Construction is a temporary project that comes with several risks, despite being an investment that will benefit you for many years to come. Therefore, you need to hire a professional construction lawyer to minimize the risks. An experienced construction attorney will provide professional legal assistance to your case, as well as the project.
However, with over 1 million lawyers practicing law in the US, how do you make sure that you find the right construction attorney? To get the right attorney is very important, but a time-consuming process. Moreover, you need to be patient with the process, to make sure that you get someone suitable for you. Below are a few tips to assist you in finding the right construction lawyer.
Conduct extensive research
First, you need to start by listing a number of construction law firms in your area. The best way to do this is to Google search the different construction attorneys in your local area. When doing this, you don’t need to set any standards or choosing criteria. All you need to do is to note down the lawyers’ names, as well as their address and contact number.
Next, you will need to validate this information. For instance, you can look for their previous clients, and ask them about their relationship with the lawyer. These people are in the best position to let you know about the qualifications and expertise of the attorney.
Read online reviews
Now, once you finish listing down the attorneys, it’s time to read any online reviews on their websites. Check to see what their previous clients said concerning the lawyer’s service provision, as well as professionalism.
Moreover, check whether the attorney has any mission statement. Look to see whether they’ve handled cases similar to yours, and how they did it. It’s important to check if the attorney does specialize in construction cases.
In this stage, you need to prioritize the lawyers without bad reviews. Eliminate the names that you feel like they cannot assist you in any way.
Check the attorney’s specialization and experience
The corporate lawyers at Grzymala Law Offices P.C. emphasize on the importance of considering the lawyer’s area of specialization, as well as expertise. Construction law is very wide—meaning there are lots of areas that a construction lawyer can choose to specialize in. Some of these areas include bid protest, litigation, construction line, OSHA defense, as well as arbitration.
Therefore, you should choose a construction lawyer who specializes in the areas that you require assistance with. Moreover, you need to engage an attorney experienced in handling construction cases in your local area since they will be conversant with the jurisdictions governing your area. This is very important, especially if your case is complex.
Check the certifications and affiliations
If you want to get an experienced attorney, you should consider their professional affiliations and certifications. First, ensure that the attorney is board-certified to practice construction law. Moreover, check to see if the attorney is a member of any professional organization. A construction lawyer with professional affiliations and certification is someone who knows their way around the construction industry. Therefore, be rest assured that you will get professional legal representation.
A professional construction attorney should have good communication skills, in addition to the qualities highlighted above. An attorney’s job demands lots of explanation and reasoning. This shows the importance of choosing someone who will always keep you on the loop.
Good communication and listening skills, as well as writing proficiency, are a must-have for any professional construction lawyer. Any construction project is very costly—and there’s no room for errors.
Defects and disputes can happen. Thus, choosing the right construction attorney is essential. This attorney should know how to prevent or handle these disputes by establishing a good and professional relationship with the client, as well as the contractors.
One interesting thing about construction attorneys is their ability to gather lots of information, manage, and use the information at the same time. However, you should note that not every construction attorney can do this.
Well, your legal issue can be easy or complex. However, regardless of your situation, ensure that you choose a construction lawyer who can evaluate your legal issue, and come up with the most suitable solution for your problem.
Typically, construction lawyers are required to solve challenging issues, and also answer different complex questions. Thus, you should expect this in the course of your relationship. When looking for a construction lawyer, it’s important to note that complex situations or unforeseen circumstances can arise unexpectedly in the course of your project. These issues make problem-solving skills an essential characteristic of your prospective attorney.
Professional attorneys should always be ready to deal with any challenges that arise from your project. However, the attorney shouldn’t have a difficulty in solving unique problems that tend to come up in your project. Unfortunately, it’s a challenge to evaluate this skill before hiring the attorney. However, you can easily notice the skill during the initial days of your project.
In case you notice that the attorney has a challenge in solving problems, as well as adapting to the ever-changing circumstances, you have a right of canceling your contract, and looking for a new construction lawyer.
Check whether the attorney is fit for you
Every construction attorney has a different personality, style, and approach when it comes to representing their client. Therefore, you should put this subjective factor into consideration to avoid making a costly mistake. But, ensure that you hire a construction lawyer whom you are comfortable with, and you can entrust with your legal matters.
Clarify the attorney’s responsibility
If you go for a small law firm, you are more likely to work directly with the construction lawyer that you hire. For larger law firms, on the other hand, you might have a number of attorneys working on the different facets of your case.
Thus, you should ask your contact attorney to clarify which individual lawyer will be responsible for handling your case. Moreover, you must also seek to know which other attorneys will be part of your legal team. Lastly, don’t forget to ask how the law firm utilizes its support staff and paralegals.
Enquire about the attorney’s legal fees
The cost of your prospective construction lawyer has a big influence on your decision. So, it’s important to ask the lawyer to give you detailed information about their billing procedures. Today, most construction attorneys will charge you per hour. However, we have alternative billing and contingency arrangement methods that are becoming popular today.
Besides, ask the lawyer if they would consider reducing their rate in case the volume of work increases. Moreover, it’s important to ask the attorney if they have other charges, like expert fees, postage, travel expenses, and copying, among others. Lastly, don’t forget to ask whether the attorney will bill you their full rate when it comes to travel time.
The competition among construction lawyers is becoming fierce every day. Thus, you will be surprised how accommodating an attorney can be just to get a new client. But, you should never make your final decision depending on the lawyer’s cost alone. Once you contact the construction lawyer, expect them to give you a written document, with detailed billing information, as well as other facets of your relationship.