Hiring a lawyer can be stressful. Most often when a lawyer is involved there is something stressful going on in a person’s life. But lets face it the law is a complicated beast. There is a reason why a lawyer has to go to school for seven years after high school to become a lawyer. Often times when people need legal help the dollar sign of the services is daunting. But the truth is the fees are worth it. You wouldn’t do a plumber or mechanics job if you didn’t know how to right? Then you should consider why the expertise of a lawyer is necessary when dealing with your legal issue.
1. A Lawyer’s Education
Ah law school. There is a reason why law school is three years after a bachelor degree. It’s a doctorate. And man was it hard. The education we obtain is very detailed and specialized in the practice of law. The bar exam is two days long. The first day is multiple choice testing on federal law, the same law over all states. The second day is the individual state essays with law specific to the state test you are taking. Law students are taught the law and how to apply it. We are taught procedure and protocol in the courtroom. We know how to question witnesses, object and challenge evidence, and how to create case themes. The study of law is more than just the law itself, there is an art to handling a case from start to finish in a courtroom.
There are multiple areas of law on the exam covering everything a lawyer would need to be a well rounded general practitioner. This does not mean all lawyers are general practitioners but we are equipped with knowledge in all categories. When searching for a lawyer look for one what specializes in the area of law your case involves.
The legal education is based on legal jargon and procedural practices learned in detail. Things that are so important in litigation or in legal documentation. These things are not quick to be learned or easily taught. Having someone with the education and training of a lawyer handle you matter is the smartest thing to do.
2. A Lawyer’s Background and Skills
Lawyers know more than just the procedure. Procedure though can be so important. If you don’t file things within the statutory obligated time frames or in the proper format you will lose hearings or potentially have your case jeopardized in many different ways. Attorneys know the proper procedure and how to file paperwork accordingly. Lawyers also understand the rules of evidence, which can make or break a case. The way evidence or witnesses are handled in a case can make or break the outcome. Attorney’s have the rules of evidence foundation that a lay person does not. This is so important when litigation any type of legal case.
People don’t fully understand the steps and phases of a legal matter, criminal or civil. In a criminal matter the first is the arraignment stage where bail or custody is determined based on the nature of the crime, the dangerousness, and the likelihood of the client to return. The next stage is the discovery stage where the prosecution must provide the evidence to be used against the defendant. It is also the time when the defense performs their investigation of evidence and witnesses. Then the plea or trial stage is assessed and scheduled.
In a civil case the plaintiff files a complaint and serves the defendant(s). The defendant(s) answer and the discovery period begins where depositions and discovery requests are performed. Extensive evidence and witness prep occurs with investigation. Trials and settlements are the final phase.
Lawyers have tried cases before. Lawyers have handled hearings before. We have spoke in front of juries. We know where to stand, what to say, when to object, how to act and respond. These skills are imperative to success in court. Trust me you want someone who can walk the walk and talk the talk to be your voice in a court of law.
A lawyer will put in the work to give your voice strength in the courtroom as well as help you through the system that can often be difficult and time consuming.
We are equipped to handle the scheduling and deadlines required of litigation of legal matters all while knowing the procedure and protocol of the courthouse and court litigation.
3. A Lawyer’s Network and Relationships in the Court System
Hiring a lawyer saves you time and stress. The court is not the easiest place for a pro se party. As pointed out there are lots of papers and procedures to know that would take a lot of your time to learn and complete. But lawyers have the relationships with the clerks and judges as well as other lawyers and prosecutors. This can be helpful for resolving matters and scheduling. Having someone on your team that can easily communicate with opposing counsel or the prosecutor and knows what type of information have leverage for resolution, this is power.
On top of that attorneys have relationships with clerks and court personnel as well as judges. Judges must act based on the law, but good lawyers have created reputations with Judges of being reliable and credible. Having a good reputation with a Judge can go a long way. Same goes for clerks and court officers. Need your case called quick? Or need someone to access you in the cells? Having a good relationship with the staff breeds an environment of helpfulness and it goes a long way. Search for a lawyer who will advocate for you but also had a good reputation, it will go a long way.
Have a civil or criminal matter in Massachusetts? Contact me, Jessica Edwards for a free consult.
Go to www.edwardslaw.work to set up a consult.
Not in Massachusetts? Contact you state Board of Bar Overseers for the Referral Line, search online or ask around!