How to choose a “good lawyer”?

How to choose a good lawye

As with any lawyer, the question is frequently addressed: how to choose a “good” lawyer? Here are some thoughts, completely personal, after more than ten years of exercising this beautiful profession.

I advise you first of all to consult this article of the National Council of the Bars:

1. Word of mouth

Word of mouth is probably the most common way to choose one’s advocate and may be one of the least bad. If a family member, friend or colleague recommends a lawyer, you are more likely to make a good choice.


This method has its limits too. First of all, the lawyer who defended your neighbor for his divorce may not be as competent to carry out the assignment of your business. Each lawyer has a duty of competence, and on this point must be questioned on the subjects in which he exercises. It can not claim to be able to litigate in all areas. In addition, your friend may have recommended a firm, not a particular lawyer. Now, the lawyer who defended him five years ago may have left the cabinet that you hear about today. Finally, every human relationship is unique. bad. If a family member, friend or colleague recommends a lawyer, you are more likely to make a good choice.

Word of mouth is therefore an interesting instrument of choice of his lawyer. Provided that it is not used alone. It can not be the only criterion of choice.

2. Address

The quality of a lawyer is rarely (if ever) dependent on the prestige of his address and the luxury of his office. The marble staircase, precious wood parquet, moldings and fireplaces do not guarantee the seriousness and competence of the lawyer who receives you. The decoration of the cabinet mainly serves to try to flatter the client who is willing to pay this decoration in his notes of fees.

Also beware of trompe-l’œil. The attorney who receives you sublets may be only a small part of a high standing building. It is even possible to work at home and to rent only a few hours a week a beautiful meeting room in a mansion. And if the entrance to the cabinet is beautiful, the employees who will actually handle the files can, behind the scenes, pile into small uncomfortable rooms that the customer will never see.

Conversely, unhealthy premises do not guarantee that the tenant of the premises is competent. Should we not, therefore, attach any importance to the reception-beautiful or ugly-of the firm in the choice of its lawyer? Not quite.

On the one hand, the configuration of the law firm must allow you to accommodate you in compliance with the ethical obligations of the lawyer. To be received, not in an “open space” but in a place that allows the secret of exchanges is of course important. On the other hand, a lawyer who attaches importance to the comfort of his team’s work already renders a service to the firm’s clients. Beyond the floors and walls, it is mainly the equipment of the cabinet that will make the difference, materially. Means of communication (e-mails, faxes …) documentation, accounting and billing software … All these tools are useful for efficient processing of files.

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