Although The Kielich Law Firm in Texas is no longer accepting new Texas clients there are many excellent law firms and attorneys who can help you with your employment law, family law, consumer law and personal injury needs. You probably found this website because you were looking for an attorney in Texas who dealt with a particular problem. You might have found this site because you were trying to find a lawyer in Texas on a legal directory. There are many ways to find attorneys in your area and none are right in all cases.
How to chose a law firm or lawyer in Texas
Before hiring an attorney or law firm you should consider several factors including:
- Your legal issue;
- Whether the Texas law firm or attorney helps clients with your legal issue;
- The attorney’s skill and experience dealing with your legal needs;
- Proximity to you;
- Cost and fee structure;
- Expectations and desired outcome;
- The attorney or law firm’s communication style; and
- Other considerations unique to your situation.
Not all Texas law firms or attorneys will be right for you and your situation. Big law firms may have highly qualified attorneys from the top law schools but they also tend to charge high hourly rates. That might not be financially compatible with the average Texan. Reputable lawyers and law firms will be honest with you about whether you and your case are a right fit for their business model and expertise. Before a lawyer or law firm in Texas can determine whether they are compatible with you, you should understand what you need to also determine if they are compatible with you.
Will all attorneys in Texas offer a free consultation?
No–not all attorneys or law firms offer free consultations. Often prospective clients believe all attorneys offer free consultations because attorneys who advertise on television or radio often do. These are usually personal injury law firms who use free consultations as an opportunity to screen cases. At some firms promising free consultations you may not ever talk to an attorney. You may speak with one briefly to assess whether the law firm has interest in your case.
Most law firms charge for a consultation. Firms charge a variety of fees for consultations from their normal hourly rate to a reduced fee for a 20-30 minute consultation. That meeting primarily involves screening your case and explaining what it will take for you to hire the lawyer to continue working. There are several reasons why most law firms do not charge for a consultation. Some firms simply do not need enough business to consult on every prospective client. Some law firms charge a fee to avoid “tire-kickers” who aren’t committed to their own case. Fees are often charged to deter people looking for free legal advice.
Whether a law firm offers a paid or free consultation is not a reflection of the quality of the work the lawyers there may perform for you.
How to find a lawyer in Texas
There are many ways to find a lawyer in Texas. No one approach is necessarily best for all prospective clients. These methods include:
- Referrals from family, friends and coworkers;
- Referrals from other attorneys;
- Prepaid legal plans;
- Search engine searches for attorneys in your area;
- Searches for specific topics related to your legal needs;
- Google maps and other maps that identify local businesses;
- Referrals from local bar associations (such as the Dallas Bar Association) or the State Bar of Texas;
- Referrals from legal advocacy groups;
- Legal directories like FindLaw and Justia;
- TV/radio advertisements;
- Internet ads; and
- Social media.
Each of these methods come with their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, referrals from friends or family may give you a first hand experience with a particular lawyer; however, a good experience in one circumstance does not necessarily mean that lawyer is the best fit for you. Alternatively, online searches and advertisements might tell you the best marketers, who might be the best attorneys, but other good attorneys who do not advertise as much or battle over search results may be a better fit.
Should I hire a lawyer in Texas near me?
Traditionally most people hire lawyers within a short distance of where they work or live. A short trip to your lawyer is a plus especially if meeting face to face or turning over documents is an important part of working with a lawyer. Today a lot of law firms employ technologies which help them practice over a wider area of Texas. If the ability to meet face to face is not important for you then hiring a law firm outside of your immediate vicinity might open possibilities to find other law firms that might better fit your needs. Proximity is one factor to consider when finding a lawyer in Texas.
Hiring a lawyer in Texas to go to court
One reason why hiring a lawyer near you may weigh more heavily is if your legal issue will require going to court. A law firm in the same county or district as the court where your case will be filed has tactical and financial advantages. Many law firms charge for travel time so cutting down travel time will reduce hourly fees charged on your case. Perhaps more importantly, local attorneys often have relationships with local judges and their staffs which offers an inside track on strategic decisions to best advocate for you. District and county courts in Texas follow the same state rules of procedure but also have their own local rules and practices. Individual judges have their own opinions and knowing those opinions from experience can add a lot of value to your case.
In a large Texas metro area you may ask how close is close enough. If you live around Dallas you might have a case in Dallas County, Collin County, or Denton County. Similarly around Fort Worth you might have a case in Tarrant County, Johnson County or another nearby county. Not all lawyers will practice in every county in a metro area. Some lawyers will practice anywhere they can land a case. Depending upon your case and the issues involved it may make sense to limit your search more closely to the court where you will file your case.
How far is too far to hire a lawyer in Texas?
On the other hand you might ask how far is too far away. As mentioned above, law firms continue to adopt new technology which improves access to document sharing and communication with clients. It has never been easier to put other factors over your proximity in deciding which lawyer to hire in Texas. You might look at law firms in Houston, Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and other areas for a case in El Paso. The best lawyer for your case may not be anywhere near you.
Whether this makes sense depends a lot on your case. If you have to go to court for your case it usually helps to have a very local attorney. On the other hand if your case involves a complex or unusual issue the best attorney for that issue may be on the other side of Texas. An attorney on the other side of Texas may hire local counsel closer to you to appear in court or to advise the other attorney on local practices.
Should I look outside of Texas for a lawyer?
Texas is a big state with a lot of lawyers. Unless you have a particularly unusual issue in your case or an issue of national or international concern you can probably find a good lawyer for your case within Texas. In a typical divorce or personal injury case you probably want to hire a law firm in Texas. It may not make a lot of sense to hire a personal injury firm in Colorado unless you happen to have a relationship with a Texas-licensed attorney there. An employment case involving an obscure issue under federal employment law may require looking beyond the state for an employment lawyer.
If you live along the border of other states you may consider lawyers across the Texas border. Often lawyers who practice near state borders gain license in both states and practice across the state line. If you live in more rural areas along the long Texas border your options nearby in Texas may be few and attorneys across the border may be a better fit for your needs.