However, when looking for legal representation, many people commit the same two very common mistakes that prevent them from finding the best attorney for their case:
1. The first mistake is choosing and attorney randomly from yellow pages, an online directory or otherwise, knocking on the first door they see. This is one sure way to end up with an attorney who is either incompetent in the specific area of law which your case concerns, or who is too busy to give you and your case the work and the attention it needs.
Most legal issues are not urgent. Unless you or your close one is in custody and facing a criminal prosecution, or eviction, or an imminent child custody battle hearing is about to take place, or unless the statute of limitations on your case is about to run, there should be no urgency in hiring an attorney the same day you started looking for one. Most legal issues take months or longer to resolve, so whether you sign up with an attorney today or next week, it is not going to make any difference to the outcome of your case. For example, suppose you believe you have been wrongfully terminated in California about 6 months ago. Unless the employer was government agencies, all the possible employments claims you might have (discrimination, retaliation, harassment, etc...) have at least one year statute of limitations. Signing up with an attorney who is not right for your case just because he was the first one to return your call or meet with you may seriously affect the outcome of your case.
Word of mouth is as ancient as it is the most reliable way to find a person to perform services for you. Legal field is not an exception. It is well worth your time to do a thorough research and understand your legal issues. Then, you should try your hardest to find one or more people who had a similar legal issue and who were happy with the attorney who represented them in their case. No matter how unique you think your situation is, you would be surprised to find out that quite a few other people faced the same legal problem. You might think that no one you know may have ever been involved in anything similar to your legal claim, but if you start asking people around, you would be surprised to find out that someone will most likely know someone else who had an issue like yours, and it is well worth getting in touch with them to educate yourself about the possible issues you might have with your case, the mistakes you should avoid making, and whether the attorney who helped them might be right for your case.
2. Not making a good impression on the attorney once you meet him. The best attorneys are also the pickiest. Since they have a reputation for being good, they get more potentially business than they can handle. They naturally want to choose the best and the highest value cases or other kind of legal work and they want to work with people who they enjoy representing. It is well established among lawyers than representing a client who seems like he/she will be trouble down the road is more trouble than its worth. The most successful attorneys have no patience for potential or existing clients who are dramatic, have a sense of entitlement, believe in conspiracy theory against them, or who will not listen to the attorney's advice, believing that they know it all because they spoke with a couple of friends or looked up a few cases or legal concepts on the internet.
Normally, when it comes to a consumer - service provider relationship, the consumer is in the position of greater bargaining power, which has been briefly encapsulated in the "client is always right" motto. However, in legal (and medical) field, the provider is actually in the shoes of the consumer and has the power of choosing who he/she will work with.
What this means to you is that you should sell your case and yourself to the attorney who you would like to represent you. Being courteous and respectful, only telling the truth without exaggerating the facts of your case, having as much documentation to support your claims than you can, listening more than talking, and appearing like a calm and polite person without any sense of entitlement will make the attorney want to represent you and help you, even if your case is not as big as that lawyer would expect to work on.