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Choosing an Attorney: Why Hiring a Specialist Counts

Whether you've been arrested for a crime or you need someone to look after your business, finding a lawyer who focuses in your area of law is essential. You may think that any practicing lawyer will do, but ask yourself one question: "If I'm having heart problems, would I see a brain surgeon?" Hiring a lawyer who specializes in certain areas of law is a lot like choosing a doctor. Certainly, a licensed lawyer has a basic knowledge of law and the legal process, but different types of cases have specific laws, regulations and procedures attached that a general law practitioner may not know about. A specialist:

- is more likely to keep up with current laws and regulations in their practice area
- often has a deeper knowledge of the ins and outs of their practice area
- will have a good reputation among other legal practitioners and people in their industry of specialty
- has the ability to tailor their advice to your needs and goals

For example, if you're looking for a lawyer to help manage your business, you'll need one who is familiar with your industry and who has a deep knowledge of tax codes, business ethics and organizational structure. If you're involved in a criminal matter, a criminal defense attorney will be better able to protect your rights and negotiate with prosecutors. Similarly, a divorce attorney will have a wider range of knowledge regarding property matters, child custody and financial support.

Choosing a specialist will cost a little more, but when you're having legal trouble, generic won't do; in fact, working with a specialist may end up saving you time and money overall. Think of hiring a lawyer as making an investment in your future. If you're looking for an Alameda County attorney, you can go about it in one of three ways:

- ask for references from friends, business associates or family members
- use online search directories that have customer reviews
- look in local listings for a lawyer that specializes in your case area

Once you've narrowed down a list of lawyers who handle your type of case, meet with each one separately to find one who has the right temperament to work well with you, has good references and a history of success, and one who will provide you with personal service. Finding a licensed lawyer is easy, but finding the right lawyer for your circumstances takes a little legwork. Good representation can make a difference in the outcome of your case.

 
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