It is true that most of us do not need a lawyer or any legal aid frequently. It is one of the main reasons for the high level of stress caused when a legal issue arises and the consequent frantic search for a lawyer begins. Lawyers can be found easily by asking neighbors, family and friends. But, often they may not fit your personal scenario in terms of area of expertise, experience, affordability and personal comfort and trust.
Especially if you’re in a state like Maryland which is known for its judges who are passionate for justice and existence of some stringent stipulations, such as that of contributory negligence, you cannot possibly risk hiring a lawyer who doesn’t inspire confidence in you. So you desperately need a Baltimore attorney and so naturally the next place you’re bound to look is a directory which can be online or in a phonebook. But here are some risk areas –
It is fairly easy to get listed in an online or phonebook directory just like placing an advertisement. The directories are not obligated by any governing body to only list or even cross check the truly experienced attorneys. Hence, the information given in there can be misleading, not saying it necessarily is. There’s an absolute lack of supervision of who’s being listed and if that law firm or lawyer is really as good as the listing shows.
Certification and Approval
If the most reputed Baltimore attorneys with a high success rate are observed, you will find they have something in common. They are all certified by various state or national bar associations, listed on local bar councils, etc. They have good ratings given by several independent lawyer-watch services. A directory listing doesn’t quite reveal these qualities nor does it require the lawyers to possess such certification and approvals to get listed.
In Maryland, there’s no such regulation that stipulates the lawyers to have malpractice insurance. Directories list lawyers with or without any such insurance. Even the listings that claim to have it are not verified before publishing.
The Better Alternative
The better alternative to online or phonebook directories is actually the best way to find a reliable Baltimore attorney i.e. lawyer referral and information services. Many bar councils or associations provide these services which basically involve approaching them with your requirement with personal background. These services look into your case and needs, and then make an appropriate referral to the most suitable lawyer, while simultaneously dodging all the risks mentioned above.
Moreover, attorneys have to meet certain levels of qualifications before they’re listed with such services and have to keep undergoing quality control exercises and reviews to stay listed. Such services also follow up on any disputes happening between the lawyer and you as well as your satisfaction.