How do I find a WA Lawyer?
In Washington state, a variety of lawyers are available to help you with any particular legal needs that you may have. You will need a WA lawyer if you are facing the following circumstances:
- You have been injured by a resident of Washington or the event that caused your injury occurred in Washington.
- Another party has filed a lawsuit against you in the state of Washington or you are facing criminal charges.
- Washington law is a part of your legal problem, or you need help with a state agency or organization connected to the state of Washington.
When browsing through Washington lawyers, it is important that you find one with an expertise in the field of law in which you need help.
What to tell your lawyer
It will be important that you discuss your case with any prospective lawyer in as much detail as you can provide. The more in depth you can get with the details, the better your lawyer can evaluate your case. Any contact with opposing counsel, insurance companies, government agencies, or anything else involving your case should be brought to your lawyer's attention. Your Washington lawyer can help you only when the information they are provided is enough to make rational decisions on important issues.
Where to look for an WA Lawyer
WA lawyers will often advertise throughout the state using many different forms of communication, including television ads, radio broadcasts, mailers, or even billboards. Also available are lawyer listings and recommendations from friends and family. While all of these sources are important for providing you with the names and locations of local WA lawyers, you should not rely on them when basing your decision. You should conduct some form of research into the background and experiences of any prospective lawyer before hiring them to represent you.
This website can be used as a valuable tool when looking for a WA lawyer. Utilize the search function at the top of the page to find an compare lawyers in the area and field of law that you require.
Do I need a specialist?
Seeking a WA lawyer will mean that you need a specialist in the laws of Washington and in the area of the law in which you need legal help. Some areas of the law require more specific training and experience than others. For example, uncontested divorces can be done by most general practitioners, while complicated medical malpractice cases should only be tried by experienced and skilled medical malpractice lawyer.
Preparing for an appointment
When you meet with a WA lawyer, ensure that you bring all documents and papers that relate to your case. It may be necessary to bring medical documents, police reports, or court papers depending on the type of legal issues that you are facing. It will also be important that you are able to inform you lawyer of the specific events and facts of your case. Be prepared to give detailed accounts including times, names, dates, and places. If you are unsure of any information, make sure to tell this to your lawyer. Providing accurate and truthful to your lawyer will best serve you in your legal representation, even if you feel some information may harm your case.
Always have questions prepared before meeting with your lawyer. The answers to these questions can not only educate you but can also provide you with peace of mind about the uncertainty of the law.
Evaluating Experience & Education
All WA lawyers must graduate from an accredited law school and must pass the Washington State bar examination. They also must meet specific character and fitness qualifications and stay up to date with bar memberships. While these are the minimal requirements for a lawyer in the state of Washington, it is important that you search for a lawyer that has the experience and skills to properly represent you or give you helpful advice in your legal matter. Ask a lawyer about past cases that are similar to yours and whether the lawyer has been successful in helping resolve those cases.
While advertisements may promise great results, remember that there is never a guarantee for victory in the law, but hiring a competent and experienced lawyer will help put you in the best position to achieve your legal goals.
Personality & Values
You should seek a WA lawyer with a strong work ethic, good organizational skills, and extensive experience working in the state of Washington. You also want to ensure that you are hiring a trustworthy and ethical lawyer who will look out for your best interests. The best way to determine this is by checking with the Washington State Bar Association to ensure that there are no ethical violations or consumer complaints against the lawyer in the state.
WA lawyers will have strong connections to the court systems and to other professionals in their field. They will often have a network of experts to advise them on technical aspects certain cases or a strong office support team. Be wary of lawyers that work on cases and handle all of their legal matters without the help of a secretary or assistant.
Rates, Fees & Retainers
Fees and rates will vary from each WA lawyer. It will highly depend on the type of lawyer, the type of legal issue you have, and the region of Washington that your case will be located.
A contingency fee is payment to the lawyer made only when they successfully win an award at trial or agree to a settlement in favor of their client. If there is no recovery, a contingency fee yields the lawyer no fees. Typically, the agreement will require between 30% and 40% of the total award will be paid to the lawyer.
An hourly or flat fee requires the client to pay a one time fee for a specific legal job or to pay based upon an agreed hourly rate. The hourly rate can often balloon into very large fees if the legal matter goes for a long time or requires many hours of work to complete.
Interviewing your attorney
Consider the following when speaking with a WA lawyer:
Make sure you understand the fees and rates that will be paid to the lawyer. If you do not understand any expenses, ask your lawyer and make sure you clear them up before work is done on your case.
Check into the lawyers experiences, prior cases, and background. It may be helpful to ask other in the community about them, ask other lawyers, or conduct research on the internet to find out information that pertains to your lawyer.
Always know how to contact your lawyer. You will need to know when he or she is available to speak with you. You will need to notify your lawyer of any changes in your circumstances and your lawyer will need to keep you updated on the status of your case.