“The grass is always greener on the other side” is an old idiom that certainly pertains to hiring an attorney. Regardless of what sort of legal issues you face, the temptation is often to look outside your hometown in search of bigger and better representation. However, whether you live in a metropolitan area, a suburb, or a rural community, hiring local attorneys is usually more beneficial than seeking out a larger, more “reputable” firm. While there are at least a dozen sound reasons to hire local attorneys, two crucial arguments should provide sufficient proof that you should stay home and hire a local lawyer.
1. Local attorneys offer more convenience.Retaining an attorney comes with its fair share of meetings, phone calls, paperwork, and court appearances, along with a slew of other tasks that often prove time consuming. Hiring a local attorney, as opposed to one located out of town, will save time, money, and energy. Need to sign a document, hand deliver paperwork, or attend a meeting? If you’ve hired an attorney out of town, be prepared to drive 30 minutes to an hour, shell out extra money for fuel, and take extra time from work or home in order to meet with your lawyer. If you hire a local attorney, however, meeting with your lawyer could be as simple as walking a few blocks or driving ten minutes. Depending upon how involved your case or need is, retaining a lawyer located conveniently to work and home will increase productivity and reduce unwanted stress.
2. Local attorneys are more knowledgeable of local systems.This is the most important reason to hire a local attorney. Each jurisdiction has its own quirks, whether dealing with law enforcement, judges, other attorneys, or even clerks or office managers. Hiring local attorneys who are already experts at navigating the local system will prove to be a major benefit. Whether defending you against local prosecutors, being familiar with a particular judge, or even knowing the right way to handle a difficult situation, a local attorney has an edge over someone hired out of town who would face a learning curve when dealing with local procedures.
Let’s face it. Sometimes, it’s easier to dance the devil you know than the one you don’t. With this in mind, local attorneys know other local attorneys. They’ve faced each other in court, they’re familiar with each other’s cases, and they may have worked with each other before. That gives a local attorney the upper hand when negotiating contracts, defending you in a civil suit, or arguing your criminal case. A local attorney knows the opposition and will be better equipped to anticipate strategy and best protect your interests, in contrast to someone who is unfamiliar with the people and processes of your local court system.
While there are plenty more benefits to hiring local attorneys, as opposed to seeking out-of-town representation, the convenience and inside knowledge they offer makes your decision a no-brainer. As long as the attorney is an expert in your desired practice area and has the capacity to handle your specific case, there is no reason to look elsewhere for representation. More than likely, the grass is just as green where you are.
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