You might spend most of your life hoping never to need a lawyer, but when the big things happen – such as buying a house, getting married or (as happens to all of us eventually) dying – you need to know that there’s somebody you can trust to advise you on the best way to proceed (or to prepare in advance, in the case of wills and probate).
Here are 10 of the best ways to choose a lawyer – they might not all apply directly to you or your situation, but at one time or another they’re all likely to play a part in people’s selection of solicitor.
This is a much wider term than it might first appear to be; reputation isn’t just about word of mouth (we’ll come to that later), but encompasses everything from the longevity of the company to its standing in the local community.
We’ve been around for a while – since 1897, in fact – and we’ve seen the legal landscape change, and passed down literally generations of expertise to our present-day team.
Awards ceremonies aren’t just back-slapping for those in the legal community – they are also a legitimate chance to recognise those who excel in the profession.
With several awards under our belt – even when we may technically have been batting above our weight – we’re not ashamed to admit that we’re proud of the recognition we’ve received from our peers in recent times.
It goes without saying that expertise is important – and the only reason we haven’t saved it for last, is simply that any qualified lawyer should have the technical knowledge needed to handle your case, or they shouldn’t be in the profession.
However, our specialist teams bring years of experience to the table too, and that’s something you can’t learn at university.
We work best when we work together – and that’s why at EHL, we always aim to keep the lines of communication clear and open between our team members, and with you as our client.
This helps to let you know what the situation is regarding your case, relieving some of the stress that you might otherwise experience.
5. Community Presence
There’s nothing wrong with small firms – we were one once too – but you need to be able to work with an organisation that is present in your local community, if you ever intend to visit them face to face.
Our solicitors in Loughborough, Leicester and Market Harborough meet regularly with many of our clients, when an in-person meeting seems appropriate, and we complement this with online services for those who might find it harder to get to us in person.
You not only need a firm of solicitors who offer the service that you want; you also need to know that they consider it to be a core part of their business.
We are neither a business law firm that also offers family law services, nor the other way around; we aim to be a full-service firm where each of those areas, and the other types of case that we handle beside them, are equally important to us, just as they are to our clients.
It’s not enough simply to have been around for a while; you should be looking for a firm with a demonstrable track record.
Our legacy over 115 years and more is one of continued success, with several major case wins achieved for our modern-day clients to keep this pattern going – hopefully making us into a compelling option for new clients who need legal advice.
We’re proud of our heritage, but we also try to move with the times, launching new services to meet demand – such as our fixed-fee online legal services via The Law Shop.
The legal landscape as a whole changes each time a new ruling is made in court, so it’s essential to work with a firm that is prepared to put in the leg work to keep up with this, rather than resting on their laurels.
All other things being equal, you might simply want to choose a lawyer who’s willing to ‘go the extra mile’ in support of their local community.
Our regular charitable efforts allow us to give something back – and in 2013 that has meant even more to us than usual, as our fundraising has been in memory of a former colleague – but even when we don’t have such a direct link with the charity work we do, we’re always looking for new ways to raise funds for worthy causes.
10. Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is still the best way to find a trustworthy lawyer, just as it’s still many people’s way to find a good accountant, electrician or mechanic.
At EHL we pride ourselves on our customer satisfaction levels, and are confident that, in the vast majority of cases, our clients would recommend us to others – so if you heard about us from a friend, do let us know!
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The information provided in all of our blogs reflects only a narrative of some elements to consider on the topic. The blogs do not contain considered legal advice and should not be relied upon as advice. Please see our website terms and conditions for full details of our disclaimer. If you are interested in obtaining advice, please contact one of our lawyers who will be happy and able to advise you on your own particular circumstances.