Jacksonville Law Firms

Jacksonville Law Firms

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Jacksonville Law Firms

Guide to Jacksonville Law Firms

Seeking out a lawyer in Jacksonville isn't always easy.  If you can't get a recommendation from a friend or family member, how will you know which Jacksonville law firms can best represent you?  To understand how to narrow down your choices, you need to know the different types of law firms available to you.  This guide will explain the differences between several types of Jacksonville law firms so that you can begin a satisfying lawyer/client relationship as soon as possible.

Before You Begin Your Search

Starting your search may prove overwhelming or useless if you haven't first considered what you're hoping to get out of it.  No Jacksonville law firms are right for everybody—there's no “one size fits all” when it comes to legal representation.  Before getting overwhelmed by your options, start by getting out a pen and paper and writing down what you hope to achieve with your attorney.

First, you should write down both your current legal problem and the solution to the problem that you would consider ideal.  For instance, “I am being prosecuted for a DUI.  I would like to be able to keep my driver's license and not have my insurance rates skyrocket.”  Keeping your goal in mind can help you to find Jacksonville law firms that will be right for you.

You should also write down any personal preferences about law offices and lawyers.  Do you find most lawyers to be too formal, and want a more relaxed environment?  Write it down.  Do you want to have a lawyer you can phone directly?  Write that down, too.  Whatever is important to you is what you should look for—there are no right or wrong answers, and there are plenty of Jacksonville law firms that can likely meet your needs.

Big Law Firms

Size really does matter when it comes to law firms.  The differences in environments between larger and smaller firms may surprise you—even though all of the lawyers may have similar backgrounds.  In general, if some or all of this list describes you, you may want to look for larger Jacksonville law firms:

ñ You want a formal, businesslike atmosphere with a clear hierarchy and many support staff to help the firm's lawyers.

ñ You are a corporate client who needs to look for Jacksonville law firms with experience representing and billing corporations successfully.

ñ You are a client with a high budget who doesn't mind paying a lot for the services of an experienced attorney.

ñ You have ongoing legal issues that require a high level of specialized knowledge, and need a firm that can handle any legal problem you have now or in the future.

Small Law Firms

If you don't believe that the above bullet points represented you very well, you may want to take a look at smaller Jacksonville law firms.  These law firms may be more willing to work with lower budgets and present several other key advantages over large firms.

If you cannot afford the services of big Jacksonville law firms (which can be over $500 an hour if you are using the services of a senior partner at a big firm), you may be happy to know that because smaller law firms are in more inexpensive offices, pay lower salaries, and have fewer support staff, they can afford to take clients at substantially lower rates.  There is a wide variance in the cost of small firm representation, but if you look around at small firms you are much more likely to find a firm that will accommodate a low budget or be willing to work on a payment plan with you.

Smaller firms also offer some personal touches that larger firms, due to their size, simply cannot.  For instance, larger law firms will often require you to talk to a legal secretary before you can speak to your lawyer, while smaller Jacksonville law firms have fewer (or sometimes no) secretaries and may put you directly in contact with your attorney.

You may also find that you are simply more comfortable at a smaller firm, without the big-firm formality and bureaucracy.  Many small Jacksonville law firms feel more home-like and relaxed, and have lawyers who are experienced in representing clients who have never needed  a lawyer before.

General Practice Firms

When you have made your decision about firm size, your next choice is whether to hire a specialist or generalist firm.  General practice Jacksonville law firms accept clients who need a broad range of legal services, rather than specializing in just a few legal practice areas.  These firms can help clients who need help with relatively common legal problems that do not require a great deal of specialized or technical knowledge.

If you expect to have a number of small legal issues crop up over the next several years and want to work with a lawyer consistently rather than switching lawyers with each new issue, you may also want to hire a general practitioner.

Specialty Practices

If you only want a lawyer to help you resolve a particular legal issue, you may want to use the greater experience level and expertise of a specialty practice.  Specialty Jacksonville law firms take cases in only a few areas of practice, and may have lawyers with in-depth technical knowledge (for instance, many patent lawyers have master's or doctoral level degrees in a science or engineering field in addition to a three-year law degree).

There are many types of specialty Jacksonville law firms, including firms specializing in tax law, divorce and family law, estate planning, bankruptcy, corporate law, energy law, environmental law, real estate law, medical malpractice, personal injury, and labor and employment law.  Each of these specialty practices has experienced lawyers who know the ins and outs of their practice area.

Once you have determined what kind of law firm you are looking for, you can begin to search for Jacksonville law firms online that meet your criteria.  Remember, you're looking for a law firm that matches your needs and wants, not just the one that appears to have the most interesting website or the lowest costs.

 

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