rule of attorney-client relationships is if an attorney is adeptly suited to your legal requirements, they specialize in similar cases to yours. Don't rush the process. Take your time to consider every facet of your case, consult an experienced attorney, and then finalize the agreement for the services of a lawyer who meets your distinct needs.

Article by
Marina Shepelsky
Shepelsky Law Group

Marina Shepelsky is an award-winning immigration and family law attorney and the CEO and founder of Shepelsky Law Group. Marina has been licensed as an attorney in New Jersey since 2002 and in New York State since 2003. Licensed in the 2 highest level federal appeals courts – Eastern District and Southern Districts of New York. Admitted in all 58 Immigration Courts in the United States and the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA).