How to find a good lawyer

Finding a good lawyer requires a few basic steps


We recently heard a horror story that got us thinking about something we need to share with you.

Someone who needed an attorney posted on Facebook that they were looking for a local lawyer. One of the first responses was from a “friend” who “highly recommended” a new attorney in town.

The person needing an attorney called the new lawyer and everything went downhill from there. The new lawyer was often unresponsive – and when he did return calls, he seemed unprepared and unfamiliar with this particular case. After a couple of months, the attorney got kicked to the curb and a new search started.

We think we can solve what went wrong (and hopefully prevent you from making the same mistake) in five easy steps.


  1. Ask your friends. But it’s not that simple. In the story above, a Facebook friend recommended a new attorney who needed – but didn’t appreciate and wasn’t prepared for – business. As the old proverb goes, “Trust but verify.” It’s one thing if your Facebook friend is a real friend who you know has had legal issues similar to yours. It’s something else entirely if your “friend” is actually an acquaintance who is good friends with the person they’re recommending. So, in short, yes, you should ask around to see if anyone knows a good lawyer. But then do the following:
  2. Know exactly what type of attorney you need. Your buddy might know a great personal injury lawyer, but if you’re seeking help with estate planning, that attorney might not be the best fit. You want to find someone who is well prepared to handle your particular need.
  3. Ask an expert. If you need a business attorney, check with your state or local Chamber of Commerce. A divorce support group will have some referrals for divorce attorneys. You should also check with the Tennessee Bar Association, which can help you find a qualified attorney.
  4. Ask an attorney. This may not come as a surprise but attorneys know each other – even if they’re not in the same field of expertise. They know one another’s reputations and track records. If you know a good attorney in any field, you could likely get a referral for an attorney in the area you need.
  5. Make a list and meet in person. Based on the recommendations above, write down your top three choices. Meet with them briefly and make your decision.


Whether it’s for referrals or services, we’re here to help at The Law Offices of Joshua T. Crain. For more information, contact our office for a free consultation about your specific situation.