The legal field is filled with truly helpful people. But not everyone has your best interests at heart. Learn how to find legitimate legal help with GLN.
How to Identify Legitimate Legal Help
After suffering an injustice, the last thing you should have to be worrying about is whether or not you’ll be taken advantage of all over again. At the Guardian Legal Network, our primary job is to connect you to reputable, vetted lawyers who are determined to help you get the justice you deserve.
With trust at a premium, we want to make sure you understand how we vet lawyers so that once you are paired with one, you feel confident that you’re in good hands. Here’s an inside look into our vetting process to help you understand what we do on the back end to get you the help you need.
The GLN Vetting Process
When we decide to partner with a law firm, we run them through a checklist to make sure they are not only exception lawyers with direct knowledge of your case type, but also compassionate people who will go the extra mile to help.
Here are some of the thing we look for when partnering with a new law firm:
- They hold leadership roles on multidistrict litigation cases
- They can handle a high volume of claimants
- They have a history of successful settlements
Once you submit your contact information to use, we begin the process of connecting you to these lawyers and getting you on the path to justice. However, we also understand that trust is more important to you now more than ever. Working with someone through the legal system requires a lot of mutual trust and we understand why some of our clients want to do their own verification at this time.
Once connected to your lawyer—or if you’re just curious and want to know how to verify your lawyer—you may still want to take your own personal steps to put your mind at ease and confirm any little doubts in your head. Below are some ways to check that your lawyer is legit and how else to avoid falling into certain legal scams.
How to Know if a Lawyer is Real
If you want to know that your attorney is legit, you should contact your state’s bar association to confirm that the person claiming to be a lawyer is actually a lawyer and licensed to practice law in your state and that they’re in good standing.
Every state has its own bar association that maintains a list of its active members and their contact information. For a directory of all state bar associations, visit the American Bar Association website.
From your state’s bar association website, you should be able to search for attorneys by name and find out information such as:
- The attorney’s state bar number—check against the number provided to you by the lawyer themselves.
- Whether the attorney is licensed to practice in the state or if the attorney is ineligible to practice law in the state.
- Contact information for the attorney, such as website, email address, and phone number.
- The attorney’s public disciplinary history.
You can also find out information about whether your attorney is legit by doing some online research. Google the attorney’s name and law firm and look for this information and confirm that it matches what’s on the bar’s listing. Read through the attorney’s website. Look for reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and third-party rating groups. A few minutes of your time may provide you with enough information to put your mind at ease.
If you still have doubts after doing an online search, you should call the bar association directly.
How to Spot a Fake Law Firm
Here are some common signs and red flags that you’re dealing with a scammer or a law firm who can’t really help you:
- Be wary of a law firm or lawyer that provides a bar number or other information that doesn’t match the state bar website. Most states’ bar associations will provide each lawyer with a bar identification number. You should also be able to look the lawyer up by their name. Ensure that the information on the state bar website matches the information your lawyer gave you.
- Be concerned if you look up your law firm on Google and can’t find any news items, stories, or other information about them online.
- It’s a red flag if you look up your law firm on a third-party rating or review website and there is no information about your law firm there. Reputable legal rating sites include Super Lawyers, Avvo, and Martindale-Hubbell.
- Be cautious of any personal injury law firm that asks you to pay them money up front. The vast majority of all personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, which means that they don’t get paid unless you do.
“Green Flags” for Legitimate Legal Help
If you’re still wondering how to know if a lawyer is legit, there are good things you should look for in addition to being on the lookout for the bad. Here are some green flags to look for as you’re searching for the right law firm:
- Your lawyer or law firm has a professional-looking website that lists their background, accolades, publications, and testimonials.
- You can find good reviews about the lawyer or law firm on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other third-party review sites.
- You can find information about the attorney on the state bar website.
- You can find information about the attorney or law firm when doing a Google search of their name.
- You can find positive reviews and ratings about the law firm or lawyer on a reputable legal rating website.
- You contact the state bar association to ask about the attorney or law firm, and it verifies that the attorney or firm are in good standing.
Identifying Personal Injury Lawyer Scams
Sadly, there are shady and unethical people in the world who will do anything they can to make a quick buck. This includes people who pretend to be lawyers to gain access to your personal information in order to steal your money—or even to steal your identity.
In the personal injury world, a scam could take a couple of different forms:
- When someone who claims to be an attorney is not licensed to practice law in the state but does so anyway.
- When a lawyer who is not in good standing with their state’s bar association offers their services anyway.
- When someone pretends to be an attorney in order to gain access to your personal information and use that information to steal your identity.
- When a licensed attorney takes your money, agrees to take your case, but then does not do any work on your case.
Contact an Experienced Legitimate Lawyer Today
Guardian Legal Network connects victims to experienced help, so they don’t have to navigate the legal system or find their own lawyer by themselves. We have an extensive network of trusted attorneys who are qualified to handle even the most complex cases. From personal injury to defective medical devices to defective products, we’re here for you.
Contact Guardian Legal Network today to find professional, legitimate legal representation.
- American Bar Association, “Bar Directories and Lawyer Finders,” https://www.americanbar.org/groups/legal_services/flh-home/flh-bar-directories-and-lawyer-finders/. Accessed April 22, 2022.