Using a solicitor
There are many junctures in life at which one may require the help of a solicitor. When legal matters crop up they are generally of massive importance, meaning that it's essential that you put some time and thought into selecting one which is suited for the task.
I's vitally important when seeking legal advice to determine exactly what is required. Solicitors tend to specialise in a limited number of areas of law, and you cannot expect to rely on a single law firm to deal with any issue that might crop up.
As well as ascertaining that the law firm offers the service that you require, you must assure yourself that they give a quality service, and there are ways of doing this. The Solicitors Regulation Authority stipulates that all solicitors in practicing privately must be in possession of a practising certificate. If one cannot be produced then there is likely to be something untoward going on.
Particularly outstanding law firms may have had accolades bestowed upon them to indicate that they are of a high quality, such as the Lexcel quality award handed out by the Law Society. Alternatively they may be part of quality-assured accreditation schemes, for which membership requires a demonstration of expert knowledge and skills.
Making Contact With A Solicitor
Once you have carefully selected a law firm to entrust your legal issues with, you will need to make an appointment to discuss your case, either in person or by telephone. Meeting the solicitor in person is preferable in order to be able to better judge their character but for a variety of reasons speaking over the telephone may be more convenient for some people.
Many solicitors will offer this initial consultation for free. During this discussion they will listen to the outline of your case and consider the possible options, giving you the ultimate choice as to whether or not you wish to instruct them and take the case further. After this point you will have to pay the solicitor's legal fees, if you decide to continue.
To give the solicitor the best chance of correctly assessing and understanding the finer details of your case, it is important that you prepare for the meeting or telephone exchange so that you are able to communicate the nature of the issue in a swift and articulate manner. It will also save time to make notes of any points you wish to raise, and to have any documents you bring along organised efficiently so that no time is wasted in flapping around trying to find them.
When preparing, keep in mind the length of your appointment so that you are sure you can fit in all the details without becoming flustered.
If after discussing the case, the solicitor and you agree that he or she will take on your case, the solicitor should send you a letter outlining the details of the work that they will carry out, including the time required and an estimate of the cost to you.
During the handling of the case the solicitor should be in contact with you to inform you of any important developments. Likewise, you should tell the solicitors if there are any changes in your life which may affect the case.