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Guide to Finding Manhattan Lawyer

Guide to Finding Manhattan Lawyer

What is a Manhattan lawyer?
A Manhattan lawyer is an attorney, barred in the State of New York, who represents clients in criminal and civil actions in the City of New York in County of New York, New York.  Manhattan lawyers practice in all areas of litigation.  Civil Manhattan lawyers practice for plaintiffs and defendants in areas including personal injury, contracts, real estate, landlord/tenant, wills and trusts, corporate law and many others.  Criminal Manhattan Lawyers focus their practices primarily on defendant’s who have been accused of misdemeanors, felonies, and traffic violations.
Manhattan lawyers must be barred in the State of New York, be in good standing and meet the disciplinary requirements of the New York Bar Association.  In order to be a Manhattan lawyer an individual must pass the New York Bar Exam. The New York Bar Exam is a two day examination. The first day consists of 6 essay questions.   Day 2 of the New York Bar Exam consists of the Multi State Bar Exam, or MBE, a nationwide multiple choice examination administered by the National Bar Association.   In addition, an applicant must take the MPRE and get a passing score of 85.  The passing rate for the New York Bar Exam is around 77%.
Reporting Discipline about Manhattan Lawyers?
If you have had a problem with your Manhattan Lawyer, or you know of illegal or unethical actions taken by a Manhattan Lawyer, it is important that you report that matter to the New York State Unified Court System’s Attorney Grievance Committee.  The Attorney Grievance Committee will then review the complaint and determine whether to file an action against the lawyer.  There are 4 departments of the Attorney Grievance committee for all the counties in the State of New York.  If you have a complaint that you would like to file within the counties of New York and the Bronx then you should file your complaint with the Department Disciplinary Committee for the First Department at:
61 Broadway, 2nd floor
New York, New York 10006
If you would like to make a complaint involving a New York lawyer then you should notify the New York Department Disciplinary Committee for the First District at (212) 401-0800.  You may also complete the Complaint From, found on www.courts.states.ny.us. or write a letter and mail to: 
Departmental Disciplinary Committee
Supreme Court, Appellate Division
First Judicial Department
61 Broadway, 2nd floor
New York, New York 10006
(212) 401-0800
There are no formal requirements for filing a complaint but the complaint must be written and signed by you.  Include as much documentation as possible that concerns the illegal, or unethical, actions of the Manhattan lawyer. Upon receipt the complaint the Departmental Disciplinary Committee  will review the matter and inform you if any action will be commenced.
Why do I need a Manhattan lawyer?
Depending on your case you will need a Manhattan lawyer. Courts in the New York court system have their own rules of procedure that other lawyers, even in other parts of New York will not be aware of.   Manhattan lawyers will be knowlegeable of the filing deadlines, rules comprising the format of complaints and pleadings, and the particular rules of a specific court.
Where do I find a Manhattan lawyer?
Looking for Manhattan lawyers can be somewhat overwhelming. When this happens you should take advantage of Manhattan’s legal referral service.  There are two Manhattan lawyer referral services that are recommended by the New York State Supreme Court.  They are located at:
Association of the Bar of the State of New York
42 West 44th Street
New York, New York 10036
(212) 626-7373
New York County Lawyers Association
14 Vesey St.
New York, NY 10007
(212) 267-6646
Manhattan lawyers will charge a different number of fees.  In criminal actions your Manhattan criminal lawyer will usually charge a flat fee or hourly fee with a retainer involved.  A Manhattan personal injury lawyer will usually work on a contingency fee basis, while if your case is based on contract you will probably be charged based on an hourly rate.
What if I can’t afford a Manhattan lawyer?
If you are in need of Manhattan lawyers but you cannot afford representation then you may require the help of legal aide services in Manhattan.  Manhattan lawyers are required to volunteer a number of hours per year for pro bono services. You can look for resources for free legal aid through www.lawhelp.org.  By going to that site you will be given a list of legal aide services in Manhattan that may be contacted for help from Manhattan lawyers.   In order to take advantage of legal aide services an individual must have income below 125% of the national poverty level.
What questions should I ask a Manhattan Lawyer?
When you are interviewing Manhattan Lawyers about possible representation you should have a number of specific questions ready to ask, including:
Where did you go to law school?
Are you barred in the state of New York?
Have you ever been disciplined by any bar association?
How often do you handle cases like mine?
Will you be handling my case personally?
What do you see as the problem with my case?
What do you see as the result of this litigation?
Are you familiar with the court procedures and personnel in the filing jurisdiction?
How long have you been practicing in Manhattan?