There are a variety of reasons why you might end up needing a good lawyer over the course of your life. In Quebec, there are plenty of lawyers to choose from—according to the Barreau du Québec’s last annual report (in French only), there were 28,065 members of the bar as of March 31, 2020.
Like any service, it’s important to take several factors into consideration when choosing a lawyer. The court’s decision can change your life, so you need a legal professional who will give you the best chance of success. If you’ve been the victim of an accident, for example, it’s best to rely on a lawyer who specializes in victim compensation. They will know how best to present your case.
What are the main criteria to consider when choosing a lawyer?
- Expertise and experience in the field
- Access to information
- Availability and office location
- First impression
- Multiple areas of practice
1. Expertise and experience in the field
If you are looking for help from a lawyer, make sure that the one you select is an expert in type of law in question. A lawyer who specializes in real estate may not have the expertise needed to help you with an immigration case, for example. A lawyer with relevant experience will be able to give you the right information and guide you through the process.
If you meet with a lawyer who doesn’t know how to answer your questions and doesn’t inspire confidence, they probably aren’t a good option.
In the legal field, word of mouth is important. When a client is satisfied with a law firm, they will tell any friends, family or colleagues who find themselves in a similar situation. A law firm that respects its clients will be rewarded with a good reputation and glowing recommendations.
3. Access to information
Lawyers must always keep their clients informed as the case progresses. Cases can be long affairs that require a lot of patience, but a good lawyer will always stay up to date on ongoing cases and notify their clients of any progress.
They should also answer your calls and emails, particularly if you have new information to add.
4. Availability and office location
It’s best to choose a law firm that is close to your home, because you may need to go to the office to deliver documents or meet with your lawyer.
The firm should also be easy to reach, with a clearly visible street address, professional email address, contact number and website.
Even though virtual meetings are becoming more and more common, it’s preferable to find a lawyer who practices in your city, or in your province at the very least. They will be more familiar with the way things work in your area, and in-person meetings are always preferable!
5. First impression
If you don’t get a good impression when you meet a lawyer for the first time, it’s best to go with someone else. There’s no need to settle for the first professional you meet.
Beware of lawyers who guarantee success. A good lawyer will present your chances of winning, the difficulties you may encounter and the documents they will need from you.
Look for someone who is honest and frank with you, not just telling you what you want to hear.
6. Multiple areas of practice
In Quebec, victims are often unsure of which government organization to turn to for compensation. Should they look for an IVAC lawyer for victims of crime, or a legal professional who specializes in the road accidents and the SAAQ? It’s a good idea to look for a law firm that specializes in multiple areas of practice, because regardless of the situation you’re currently in, you may one day find yourself in need of a lawyer with a different specialization. Being able to turn to a lawyer you already know and trust will save you time and stress.
Bégin Avocat: experts in victim compensation
At Bégin Avocat, not only do we take great care of our clients, but we also strive to help those who contact us for information. We know that many place their hope in the hands of justice, which is why we treat each and every case with the utmost care and dedication.
We have been supporting victims looking for compensation from the SAAQ, the CNESST, the IVAC and Retraite Québec since 1992.
If you need help after an accident or have any questions for us, contact us by phone at (514) 509-7852 or fill out our contact form below.