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Conflict Resolution Series: Tips for When You Can’t Find Resolution

Sometimes things get really bad and there’s no civil way to resolve a conflict. That’s where an attorney may come in. Attorneys resolve conflict by using the law and oftentimes representing conflicting parties before a judge - though that isn’t always necessary.

Choosing to use an attorney should be considered after other options have been exhausted or when swift action is needed to protect property or individuals from harm. Choosing an attorney may seem like a daunting task if you haven’t needed their services before. Here are some tips for finding the right attorney for your needs.

Check their specialty

What type of law does the attorney practice? There are many types of law, and attorneys generally specialize in a concentrated area. Be sure that you are approaching the right attorney for the right need.

Review their history

If you are using an attorney for a serious matter such as criminal defense, it is important to know how successful the attorney has been during their career. You can verify their standing with the BAR association and check to see what their rate of successful outcomes has been for their clients. Though it is important to know an attorney specializes in the field of law you need help with, it is more important to know how effective an attorney is.

Have a consultation

Most attorneys will offer free or low-cost consultations to see if there is a good fit for representation. Use this time to ask important questions and get a clear understanding of what it will cost to represent you and the attorney’s opinion on the likelihood you will prevail.

Tip: It might seem natural to ask opinions before choosing an attorney. Be careful that you don’t let an opinion sway you one way or the other. Many times, the dynamics surrounding cases can create unexpected outcomes. You may hear negative things about an attorney that are unfounded if the facts were truly on the table. Make your own judgements based on the attorney’s record and your consultation.

While it is true that you are the one looking for the attorney, bear in mind they are also discerning if you are an ideal client. There are things you can do to make sure you are an ideal client and are ready to participate in the proceedings. Here’s how:

Be organized

When you arrive for your consultation and throughout the process, be organized. Have documentation ready for review. Be efficient and speedy with any directions the attorney has for you. Doing your part to be organized will make the attorney’s job easier.

Leave emotions out of the room

You are likely very emotionally attached to the issue at hand. Leave the emotions outside of the attorney’s office. They are there to represent the facts and aren’t counselors. If you need help sorting out your feelings, consider seeing a therapist.

Be honest

An attorney can’t help you if you aren’t transparent. You must be willing to share all the details about your situation in order to be fully represented.

Don’t delay

If you seek the assistance of an attorney, there is an expectation that you are ready to take action. Any reluctance to follow attorney advice can jeopardize your case and your relationship with your attorney. Only seek their assistance when you know you are ready to get a resolution.

Seeking an attorney is a financial and emotional commitment. Do your part to find a good attorney and to be an effective client for them to represent. Both will make the situation easier and most effective.

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