Living in a booming market like the Philadelphia area, at some point or another, you’ll probably need the services of a lawyer if you’re ever in a bind. Philly is a big city that can have high-end business disputes, real estate matters, multiple traffic accidents, zoning violations, residences liable to slip-and-fall, crime and murder, and a litany of other legal issues that one might encounter. To navigate all of this, a trustworthy and reputable legal defense team on your side is the safest blanket of justice you can wear.
How to Find a Lawyer in Philadelphia
Just as you would when hiring anyone, there’s a fair amount of research that may need to be done before you narrow down your search for a lawyer in Philadelphia. First, you’ll need to know what area of law you’re looking for.
There’s many, many types of lawyers. There’s the more well-known crime and defense attorneys, the infamous divorce lawyers, family counsel, tax lawyers, social security lawyers, slip and fall lawyers, business lawyers, constitutional lawyers, and several others.
You wouldn’t want the wrong kind of lawyer on your case, their expertise may not be as handy. A simple, but sometimes overlooked detail when searching.
Here are some of the key things to consider in order to find a lawyer of any kind in Philly:
It’s best to start with a recommendation. If your family and loved ones have a lawyer they trust, or a friend and colleague want to pass along an attorney number to call, it’s a great time-saver, as you may not have to spend hours scouring over whether or not a lawyer is reputable or trustworthy. Now you already have people close to you giving you positive client testimonials.
However, in the case you don’t have a referral, the next best thing is to scout online periodicals and directories. The Philadelphia Bar Association along with Philadelphia Biz Journals have local listings of the best lawyers and best law firms in the city and which areas of the law they cover. You can access their case track record and how much they’ve awarded their clients, as well as reviews, ratings, and testimonials. Lawyers and law firms will often also have their own websites and social media for you to get a sense of their personality and professionalism.
From there, you can narrow your list and pen down the names of 3-5 of the top picks you can find and check out if they’re available. Sometimes, choosing a lawyer doesn’t always come down to who has the best win/loss ratio or highest payouts from settlements, but oftentimes the best ones are those who communicate the best and make you feel the most at ease.
First consultations are normally free, so when you feel comfortable with a lawyer who’s reputable and has a solid resume, a consultation is a great way to further gauge their knowledge in the field, their professionalism, how well you’re able to click on things, and their communication style.
You can further ask questions and hear their point of view on your case. They can let you know up front if the claim is worth pursuing, if you can expect a full disbursement or compensation should the case be successful, what you’ll owe to the lawyer, and how long the case may take.
Finding the right lawyer takes time and dedication, but with enough commitment and the right amount of research, you can be assured of making an informed decision. And luckily, Philadelphia has a prime history of great lawyers.
Why You Should Hire A Philadelphia Lawyer
There has existed a thriving legal community in Philadelphia dating back to the colonial era. This city is witness to some of the most significant legal milestones, including the convening of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which laid the foundation for the United States Constitution.
This legacy continued vicariously through the legal brilliance of attorneys like Andrew Hamilton and Walter Biddle Saul who set precedents for a litany of historical legal cases. Law schools in the city and the surrounding areas have been home to some very esteemed lawyers like Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court Justice, as well as, more recently, former presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who studied law at Penn Law before entering politics.
You’ll also find that the legal scope of representation in Philadelphia is as diverse as the city itself. Philly lawyers specialize in a variety of multifaceted practice areas, ranging from civil rights and personal injury to corporate law and environmental law.
Philadelphia’s lawyer community is a tightly-knit network of professionals, made up of plenty of local bar associations, law schools, and legal aid organizations who provide platforms for attorneys to connect, learn, and grow. Legal practitioners can seek mentorship, discuss legal news in the industry, and collectively address contemporary issues that can affect the city or even the nation as a whole.
More recently, Philadelphia’s lawyers have faced novel legal challenges arising from recent protests and political clashes, global crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, or religious and social issues. For instance, in 2018 Fulton v. City of Philadelphia was a legal case which took place between a Catholic-run organization and same-sex couples seeking foster care. It was considered a landmark case between LGBT rights and religious freedoms.
Many lawyers in the city are also fairly active in pro bono work. They’re able to represent a wide array of clients and collaborate with legal aid organizations to bridge gaps in the justice system.
Philly residents are fortunate to have access to some of the most reputable and versatile firms in the country, as the PA commonwealth moves to becoming a more and more progressive state.