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Choosing a Lawyer

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Find the Best Solicitor

Choosing the right lawyer or solicitor can take time, and it's always best to shop around rather than simply opt for the best or cheapest professionals around. Many people draw up a shortlist of around four or five different law firms before they do come to a decision, and it can be wise to ask a number of questions to each potential solicitor before making your final choice. You do need to opt for someone that you feel comfortable with, as you'll be working with them closely for a great deal of time.

Choosing a Specialist

You should choose a solicitor that has experience relevant to your case. For instance, if you're planning a divorce you should look for a good family lawyer. There are many solicitors that claim to specialise in a diverse range of areas, but you might find it better to approach someone that is focussed firmly one field, as getting to grips with just one area and the ever-changing legislation attached to it can be time-consuming enough. You should make sure that your chosen lawyer is part of a credible recognised network or an accreditation scheme, and chances are that you'll be keen to opt for someone that is based near to you if you'll need to speak to them on a face-to-face basis regularly. They should keep themselves up to date with the very latest legal news.

Staying Updated

Some of the most common fields that lawyers specialise in include family law, employment law, clinical negligence and immigration. The Solicitor's Regulation Authority is an independent regulatory body founded by the Law Society and sets out the Code of Conduct for the firms and solicitors that it regulates. It was set up to ensure that firms operate with integrity and in the best interests of their clients at all times. Firms that fail to adhere to what the SRA expects of them face being penalised. These include issuing warnings, controlling how firms practice and even closing firms if they breach their Code of Conduct. When it comes to compliance new rules are being put in place all the time, and SRA news headlines have regularly featured stories about lawyers who failed to adhere to regulations or a regulation new to them. Solicitors Journal is always a good news source for the latest information and news on regulations and the SRA

Do Your Research

You should find out what the work is going to cost before you sign up for anything and if you do have any special needs or disabilities, you should talk about how these will be addressed. You should find out whether they conduct legal aid work if necessary. Some people choose lawyers after receiving recommendations from friends and family members, or look online, though it is worth remembering that review sites do tend to attract more people with something negative to say rather those with positive things to report. You can check a firm's regulatory record to see if they have breached a Code of Conduct in the past. Lawyers who don't follow regulations could cause you a great deal of trouble and could lead to you losing a case instead of winning it, so it's best to opt for services that are known for their compliance.

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MLA 2017 18 Shortlisted 2