Guidelines for Choosing a Lawyer
Most people do not know how to find a good Criminal Defense Lawyer who is right for them. They ask other people, look in the phone book, or rely on other people who have "used" this or that attorney. It has been my experience that this type of information is more often wrong than right. At best, it is an extremely unreliable way to make a crucial choice involving one's own freedom.
When asked to recommend a particular lawyer in another field, such as in divorce or civil trial law, or one practicing in another state, I advise the client to use the following criteria:
Is this lawyer Board Certified?
What kind of experience does the attorney have ?
What is the lawyer's educational and professional background?
A board certified lawyer in Texas has to take a lengthy examination, have at least five years experience in the field, be recommended by peers and by judges, and must be re-certified every five years by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization using these same criteria.
There is no substitute for jury trial experience in a criminal case. The only way to get trial experience is to try cases. That is, to contest the facts and the law before a jury and a judge in open court. If a lawyer has little or no trial experience, he will be getting experience at the client's expense.
A lawyer's educational and professional background will tell you his qualifications and experience far better than word-of-mouth or phone book ads.