It seems like you cannot turn on the television anymore and not see an abundance of advertisements for attorneys. There are many in the Louisville area that have commercials. Some commercials are simple and some are gimmicky. The truth is, in order to find the right attorney for you, you will have to do some research.
Don't believe everything you see on TV
Do not assume that because an attorney advertises that they are the attorney for you. There are some very good attorneys that advertise and there are also some who may not be the right attorney for your case. The same can be said for those who don’t advertise. You need to feel confident about the person you are hiring to represent you and your interests. It is a big decision that needs to be carefully evaluated.
What you may not know about attorney advertising
Most people are not aware of the following about attorney advertising:
- There is no rule requiring an attorney to have experience in the area of law in which they are advertising.
- The Kentucky Bar Association (KBA) has rules that govern advertising. The KBA, however, does not have any guidelines to determine if the attorney who advertises has experience with the type of case being advertised. The KBA does require the attorney to have continuing legal education (CLE), but this is general in nature and can be in any area of law. It does not have to be related to an area of law that they practice for the credit to apply. This means an attorney can advertise for divorces or personal injury when they may have little experience in that area of law.
- Any attorney can buy an advertisement in the yellow pages and other media. The more money you spend, the bigger the advertisement. The attorney with the most consecutive time buying a particular size ad is typically in front of that section of the phone book.
- An attorney you see advertising will not always be the one who handles your case. Some will run advertisements and then refer the case out to other attorneys. Be especially cautious of ads placed by out of state attorneys. Watch for the disclaimers in these ads (i.e. work may be performed by another attorney).
- An attorney who purchases full page ads in the yellow pages or pays for slick TV commercials does not necessarily mean that they will be successful. Some attorneys who pay for such advertising operate a “volume practice” for the purpose of making just a little money on the numerous cases that are generated from the ad. Some attorneys who run big ads to fill their “volume practices” will rarely even work on a case. The only time the attorney may even look at your case is after it has settled and they want to collect their fee!
- Sometimes the attorney’s advertising can have an adverse effect on your case. If your case goes to trial and jurors recognize your attorney from their advertising, the way the attorney advertises may affect your attorney’s credibility.
While commercials and ads are a good starting point, you really need to do some research on which attorney to use. There are many ways to go about this search. You can talk to friends and family to see if they have any names of attorneys or you can use the Internet. Most attorneys have websites that you can access that will have a lot of information about their practice and firm.
As with any big decision, you find yourself having to decide what is best for you. If you are meeting with an attorney that comes highly recommended but in the middle of the consult you feel like you don’t trust that person, go with your own intuition. There are many excellent attorneys available, and you want to be in the hands of one you trust.