5 Reasons to Hire a Local Attorney
The movement to choose local products over non-local alternatives is well established in the food industry. Buying locally has clear economic advantages when compared to buying something made in another country or grown several states away.
When it comes to choosing an attorney, the advantages of preferring local counsel are different, but no less valid. Here we highlight the top 5 reasons to hire a local attorney:
- He or she knows the people who matter
- He or she knows which buttons to push
- He or she knows the rules, written and unwritten
- He or she knows the value of reputation
- It’s more convenient for you and your attorney
Reason #1: Knowing the Right People
Working locally is a big advantage for an attorney. When you describe your situation, a local attorney can see how all the pieces fit together before the process even starts. If you received a traffic ticket, your attorney will likely know the officer who cited you. Local attorneys know the judges, the prosecutors, the court clerks and everyone involved in the legal process. Legal problems are resolved by people, not machines.
Reason #2: Pushing the Right Buttons
Knowing the people involved and how they have handled similar situations in the past is invaluable in many ways. For instance, some arguments are more persuasive to one judge than to another.
Every case has its strong and weak points. Knowledge of the courtroom and the players involved helps an attorney know which buttons to push to present your case in the best light.
Reason #3: Adhering to the Right Rules
Every court has its own specific rules of practice. The rules are extensive, and some are more faithfully adhered to than others. A non-local attorney can quickly offend the judge and draw a rebuke for not knowing a particular rule.
Rules can range from whether to stand when addressing the judge to knowing who must appear at a hearing. What it comes down to is that there are simply too many courts with too many rules to know them all. A local attorney will understand the rules of the local court better than a visiting attorney ever will.
Reason #4: Having a Strong Reputation in the Community
Reputation is important in the practice of law. If you spend much time in a court, you will quickly see which attorneys have high regard (and which don’t). Local attorneys are more likely to take special care to maintain a positive reputation in their home court. They are more likely to come prepared with a thorough, strategic approach to advance your rights. This is not true for outside attorneys who may never appear in that court again.
Reason #5: Convenient Location and Greater Access
The last reason why a local attorney is preferable to a non-local is convenience. If an attorney’s primary office is 50 miles away, he or she may be reluctant to meet with you regularly. There is also something to be said for being able to travel from your lawyer’s office to the court in a matter of minutes. The convenience of being on your attorney’s home turf can make the process less stressful.
A Special Note About Satellite Offices and Local Attorneys
It can be a challenge to find a truly local attorney. Many large firms maintain satellite offices all around a region. They can meet with you in that office to get your business without ever really spending any time there. The satellite office can make an attorney appear local, without offering any of the benefits of truly local counsel. Make sure to ask the attorney how often she or he is in a specific office location before making your choice.