We Are Not Your (Personal) Attorneys
The Legal Services Division provides legal counsel to the District only. We cannot assist you with your personal legal problems even if those issues involve the District.
While we cannot provide you with legal advice, we can tell you about how you go about finding and selecting an attorney to represent you.
Both the Arizona State Bar and the Maricopa County Bar have lawyer referral services. See, www.azbar.org and www.maricopabar.org. Moreover, the Arizona State Bar’s website allows you to find attorneys by specialty and location. Of course, an additional way to find an attorney is by way of an attorney referral from family or friends who have successfully used an attorney’s services. Finally, many attorneys now advertise their services in the print media, on the television, or on the Internet.
However, finding an attorney is only half the battle. The other half is selecting an attorney. Not all attorneys are created equal. Some are better attorneys because of their skill and devotion to the cases they are handling.
The rule of thumb is to interview at least three attorneys before making a selection. Your goal is to find an attorney, with whom you are compatible, who can competently represent you at a price you can afford. There are numerous websites on the Internet which discuss the questions you should ask before hiring an attorney. One excellent one is law.enotes.com/everyday-law-encyclopedia/how-find-an-attorney.
Some of the questions that should be asked include:
- How many years have you practiced law?
- In the last five years what percentage of your cases have involved in the legal specialty applicable to my case?
- Have any bar complaints been lodged against you in the last five years? Why? How was the complaint resolved? [You can check whether an attorney has been disciplined by the State Bar on the Bar’s website.]
- How and what do you charge for your services?
- May I have a copy of your agreement for legal services now for me to take home to review?
- Do you have a list of names and telephone numbers of some of your past clients for me to take home so that I can call each of them for their critiques of your legal services?
Good luck in finding and selecting an attorney.
in the Summer 2007 Edition of In Brief