Hiring an inexperienced criminal defense lawyer can land you in the exact situation you fear the most–being found guilty on the charges that are being brought against you, and facing that situation with hefty legal bills and ongoing headaches.
For that reason, we highly recommend taking your time to find the right lawyer. Before paying for a criminal defense lawyer, it’s important to consider all possible reputable candidates–interview them one by one, and make an informed decision.
To assist you with this crucial process, we’ve listed six questions that can help you choose the best criminal defense lawyer for your situation.
“How Much Experience Do You Have With Criminal Law?”
The longer a lawyer has been practicing criminal law, the more skilfully they can handle your case. In addition to years of experience, you should assess whether the lawyer has extensive experience with cases like yours and in your jurisdiction.
If you have a case in South Carolina, you’ll want a criminal defense attorney in Columbia that has experience in the county where your case is being heard.
“What Credentials Do You Have?”
Ask about the lawyer’s academic qualifications. A good criminal defense lawyer should:
- Hold a Juris Doctor degree from a top-ranking law school
- Have completed internships or externships in the legal field
- Have experience in moot court and trial advocacy programs
It’s a plus if the criminal defense attorney is committed to lifelong learning and is currently enrolled in Continuing Legal Education programs.
“Can You Share Some Testimonials and References From Previous Clients?”
Testimonials provide firsthand insights into a lawyer’s ability to deliver results and maintain positive client relationships. A good criminal defense lawyer will have testimonials ready to share and have posted them on their website or LinkedIn profile. They may also arrange for you to speak to previous clients directly.
On the other hand, an inexperienced or ineffective lawyer may simply refuse to comply with or ignore this request.
“Are You a Member of Any Professional Legal Organizations?”
A lawyer’s reputation fuels their career. Any dent in their reputation could lead to a loss of clients.
On that note, being part of esteemed legal organizations signifies a commitment to excellence. It demonstrates a lawyer’s dedication to upholding the highest standards of professionalism and ethics.
Check if they’re a part of legal associations like the American Bar Association and other state-specific associations. Membership in these organizations fosters networking, continuous learning, and the exchange of insights with peers. All of this contributes to enhancing a lawyer’s reputation and ultimately strengthens their ability to serve clients effectively.
“How Do You Address Client Dissatisfaction?”
How a lawyer manages clients who are unhappy speaks volumes about their service. Good lawyers will always be open to discussion, promise some sort of compensation in the case of a dissatisfied client, or will have another method of conflict resolution in place.
Asking the right questions will help you understand why criminal defense lawyers are so important if you land in hot water. As with any professional, you need to find one with the right experience, who is trustworthy, and is someone you are comfortable working with. That’s where Strom Law comes in!