If you are looking for a lawyer, you want a good one. So, what makes a good lawyer?
It goes without saying that you want a lawyer with a high degree of knowledge, skill and experience; someone with high standards of excellence and ethics. What else?
A good lawyer is helpful. Someone who will take the time to learn and understand your matter or problem, and will be candid in telling you whether or not he or she can be of assistance. A good lawyer will refer you to a trusted colleague if your matter is outside her area of expertise.
A good lawyer is accessible. He answers his own phone, and takes care to put you at ease, so that you have the time and space to explain what you need.
A good lawyer is responsive. That means answering your calls and e-mails promptly. It also means delivering an answer responsive to the question that was asked, and that is crafted to advance the resolution of your matter.
A good lawyer should make you feel smart. If you are running a business, you know more about your business and its needs than just about anyone else. A good lawyer will use your knowledge and expertise to leverage her own to find a solution that fits your needs.
A good lawyer exercises good judgment. “Judgment” means analyzing the facts of a matter, the potential risk and benefit of possible resolutions, and proceeding accordingly. Judgment means knowing when to press an advantage or consolidate a gain. Judgment requires knowledge, but also patience and forbearance.
Finally, your good lawyer will be a good fit with you. If his or her temperament or approach makes you feel uncomfortable or apprehensive, find someone else. Your time and effort, and your business, are too valuable to entrust to someone who does not have your complete confidence.