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Choosing the best pro bono lawyer may start with finding lawyers who are available to perform pro bono work in your area. You may search for lawyers via legal organizations or even by contacting firms you find in a phone directory. Once you have found lawyers who are available to provide pro bono services, you may compare them based on their reputations, experience, and criteria for taking on pro bono legal cases. You may also compare lawyers based on their personality and communication styles.
One way to choose a pro bono lawyer involves contacting a legal referral agency, legal aid office, or bar association in your area. Often, these organizations maintain lists of lawyers who do pro bono work. You may compile a list of possibilities this way and then compare lawyers based on their reputations and experience with handling your type of case. While choosing an experienced, well-regarded lawyer may not make winning inevitable, having a lawyer with a reputation for success may make a desirable outcome more likely.
While a lawyer’s reputation is an important consideration, you may not be able to choose based on reputation alone. You will likely have to consider the availability of the lawyers on your list as well. Though a lawyer may offer pro bono services, and many are even required to do so, some lawyers may be unavailable to take on your case when you need help. You can learn whether a particular lawyer is available for pro bono work by calling his office. Some law firms even have special coordinators who take care of scheduling their pro bono work.
When you’re trying to choose the best pro bono lawyer, another consideration is whether or not you will meet the criteria for pro bono services. Often, lawyers choose to take on the cases of clients who are most in need of pro bono help. For example, they may take on pro bono cases in which a person has a very low income or is unemployed. Additionally, they may agree to help individuals who have been exposed to some sort of injustice, discrimination, or abuse.
Scheduling an initial consultation may also help as you are trying to choose the best pro bono lawyer. First, an initial consultation may help you determine whether you really need a lawyer’s help to deal with your case. Some legal matters are not difficult to handle on a pro se basis. Second, you may use this meeting to determine whether you will get along well with your lawyer. While this may be secondary to his skill as an attorney, your lawyer’s communication style and general manner may influence whether you feel comfortable discussing legal matters with him and asking questions.