Illinois Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance
Which Lawyer is Best for Me?
Findgreatlawyers.com is a free service, run by Illinois lawyers, to find an attorney or obtain guidance for any Illinois legal matter, including people who are looking for Illinois lawyers. Please call us at (312) 346-5320 or (800) 517-1614 or fill out our contact us form and we will contact you. All inquiries are kept in strict confidence.
We feel that we have a good insight into what people are looking for in an attorney as well as some of the common mistakes people make. This page discusses what we think is important in general when hiring an Illinois attorney. Please read this page as well as our top 10 tips for hiring the right lawyer page and contact us if you need any additional guidance.
When hiring an Illinois law firm, remember that there is usually no such thing as the best attorney out there, but rather you must decide who is the best attorney for your situation. The lawyers that represented former Governor George Ryan are known as some of the best criminal defense attorneys around, but that doesn't make them the right attorney to represent you if you are charged with a DUI. A great divorce law firm in Wheaton might not be who you want to hire if your case is in Lake County and they have no office there.
Many people when hiring an attorney are concerned about where the lawyer is located. Any licensed Illinois attorney can practice in any county in Illinois. Geographic location in our opinion is really only important if you have the type of case where it's a benefit to have a lawyer that regularly appears before the judge. For example, if you are getting a divorce, charged with a DUI or other criminal case or fighting for child custody, it can be a good idea to hire someone who is before those judges on a regular basis. Sure there are exceptions to this rule, but in general we think this is important, especially in smaller counties where the number of judges are limited. Again, they don't have to be from the county where the case is being heard, we just usually think it's a good idea if they have some presence there for these types of cases.
We also think it's very important that you hire someone who can show experience with your type of case, preferably someone whose practice focus doesn't make them a "jack of all trades" lawyer. In some cases like workers' compensation, personal injury, medical malpractice, driver's license reinstatement and employment law, we think you should be less worried about where the attorney is located and more concerned about the experience and past success of the attorney. This is not to say that a jack of all trades attorney couldn't get you a good result. Rather we think that hiring someone who has a more narrow practice focus gives you the best chance for success.
For transactional matters, like estate planning, a real estate closing, getting a lawyer to write you a letter or even some general civil litigation, we don't think it matters where the attorney is located as much as do they have the right experience and do they offer the other things that you are looking for.
In some cases you will find that no one really focuses their practice on the type of case you have. For example, no one specializes in writing letters on behalf of a client, but a general practice attorney should do that for you. You may want to sue a neighbor or need to be defended in a lawsuit and find that the bigger firms that typically represent those with insurance aren't the right attorneys for you; but you'll find that the civil litigation attorneys you will see on our site should be able to help you.
Finally, most people are concerned about cost when hiring an attorney. For injury cases, class actions and legal malpractice most of the attorneys we know will work on a contingency basis which means that they only get paid if they make a recovery for you. This makes these attorneys more cautious in deciding whether or not to take on a case. For traffic, immigration and some criminal cases, you usually can find an attorney to handle the case on a flat fee basis. For family law cases or if you are being sued, you can expect to have to give the lawyer some money up front (retainer fee) and pay by the hour. In employment law, sometimes when you are suing someone or to contest a will in probate court, you usually would have to pay a lawyer by the hour, but on occasion can find an attorney who would work on a contingency basis. The lawyers we know would work on a contingency basis if they thought they would likely win, could recover enough money to make it worth it and could also collect against the defendant if they won.
Findgreatlawyers.com focuses on finding lawyers in every part of the state of Illinois. From Chicago to Rockford, to Central Illinois, down to Southern Illinois, and every county in between. Whatever the legal area or location within the state of Illinois, we know the perfect lawyer for you. Please contact us form and we will contact you. All inquiries are kept in strict confidence.