San Jose Law Firms

San Jose Law Firms

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San Jose Law Firms

Guide to San Jose Law Firms

San Jose's tech boom brought lawyers with it.  Today, San Jose law firms have a vast array of specialties that can make finding the perfect San Jose law firm difficult.  If you're looking for a law firm to represent you, this guide can help.  It will explain how the type of San Jose law firm you choose will impact your legal representation so that you can choose San Jose law firms that fit your situation and needs.

Before You Begin

It's important to understand your own priorities before you start looking for San Jose law firms.  One good way to start prioritizing is to get out a pen and paper and start writing down exactly what kind of San Jose law firm you have in mind, and for what purpose.

Start by thinking about your legal problem until you can boil it down into one “I want” sentence.  For example, “I want to write my will,” or “I want to file a response to divorce papers.”  Once you have written this down, think about your ideal outcome with San Jose law firms and write your hoped-for outcome after your first sentence.  Do you want a successful lawsuit?  To avoid jail?  Whatever your desires are, make them clear.

After writing down the problem and what your ideal solution would be, consider what kind of atmosphere you want your ideal San Jose law firm to have.  Formal and all-business, or more relaxed and comfortable?  Do you want aggressive litigators or San Jose law firms that take a more mediation-oriented approach?  No answer is right or wrong—there's no such thing as a “one size fits all” San Jose law firm.

Large Law Firms

Size really does matter when it comes to San Jose law firms.  The difference in atmosphere can be tremendous between a large firm and a small one, so understanding the key differences can help you narrow your search considerably.  The largest San Jose law firms have hundreds of lawyers and hundreds more support staff.  Here are some signs you may want or need a large San Jose law firm to represent you:

ñ You are searching for San Jose law firms not for yourself, but on behalf of a corporate entity. Larger firms are often much more experienced with corporate clients and understand how to bill and work with corporations.

ñ You want a firm to handle complex litigation for you on a regular basis.  The number of lawyers at a large San Jose law firm ensures that there will always be an attorney to handle any new legal issues that crop up.

ñ You want a businesslike atmosphere and are not troubled by bureaucracy—or by the fact that you may have to talk to your lawyer's secretary instead of your lawyer most of the time.

Large San Jose law firms aren't for everyone.  They cost a lot of money—over $500 an hour in some cases—and they are generally used to working with clients who have a great deal of existing experience with attorneys.  If you are hiring an attorney for the first time, or if the bullet points above seem very far removed from your list of goals and preferences, you may need a small San Jose law firm.

Small and Mid-Sized Firms

If larger San Jose law firms seem like they are not the right fit for you, you may want to look at smaller firms.  Smaller firms have a much wider range of sizes and specialties than their large-firm cousins, and offer different advantages and disadvantages.

A small San Jose law firm is likely to be significantly lower in cost than a larger firm (unless the firm in question is a high-cost boutique firm in an in-demand specialty field).  The smaller size of these firms can also give you better access to your lawyer.

You may also be able to find different fee arrangements at small law firms.  Most large San Jose law firms rely exclusively on billable hours, but a smaller San Jose law firm may offer several types of alternative fee arrangements, including flat fees or even monthly payment plans.

General Practice Law Firms

If you have decided on a large or small San Jose law firm, you should now think about whether a generalist or specialist San Jose law firm will best serve your needs.  General practices handle a wide variety of different cases, and generally have lawyers with a broad range of experience rather than depth of experience in a particular field.

These San Jose law firms were substantially more common a few decades ago, but still offer a good option for clients who want a consistent lawyer who can help them with many issues over time.  People who want a lawyer to handle one case for them may be better served by the in-depth knowledge of a specialty San Jose law firm.

Specialty Firms

It's no surprise that San Jose would have more than its share of specialty law firms.  Technical and scientific knowledge is often required for cases around Silicon Valley, and many of the lawyers at San Jose law firms specializing in patent law or intellectual property have advancd degrees in a scientific or engineering field.

In addition to these scientific specialty areas, you can find San Jose law firms that specialize in handling disability law, divorce law, tax law, employment law, energy law, environmental law, real estate law, bankruptcy, and many other fields.  Typically, these firms will not accept cases outside their specialty area.  Some firms may have relatively broad specialties—like criminal defense in general—while others may specialize in something even more specific, like DUI defense.

Once you have figured out what type of specialty firm can best serve your needs, you can do better direct comparisons using the firms' websites and reviews.  You may also ask friends and family if they have experience with the law firm you are considering—a word of mouth review can sometimes help more than reading the words of a stranger.

 

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