5 Ways to Know if a Lawyer Is Legit
In order to entrust your case with a lawyer, you should first ensure that he is legitimate and licensed.
If you want to find a lawyer that will increase your chances of winning your case, it is essential that you do ample research. This includes investigating how often they win, how they work, and if others have had favorable experiences working with this particular lawyer in the past.
It’s important to do your research before hiring a lawyer. You can’t just take their word for it that they’re legit. Here are five ways to check if a lawyer is licensed in the state you’re looking for:
1. Make Sure They’ve Passed the Bar
Check to see if your lawyer is licensed in the state you need them to practice law. This might seem like an obvious point, but it is important nonetheless. A legal assistant or someone who is studying for the Bar exam has the potential to be a great lawyer – just not right now.
The lawyer you need today must have a license from each state in which they want to practice law. For example, an excellent lawyer in Oklahoma couldn’t try your case in Texas unless the lawyer also had a license from Texas.
You can quickly and easily check if a lawyer in Texas has a current license with the Texas State Bar Association by using this website. Simply type in the name of the lawyer and their law firm, and you will be able to see if they are licensed. Search results also include:
- The name of the lawyer
- The size of the company
- Their forte
- The lawyer’s alma mater and when they completed their degree
To be a licensed lawyer in Texas, you must have a bar certificate of good standing. This “good standing” is essential for the next step in becoming a lawyer.
2. Check for Grievances
Even if a lawyer is licensed, that does not mean they are automatically good. Check to see if there have been any complaints against them.
The State Bar of Texas website also reports any complaints filed against a lawyer. People can file a complaint if they feel that the lawyer has behaved unethically.
When a lawyer receives a misconduct grievance:
- The State Bar investigates complaints.
- If the grievance has no grounds, the Bar will not take any further disciplinary action against the lawyer and will instead dismiss the grievance.
- If the Bar adjudicates the grievance and finds it to be valid, then the lawyer can face disciplinary action.
If you see that your lawyer has been disciplined, it’s important to research why. There are different types of discipline, ranging from a formal warning to being removed from the practice altogether.
The Bar can choose to suspend or disbar a lawyer in more serious cases of misconduct.
It’s worth taking into account that information when hiring a lawyer, although keep in mind that not every grievance or disciplinary action implies that the lawyer is bad. Lawyers who are in good standing usually adhere to the code of ethics and conduct themselves professionally.
3. Google For Information
Using the following tips, you can learn how to pick a qualified and reputable lawyer.
Start by finding someone who is licensed and in good standing with their Bar association. Then, run a Google search for their name and see what information pops up about cases they’ve worked on as well as reviews from former or current clients.
Finally, take a look at the law firm’s website and read through any client reviews that are available. If your lawyer’s name appears in news stories, take note. Watch videos of public statements and follow links to learn more about cases and how they were handled. This will give you a good idea of what to expect from your lawyer.
4. Confirm The Info
First, check to see if the information you found about the lawyer on the Texas State Bar website matches what you found through a Google search. If it does, check to see if all of the information on both websites match. Finally, ask around to see if anyone you know has heard of this lawyer before making a final decision.
Use different sources to confirm the information you have before hiring a lawyer.
- When searching for your lawyer online, be sure to check for different spellings of their name. Consult with the lawyer if any discrepancies arise, and be sure to use different variations of the lawyer’s name when you search for their license through the State Bar.
- Prior to going to law school, make sure that the information you have regarding the institution and its licensing is accurate.
- Make sure to double-check any awards or accolades an attorney claims on their website. If it seems fake, there’s a chance it actually is.
Although it may not seem like a big deal, inconsistencies in how a lawyer spells their name or different client testimonies can be red flags. Make sure to do your research on the lawyer you’re thinking of working with to confirm they are who they say they are.
5. Ask Around
Sometimes the best way to choose a lawyer is by recommendations since they have already been vetted. Furthermore, check if they have a license and rate of winning cases.
Considering reviews from friends, family, and others close to you can give a more holistic understanding of what it would be like to work with a specific lawyer.
Although some lawyers may have an excellent online presence or look good on paper, this does not mean they will be the right fit for you. If they are difficult to work with or already have too many cases, it might be best to choose someone else.
Edward Law Group is a firm for Criminal Defense & Personal Injury:
Before you hire any lawyer, do your research to ensure they are qualified. If you live in the Houston area and need a Texas-licensed lawyer for criminal defense or personal injury, Edward Law Group is the answer.