Many people may think hiring a firm from a large city, such as Washington DC or New York, will be more beneficial for their case, but there are a number of advantages to choosing a local law firm and community-based lawyers in Florence.
There are many reasons to work locally and one of the main ones is relationships. A local attorney knows the court clerks, judges, and how litigation is done in that particular area. This local knowledge and relationships can give you intangible benefits, but also a real advantage when it comes to the litigation process.
Knowing the people involved locally and how they have handled situations in the past is helpful in many different ways. For example, some types of arguments may be more persuasive to one judge than another one. Another judge may want a certain style of argument, and this can only be learned by past appearances with them. Every case has its weak and strong points. Knowledge of the players involved in the courtroom helps a local attorney know the best way to present your case for your chances to win.
Knowledge of Local Rules
Every court does have its own specific rules of practice and these rules can vary. There can be a lot of rules and some need to be more adhered to than others. A lawyer that isn’t local might offend a judge and damage your case if he or she isn’t sure about a particular local rule. Rules range from getting hearings on the calendar to knowing who needs to appear at a hearing. There are also too many court rules for someone who isn’t local to pick them up quickly. A local attorney has a much better understanding of the rules than a visiting attorney ever will.
Reputation is important in law. When you spend a lot of time in the courts, you see which firms and attorneys have great reputations with court staff, other lawyers, and judges. Local attorneys are going to take the time to maintain a positive reputation, so they have a “home court” advantage. These attorneys are going to come prepared with a strategic and thorough approach when it comes to your case. Outside attorneys don’t really have this reputation to maintain or the incentive since they may never have to appear in that particular court again.
When you choose a big city law firm, the office may be too far away that your lawyer may not want to meet with you regularly. It’s much more convenient to be able to travel to your lawyer’s office in a matter of minutes. The convenience of being on the home turf for your attorney can make the process much less stressful and can be beneficial to your case to allow you more time to prepare. Keep in mind that it can be incredibly frustrating to not be able to directly speak with an attorney. When you hire locally, you are more likely to get the face time you need in order to understand your case. Otherwise, you would have to rely on emails or phone calls as the only source of communication.
Ease of Preparation and Review
If your first meeting with your lawyer is at the hearing, then you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage. You don’t want the first meeting you have with a surgeon to be in the operating room. Preparing, coordination, review, and documentation with your attorney are important for a favorable outcome to your case and being able to meet up with your lawyer locally is a big bonus.
Local lawyers may be more affordable than big city firms. The overhead and expenses are going to be less for local firms than larger firms in big cities, which enables them to charge less for the same work. Just because local firms may be charging less doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to get the same quality for the work. You still get all the extra benefits of working with a local law firm but for a much lower rate than you would with a big city firm. When you hire a big city attorney, you will only be billed an hourly rate or contingency fee, but you will likely also have to pay for mileage or flight expenses when the attorney has to travel for the case, any meals that are eaten when the lawyer is traveling, hotel costs, and other various expenses. When you hire locally, you will be able to avoid many of these costs and be able to save some money.
Working with a small local law firm can be less intimidating for you as a client. Small firms may be more relaxed and casual. These firms often take the time to explain things clearly to clients. Clients likely don’t have to worry about the case being passed around to less experienced attorneys. They are allowed direct access to their attorney. When you are involved in a legal matter, you want to make sure you know who is working for you and you want to trust them, so you know that he or she has your best interest in mind. With a big city law firm, you may just be another file to them, but with a local law firm, you will get a more personal touch with a lawyer you can trust.
Local Attorneys Spend, Hire, and Invest Locally
You may want to support a local business in your community, and you can do so when you hire locally. Local attorneys then support other local businesses by hiring support staff, paying local taxes, shopping at the local stores, and dining at local restaurants. When you are hiring a lawyer who lives in another city then you are more likely going to be supporting the community where they live.
Vetting an Attorney Is Easier Locally
You are able to learn a lot about the reputation of a lawyer and the quality of services provided by asking around in the community. This is much easier to do when you also live in the community. Others aren’t likely to know much about lawyers from other communities who seldom travel in for local cases.
Be Better Able to Judge Your Case
A local attorney knows the temperament of the community and the likelihood of a reasonable and fair verdict for your particular legal issue. Local nuances can play a big role in a case.
Local Lawyers Are Qualified Even for the Big Cases
Many clients think that they are going to get better results from a big city firm, and this is why they choose to not hire locally. Big cities certainly do have talented lawyers, but local lawyers still have similar qualifications and can represent you just as well as, if not better than, big cities lawyers. With more one-on-one time and the many other advantages of local lawyers, you may even find the experience much better than you would if you did choose to go with a large, big city firm. Local lawyers are not only qualified but will also be able to devote more time to your case, which larger firms that have higher caseloads can’t do.