Whether you’ve been involved in a car accident, are facing a dispute being lodged against you or you’re going through a divorce, you’ll need to find the right lawyer to handle your legal matter. The process of finding lawyers in Melbourne can be daunting, as there are many firms and professionals out there and not all of them will be able to produce the results or outcome you need. Fortunately, by being aware of a few simple things to keep in mind when searching for a lawyer, you can dramatically cut down on your search time and increase the likelihood of finding the right lawyer for you. Here are four tips for finding the best lawyer for your needs.
Know the Type of Lawyer You Need
There are many types of lawyers out there, and different areas of the law can be more complex than others, so it’s important to know which one you need for your specific legal issue. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, for example, you’ll need a personal injury lawyer. If you’re facing a charge that involves alcohol or drugs, you’ll need a criminal defence lawyer. Family lawyers, as their name suggests, handle matters that pertain to the family, such as estate settlements, child custody disputes and protection orders.
In most cases, the type of lawyer you need will be self-evident depending on the nature of your dispute. But in some cases, your dispute might cross into multiple areas of the law, so you may not be entirely certain what type of lawyer you need. If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult with different lawyers in Melbourne so you can find the right one for your dispute.
Get Referrals from Friends or Family
One of the best ways to find a lawyer is to get referred by someone you know. This is because if someone you trust such as a friend or family member has had a good experience with a lawyer, it’s likely you will too. Also, friends and family have no vested interest in the professional they recommend, so their referral is sure to be sound. Ask your friends or family if they’ve had a good experience with any lawyers in Melbourne and the type of legal issue they sought help with so you can determine if the referred lawyer is appropriate for your dispute.
Use a Directory
Law directories are a quick, simple and free way that you can start to build a shortlist of lawyers in Melbourne who may be appropriate for your needs. While there’s no centralised Australian law directory, there are many directories and resources that list Australian lawyers, especially online. A good online directory for finding lawyers in your area is the Find a Referral service search tool on the Law Institute of Victoria website. There’s also a register of currently practising lawyers in Victoria that can be searched on the Victorian Legal Services Board website. This search engine for lawyers can be filtered by area of practice, postcode and even language.
Schedule a Consultation
Once you’ve found a few lawyers in Melbourne who you think may be a good fit, you should schedule an initial consultation. Most lawyers and firms offer a free initial meeting where you can ask the prospective lawyer questions about your case and get a feel for their personality. It’s important to choose a lawyer you feel comfortable with on a personal level and who you feel confident will represent you well in a professional setting.