There are many situations in life when you may require a lawyer for some legal advice, including immigration into a new country, purchase of real estate, starting a new business or getting a divorce. Looking for a suitable lawyer is already a tricky situation for anyone who has never needed legal advice before. It’s even trickier, however, if you are an immigrant living in Spain and don’t speak the local language. Both of the most popular expat cities, Madrid and Barcelona, have a large number of legal advice services and law firms available. So how do you go about choosing the best one? Here are some useful tips.
Look for English-speaking lawyers specifically
A lawyer that can understand English or has translation tools available is vastly different from one that is English-speaking. If you don’t currently understand any Spanish, it is highly recommended for you to seek a lawyer that will be able to communicate with you in English fluently. Lexidy: english speaking lawyers in Madrid and Barcelona, for instance, are focused solely on working with local expats and so you can be sure that you won’t have any issues communicating with such a law firm.
The reason this is the first and most important point is because the rules of law are not always easy to understand or translate. If you are seeing a lawyer, it’s most likely something very important and miscommunication in this scenario would never result in anything good.
Read reviews and recommendations
Similarly to any other product or service you seek in your daily life, a good law firm or a sole lawyer will have a portfolio of customers who will have something good to say about their experiences. Have a look at online review websites, social media forums or simply get recommendations from your social circle. You may want to ask about their experience with the lawyer in detail, such as the length of time it took them to get in touch with the lawyer, how helpful and comprehensive their explanations were, what was the price point for their services and so on.
This is where you may also find some negatives about a potential law firm, such as long waiting lists or otherwise unpleasant experiences. Keep in mind, however, that all negative criticism should be taken with a pinch of salt when it comes to online reviews. Not only may they be outdated or faked by competitors, but each individual case is different too, so the things that other clients perceive as negatives could be highly subjective and personal.
Assess the lawyer’s expertise
Typically, before you agree to hire a lawyer for your case, you will have a consultation with the firm about the different options and paths you may take. This is a great chance for you to assess how professional the law firm is and how experienced and knowledgeable a particular lawyer appears to be.
It is always a good idea to prepare specific questions for your first meeting with a potential lawyer – if they specialise in the area of your case, they should already have extensive knowledge based on previous experience and other client cases. Lastly, see if you are happy with the way your potential lawyer communicates with you, how professional they are, if their work ethics align with your expectations and if you feel fully comfortable discussing your case with them.