How to Find a Good Lawyer

“Unfortunately to settle in court”. The act of going to court, or getting involved in legal problems is still something very unusual in the perception and thinking of Vietnamese people. Changing perception and thinking is not an easy, straightforward task when encountering a very present force majeure situation: How to handle a legal related issue?

Obtaining a skilled and appropriate lawyer is the first victory. A competent lawyer is the one who will relieve your worries; a good and reliable lawyer can effectively help with your legal matters. Thus, do not hesitate to reach out to get access to the quickest and most suitable methods to resolve the situation. In recent years, more and more people are in need of legal services provided by lawyers. However, most people don’t know how to find a reliable, professional lawyer when needed. A phone number or a few lines of advertising, etc. cannot demonstrate the full potential and the suitability of a lawyer for your problem. It is important to obtain enough information regarding the sources to help you achieve a proper decision.

What are the standards to evaluate a good lawyer?

In reality, there are no clear criteria to assert a that lawyer is good, this is very difficult. Being a lawyer is a noble profession, as a role that contributes to bring fairness and order to society, protecting the legitimate rights and interests of infringed organizations and individuals. Good lawyers are evaluated based on their professional knowledge, experience, ethics and their professional gallantry. The common factors needed in good lawyers are as follows:

  1. A good lawyer is someone who has highly specialized knowledge. A successful lawyer must be fully equipped with professional knowledge as well as social knowledge. A high level of education and professional skills is one of the first measures to be recognized as a good lawyer. Knowledge acquired from education, from books during the educating process or knowledge from working experience. A good foundation of in-the-field knowledge is a must have to be able to provide practical advice to clients. 
  2. Having an analytical and logical mind. A good lawyer cannot lack the ability to think logically, legally and deducing issues. With each client, lawyers will have to deal with different issues of varying complexity, there is no specific fixed formula that applies to all legal matters. Therefore, the key difference between competent lawyers and mediocre lawyers lies in the ability to think and analyze problems. Thus, good lawyers are the ones who can utilize their analytical and deductive abilities to solve tricky legal situations in the simplest and most thorough way.
  3. Having communication, persuasion and problem-solving skills. Undeniably, a lawyer is a person who supports and assists clients in working with state agencies, e.g. the Investigation Agency, the Procuracy, the Court, etc. Should lawyers lack communication, persuasion and problem-solving skills, would the client’s problem be resolved effectively? Therefore, the criterion to identify a good lawyer cannot be without these skills.
  4. Having in-the-field experience related to the problem. Finding a lawyer who you can trust is important, but he or she also needs to be a good lawyer with extensive experience related to the field of the problem that you’re dealing with. Since, they could be equipped with the precise legal knowledge, but due to the lack of practical experience, it could possibly lead to shortcomings that they cannot control. This can slow down the work process and troubling the clients.
  5. Being a thorough, tight-knit person, keeping up the issues, staying honest and objective with the clients’ problems. When a legal problem occurs, all clients want it to be resolved as quickly as possible. In the process of providing services, good lawyers need to regularly respond to and keep their clients informed on the situation and results of the settlement. A good lawyer is also not one who will comply with all the requests of the clients, but rather will address the matter frankly and honestly, balancing the wishes of the clients accordingly with the law, and explain the legal issues to clients in the most easy-to-understand way, along with feasible resolving methods.
  6. Good lawyers never promise the results of the case. In fact, no one can guarantee the results of a lawsuit nor that of a settlement negotiation. Even though the facts of the cases are similar, there are differences in the external elements such as the state agency handling the case, the clients’ wishes and financial capability, which can cause impacts and lead to completely different results. In essence, a good lawyer, when providing legal services, will be the one who gives you the best advice and helps to get you the most favorable outcome out of the situation and conditions of your case. 
  7. A good lawyer is the person who upholds the professional rules of conduct. It is said that lawyers are like snakes with boneless, bendy tongues, who will always be ready to lie; this saying stemmed from the many cases where people had deliberately distorted the truth for personal gain. A lawyer who does not uphold the law’s integrity and truthfulness will eventually influence the clients to violate the law. Thus, people who seek out lawyers that are willing to exploit any strategies to fulfill their aim will only benefit them in the short term; in the long run, no one can assure whether they will be facing more severe consequences or not.
  8. A work enthusiast. Successful lawyers almost always have real passion for their work, it is the ideal harmony of skills and interests. You’ll feel happier, more fulfilled and more productive if you live true to your passion.
  9. Being qualified and capable in foreign language. In the current day, it is imperative for lawyers to be multilingual. By reading and researching foreign publications and newspapers, becoming fluent in another language will aid in the improvement of the lawyers’ legal knowledge; it can also assist lawyers in expanding their employment opportunities onto a variety of fields and professional working environments, as well as taking part in international cases.
  10. Continuously develop knowledge and skills – the last but not in any way less important element. The acts of acquiring new knowledge, improving and developing skills are vital because they enable lawyers to keep up to date with the current changes of the law, to utilize their expertise skillfully, and assist in providing prompt service for clients in accordance with those rules.

In which situations does requiring a lawyer necessary?

