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Charlotte Law Firms

Charlotte Law Firms

Guide to Charlotte Law Firms

Trying to find a law firm in Charlotte by looking in the phone book or asking friends can be overwhelming. Different legal issues require different types of lawyers with different experience, and it can be tough to understand a law firm's role from a simple advertisement. This guide will explain the types of Charlotte law firms that may be available to help you with your case, and will help you narrow down your search by listing some of the types of specialty law firms available in the Charlotte area.

Large Firms: Advantages and Disadvantages

When you first begin to look for Charlotte law firms, you should understand the differences between small and large firms. Each offers a unique set of advantages and disadvantages for legal clients, and getting the most out of your law firm will require understanding what you want out of your lawyer/client relationship.

If you want to find Charlotte law firms with experience in exotic specialty areas or lawyers with backgrounds in highly technical and specific fields of law, you may want to hire a large firm. With over 200 lawyers at some of the largest firms in Charlotte, you are much more likely to find a lawyer who can handle any matters you need legal help with.

Corporations are likely to use larger firms both because of this wider range of specialties and because large firms are likely to have many corporate clients and a good understanding of how to work with corporations. If you are an individual, you may want to look at smaller firms instead, both because large firms tend to have more corporate clients and because of a bigger reason: money. Big law firms charge higher rates for their legal expertise, especially if you are being represented by a very experienced associate or one of the firm's partners.

Small Firms: Advantages and Disadvantages

Small firms charge less as a general rule, and Charlotte law firms with fewer than 25 lawyers will probably handle your case for a smaller sum. You may also be able to ask for an alternative fee structure at these smaller firms, even with matters that are billed hourly at larger firms, so that you don't have to deal with the uncertainty of hourly billing.

Smaller firms also have a more personal touch. Your lawyer is more likely to get in touch with you personally, and if you need to contact your lawyer, you're more likely to be able to talk directly instead of through a subordinate. These law firms are more likely to be places where “everybody knows your name.”

However, small firms may not have the same kinds of specialized legal services a large firm can offer. Generally, small firms will also be more difficult for corporate clients to work with, because they may not offer lawyers who can handle every legal matter that a corporation faces.

General Practice Firms

Once you have decided whether you want large or small Charlotte law firms to represent you, you need to figure out if you want a specialty practice or a general practice. General practice law firms used to be the normal configuration in the United States, but lately have been falling out of favor while specialty firms have boomed. General practice Charlotte law firms may be a good idea for anyone who has a variety of legal issues and wishes to deal with just one law firm instead of having to use a different firm for each type of legal issue you have to contend with.

Some small general practice law firms are very small indeed—they may just have one or two lawyers in total. These practices have very little overhead and can often offer very good deals to clients, but make sure that these Charlotte law firms have enough experience that you feel comfortable trusting them with your legal matters.

Specialty Law Firms

On the other end of the spectrum from general practice firms are specialty firms. Some firms are more specialized than others: one law firm may specialize in criminal defense generally, while another focuses specifically on DUIs or another type of crime. The level of specialization you require may depend on whether a specialist exists for the exact legal issue you need representation for.

Specialty law firms may specialize in immigration law, family and divorce law, estate planning law, education law, non-profit law, corporate law, tax law, patent law, medical malpractice, personal injury, worker's compensation, employment law, disability law, and so on.

There are far too many legal specialties to list them all here, but in general, you may want to research terms related to your legal matter so that you can seek out specialty Charlotte law firms to handle your legal affairs.

Researching Charlotte Law Firms

When you begin to look for a law firm to represent you, you may wish to do some preliminary research. An online search can sometimes be useful for finding the lawyers you need. Most lawyers and Charlotte law firms have websites that can tell you a great deal of information before you ever go in for a consultation.

You will be able to find out about specialty practice areas using firm websites, and many also allow you to look at profiles of lawyers working for the firm. You can better understand the background and experience of the lawyers working for each of the Charlotte law firms you research by reading these short biographical paragraphs.

Many firms also make basic legal information available on their websites that can answer your questions. You may wish to use a Charlotte law firm that seems to anticipate client needs and can discuss legal matters coherently on its website.

Get A Referral

Lawyer referral services can help you find Charlotte law firms that will suit your needs. The county bar association gives lawyer referrals to anyone who needs legal services. If you ask for a referral, you will be asked for some information about your legal issue and referred to a lawyer near you who has experience with similar matters.

If your case is of a type that is usually represented on a contingency fee basis (like worker's compensation, harassment/discrimination, personal injury, or medical malpractice cases), your initial consultations with Charlotte law firms will generally be free. Otherwise, a relatively low initial consultation fee will apply.

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