I have heard all the jokes about lawyers and I know the joke that says that the only good lawyer is a dead lawyer! Seriously though, how do you choose a good Solicitor? â Do your research Understand the difference between a Solicitor who is professionally qualified and is a member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and say a legal consultant, a lawyer and a legal adviser who are not qualified. Ask the person you see âare you a qualified practicing Solicitorâ if they say no, then they are not legally qualified. They will not say they are a Solicitor if they are not one â to say that is a criminal offence. I will write more about the differences between Solicitors and other types of âlawyerâ in another article soon. â Look at the firm itself Look at the firm's website. How many lawyers do they have? A big firm means you have back-up available; a small firm means you'll probably get the personal touch. The general rule of thumb is that the bigger the firm, the bigger the fees will be, but that is not always the case. Their website may say that they are specialists in for example family law and conveyancing. If you are instructing them on a personal injury matter they may not be the best firm to tackle your case for you. BEWARE â a qualified Solicitor can legally say he is an expert in any area of law he wants, so ask him or her how many cases they have dealt with in the past dealing with your particular issues. Donât bother asking how many cases they have won though, trust me, that wonât get you any further forward. â Be specific on costs Ask how much they charge for the Solicitor who will handle your case. Just like the Forces have ranks, so do the legal profession. A buck private (junior Solicitor) will be a lot cheaper than a Colonel (a Partner level Solicitor). Make sure that you get the right level of Solicitor, you donât want a junior Solicitor dealing with a complex case, but neither do you want a Partner dealing with a simple case. You may wish to save costs, but donât forget - experience counts, and âyou get what you pay for"....most of the time! â Ask for a short free meeting I you donât ask â you donât get. So be up front and ask if they do free first meetings. If they donât do a full free first meeting, then ask if they will do the first meeting at a discounted rate. If you push hard enough, they will often agree. If they donât, you could always go to another firm and try your luck there. â Pick a lawyer who sees the bigger picture You need someone who is emotionally level; an aggressive Solicitor who says he can âkick assâ may sound good in the office but they could cost you money. Being too soft as a lawyer is never a good sign as you may not be able to get your point across but a Solicitor who is too aggressive may not listen to reason and not settle cases when they should be settled. â Finally, if it doesn't feel right, don't do it If the Solicitor you have spoken to does not âfeel rightâ or he does not seem to be giving you full advice or keeping you informed as to what the heck is going on â then donât use him. If you are already with a Solicitor and they are doing this, then change your Solicitor! You can change your Solicitor at any stage of your case; it's not a huge problem. Your new Solicitor can organise the transfer so you don't even have to tell the ex-solicitor yourself if you don't want to. Remember, that as a paying client, âthe client is kingâ.