Today, with the people’s financial and intellectual capabilities, it is not difficult to acquire the services of lawyers in order to protect and defend oneself when entangled in legal matters. The question is, when should you hire a lawyer?

The time to hire a lawyer varies depending on the client’s demands and circumstances. To avoid the hasty psychology during times of worries and confusion when in need of a lawyer’s support, clients should equip themselves with the basic information for hiring a lawyer, as presented in the following cases:

  • Clients should seek legal counsel and assistance early on in matters that frequently arise, such as transactions and contract signings, to ensure an appropriate direction and the effectiveness of the transaction, as well as minimizing risks and losses.
  • To promote work productivity, the client should communicate with a lawyer right away about any regularly occurring matters involving oral, verbal and/or written civil transactions.
  • Clients should seek legal counsel in situations involving civil dispute, such as: Dispute of land, property, child custody, inheritance, contracts, etc. to receives guidance for beneficial resolutions; the lawyers will provide detailed counseling so that the clients can wisely decide how to proceed with the case and achieving better results.
  • Clients can speak with a lawyer first to receive counseling and guidance about the process in matters involving administrative or civil procedures, e.g. transactions of real estate, trademarks, intellectual property rights, etc. The lawyer will provide guidance on pertinent legal issues, verify information provided by the clients, and ensure that the transaction is valid under the law to prevent unnecessary losses.
  • Clients should reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible in criminal cases. If the client is the victim, the counsel will offer advice and give services to protect the client’s rights and interests; if the client is the accused or the defendant, the objective is to ensure the mitigating factors and the penalty range.

How to find a good lawyer?

Finding the ideal lawyer to represent you might be the most important step you need to take to win your case, yet doing so is not so simple. Please refer to the guides below – distilled from experience – on how to choose a lawyer with the necessary expertise and skill to help you gain the greatest advantage at the time you come to them!

  • Before looking for a lawyer, you first need to identify the field of your legal issue. “Lawyer” in Vietnam is a common career title and has no clear classification into different areas. When determining the field, you can choose between criminal, civil, commercial, administrative, and international law. Every lawyer tends to specialize in certain fields during their practice. Even the top criminal expert can occasionally fall short on the basic standards when participating in an international case. Moreover, the elements of experience, proactivity and enthusiasm all have a significant impact on the outcome of a lawyer. You must first identify the field of which you are in demand, and then establish a list of the lawyers who explicitly practice in that area.
  • Ask for recommendations from relatives and friends. Reach out to friends or relatives who have hired a lawyer before. Find out which one they engaged, what services were required, were they satisfied with such services, and ask them whether you should hire those lawyers.
  • Searching through newspapers and specialized conference forums. Newspapers and specialized conference forums often invite lawyers with a high level of expertise and experience to consult and give opinions on legal topics, current regulations of law and current legal events that draw the public’s attention. From the way those lawyers give opinions and comments, how they communicate and exchange information, you can make a first-hand evaluation on whether or not the lawyer’s working style is suitable for your needs or your business; also, during these conferences and forums, you can take the opportunity to talk directly with the lawyers to learn more about them.
  • Look for information on lawyers on credible websites. The Internet is an extremely good source to locate a lawyer. The majority of law practice organizations have websites, and many websites maintain a listing of lawyers nationwide. Once you have the lawyer’s name, you can get a decent grasp on the lawyer you intend to select using the website of the legal firm they’re working for.
  • Contact your local bar association for information on qualified lawyers in your living area.
  • Make a list of potential lawyers. After looking through the internet or based on the advice of friends or relatives, etc. you compile a list of lawyers that you think have the potential in solving your problems. Then, you should visit the lawyer’s webpage to learn more about the lawyer’s background, ranking or accomplishments, credentials, expertise, and clients’ review regarding the lawyer’s services. It should be highlighted that the Internet should only be used primarily as a source of reference materials; choosing a lawyer requires an unbiased assessment through in-person exchange and meetings.
  • Schedule some meetings with several lawyers. Once you’ve done your research, you should make an appointment or come to the lawyers’ offices to see them in person, for them to introduce themselves or to consult you on your issues; it’s crucial to have your first face-to-face meeting with the lawyers you are considering hiring. Remember to bring all the documents and prepare information related to your problems when meeting a lawyer.
  • When you meet with your lawyer, have a list of questions prepared. Questions such as: What area of law does this case classified to? What are the possible results of the case in reality? The lawyer’s opinions on how to handle your case? Does the lawyer propose an aggressive strategy or a calm, careful one? Put into consideration your level of comfort when meeting with a lawyer and personality compatibility. Do you feel confident in your lawyer’s reliability? Does the lawyer seem to understand what they’re talking about? Does the lawyer seem confident and competent in the field of the case and in handling the case? You shouldn’t make a decision to hire the first lawyer you meet, try to schedule meetings with at least two lawyers before deciding which one to hire. Keep in mind that you are interviewing that lawyer for a position, so think of the appointment as a job interview. If you feel that the lawyer does not meet your standards, then consider a different lawyer, and choose the one who makes you feel the most comfortable and trustworthy.

Above are the experience as well as the necessary steps to select and acquire a lawyer with experience and capable of helping you achieve your best interests. For additional information on how to find a good lawyer, contact us at: info@letranlaw.com