Sunday, November 22, 2009

Finding a Lawyer Online

If you are ever in need of a lawyer, finding one may be the hardest part. Where do you start? How can you find someone you can trust? If you try a general Internet search you'll get tons of results, but which ones are reputable?

Lawyers.com is a good place to begin your search. It was created by Martindale-Hubbell, the industry giant that's been rating lawyers and providing people with information for years, and which powers the lawyer locator on the American Bar Association's website. Lawyers.com is for the layperson while martindale.com is more for professionals. You can find similar information on both, but if you're just doing a search or if you're curious about everyday subjects like adoption, divorce, writing a will, or personal injury, lawyers.com is the better choice.

Start your search right in the middle of the homepage. You can search by name or firm if you know that, or if you're not sure who you want just yet, you can browse by area of expertise or by location.

Once you have a list of names, click either the name or the "More Info" button to get address, phone number, education, and possible rating information. You can create a list in order to compare lawyers. You might want to read the disclaimer at the bottom of the homepage before contacting any lawyers.

The homepage has tons of useful information, so even if you don't need a lawyer right now, spend some time browsing. There's sure to be something there that you'll want to know about. Use the tabs at the top of the screen for more stuff, like legal documents (under "Legal Help & Resources") or a Q&A section (under "Discuss Your Legal Issue"). There's also a blog with even more information. You might have to create an account to use some features of the site, but it should be free.

If you live outside the United States, check the links at the bottom of the homepage to see if there's a similar service for your country.

For a basic search, try attorneys.com. It's also provided by Martindale-Hubbell but there's none of the extra information, like documents and forms or how-tos.

Martindale.com is a networking tool for lawyers. You can still search for a lawyer by name or by area of expertise, and the information provided is similar to what is in lawyers.com. If you have a chance, spend some time with all the sites mentioned here and see which one(s) suits your needs. the best.

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