How to Tell If an Attorney Is Being Honest About His or Her Track Record

There are many different awards given out to those in the legal field. However, those awards may not always truly represent an attorney’s track record. In some cases, they are nothing more than plaques or trophies that were purchased by the attorney or were given in return for a donation to a legal trade group or related organization. How can you get a true sense of an attorney’s credentials?

Ask About Any Awards the Attorney Has Won
If an attorney is advertising that he or she has won an award for being the best lawyer in the city or best attorney in a given year, ask how he or she won that award. Specifically, ask who was on the board or committee that nominated the individual. Then, ask what the criteria was to be nominated and how a winner was chosen. If you don’t get satisfactory answers, you may want to consider working with someone else.

Ask About Recent Cases an Attorney Has Won
An attorney worth paying to represent you in court has likely won one or more cases in the past year or past several years. If the attorney is relatively new, ask if he or she was part of a team that won a case or if that person has contributed anything to the legal field recently. Those who can’t point to recent successes in the courtroom are less likely to be able to deliver for you.

Will You Actually Be Working with a Senior Partner?
The person who you saw on television urging you to visit may not be the person who will represent you in court. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how great the senior partner is if your case is going to be handed to a junior associate. If you want the person in the advertisement to represent you in court, don’t be afraid to ask for that. If you get a junior associate or work with the senior partner’s staff for most of the case, don’t hesitate to ask about their credentials as well.

Legal Professionals Cannot Lie
It is against an attorney’s code of ethics to lie to a client or misrepresent his or her credentials to the public. Therefore, it may be a good idea to do some research on any attorneys that you consult with. If what the attorney tells you during the consultation differs from what you found, he or she may be lying or misrepresenting what he or she can do for you. At best, this person may be forgetful or otherwise unable to pay attention to details, which may be a sign to keep looking for legal counsel.

Having a quality attorney represent you in court could be the difference between winning and losing your case. Therefore, it is critical that you know that the person you choose to advocate for you in your legal battle has a valid track record of success in the recent past.