Needing the assistance of a lawyer is something that nobody desires as it normally implies you are facing some kind of legal problem and that you will probably have to assume a considerable financial outlay. However, if you want to put things right, it is not only inevitable but essential to find a good legal representative that can solve your legal issue in the fastest, smoothest and most advantageous way. Even when you are not ‘in trouble’, knowing about a trustworthy and talented attorney is highly advisable in order to avoid making rushed decisions in cases of need.
Yet, with no less than 1.3 million of attorneys only in the US, the task of choosing the best candidate to represent you in court does not seem an easy one. Rather than difficult, carrying out some thorough research can be time-consuming but these tips can help you to make a wise decision. First of all, you have to identify the type of legal problem you have and what would be the best suited specialist for such case.
Types of lawyers and who you should choose
Now, if you have already started the quest for a lawyer, you have soon realised there are many types of legal professionals out there. The legal industry is certainly big and complex, and most attorneys tend to specialize in a specific area of legal practise. The result is a myriad of different specialists that can sometimes be confusing for the public. The good news is that there is always one for you regardless of how complex and specific your case is. For obvious reasons, your wouldn’t select an employment lawyer to handle your divorce, in the same way you wouldn’t expect an optician to carry out a kidney transplant.
So, in order to help you figure out which lawyer to select according to your legal needs, we are going to define the area of expertise of the most common types of attorneys.
You will definitely opt for a bankruptcy lawyer if are facing financial problems, the most common of which is being unable to comply with bills and debts payment deadlines. The bankruptcy lawyer will first analyse the severity of your situation and will try to renegotiate new payment plans. Even if a bankruptcy proceeding is the only way out, they will also guide you in the process to minimize the economic loss.
Business or Corporation Lawyer
If you are willing to start your own business and you don’t know where to start, or rather you want to dissolve your corporation, then what you need is a business lawyer. Of course, they will also guide you when it comes to employment contracts, tax compliances or any internal disagreements.
In the unfortunate event you or a beloved one face criminal charges or even the possibility of a prison sentence, then it is time for you to look for the counseling of a good criminal attorney. Common crimes include arson, bribery, burglary, money laundering, computer crime, drug trafficking, extortion, homicide or vandalism among many others. Specially well-qualified lawyers can make a big difference between the defendant going to prison or avoiding it.
Employment or Labor Lawyer
Have you been made redundant without a valid reason or you feel you’re being discriminated at your workplace? Likewise, are you worried about how to manage a troublesome employee? Then, opt for the counselling of an employment or labor lawyer as far as employer-employee related issues are concerned.
Estate Planning Lawyer
Although nobody likes to prepare or even think about their deaths, the sooner you get your will ready the better. In this way you’ll make sure your children or beneficiaries won’t have to go through any costly and sluggish paperwork to inherit your assets when the time comes.
Although divorces are the most common case family lawyers handle, they are also in charge of providing assistance in terms of prenuptial agreements, child custody, adoption, paternity and even reproductive rights.
Intellectual Property Lawyer
Cases which involve copyrights, trademarks, patents, trade secrets and licensing agreements will need the expertise of a good intellectual property (IP) lawyer. Therefore, if you are an artist, scientist or engineer and you have come up with a new piece of art, design or discovery, you will need some legal guidance on how to protect your creation from possible counterfeiters or usurpers.
Moving to a new country where the culture and language is new to you can be quite challenging, especially at the beginning. If, on top of that, you have to resolve your legal status in the country and cope with its the bureaucratic formalities, then the level of stress can increase substantially. Instead, an immigration lawyer can save you a lot of time and make visa, residence or citizenship applications seem an easy and quick process.
Personal Injury Lawyer
Personal injury lawyers will give you the proper assistance to claim a compensation when you have been physically or psychologically injured, whether it is in a car accident, due to some food poisoning at a restaurant or due to medical malpractice at a hospital, to name some.
Real Estate Lawyer
If you have finally decided to buy or sell a property, it is key to hire a good real estate lawyer who can negotiate the most advantageous buying or selling prices for you as well as to handle all the necessary paperwork for the transaction.
Once you have identified the type of specialist you need, you can then create a list of potential candidates coming from personal referrals as well as online resources. In this respect, websites of law firms, bar associations and specialized peer-review guides can be really helpful to gather information about attorneys’ level of expertise, qualifications, success rates, customer reviews as well as fees. An initial consultation with the best suited candidates will be key in the decision-making process.
The information obtained from these initial consultations will be decisive in picking the right lawyer but it is necessary to make the right questions. Of course, a brief introduction of your issue will give you an idea of the approach to be taken by each lawyer. First impressions matter and it is important to choose a forthcoming professional that you feel you can really trust and ask any questions or concerns about your case. You can then inquire about the specifics of the service by asking questions such as:
- What are your fees and how often will I be charged?
- Are there any additional costs beyond the lawyer fees?
- How will I periodically be updated about the state of my case?
- Will anybody else be working on my case? If so, what is his/her experience?
- Do you have a malpractice insurance? If so, what is the coverage?
However, if you want to make the long story short and go for a sure bet straightaway, you can then have a look at the list below.
The best from the best
The list we’ve compiled here are experts and true leaders in their respective specialities. Their colleagues admire their skills and they have achieved big recognition in the field, which, in turn, have made them deal with the most complicated cases.
10 – Samantha Michelle Aguilar Beteta – Managua, Nicaragua
In recent years, Samantha Michelle Aguilar Beteta has been recognised as one of the best specialists in tax law from Nicaragua and Central America.
9 – Freddy Aray Lárez – Caracas, Venezuela
Represented by the prestigious law firm Tinoco, Travieso, Planchart & Núñez, which has been providing legal services for more than 100 years, Freddy Aray Lárez stands out as one of the best criminal defense attorneys of 2020 in the world.
8 – Martín Godino – Madrid, Spain
Best Lawyers has recognized Sagardoy Abogados as the “Law Firm of the Year in Spain” in the area of employment and labour law, at the same time that the managing partner Martín Godino has received the award “Lawyer of the Year” in the years 2014 and 2017 for his outstanding work in the same area of legal practice.
+34 914 540 054
7 – Ramón A. Anzola R. – Panama City, Panama
If you are in need of legal counselling as regards real estate, corporate or tax law, Ramón A. Anzola and his law firm Anzola Robles & Asociados have proven to be of great talent. Although they are based in Panama, they are also highly experienced in dealing with foreign proceedings.
6 – Marcia D. Alazraki – New York, USA
In recognition of her great work and high success rates as regards insurance regulatory law, Marcia D. Alazraki has been named “Lawyer of the Year 2020” in the USA by Best Lawyers as well as “New York Super Lawyer” in 2008 by Super Lawyers. Interestingly enough, she is represented by the top-ranked firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP which has also been awarded as “Best Law Firm of the Year” in 2020.
5 – Izumi Akai – Tokyo, Japan
When it comes to capital markets law, Izumi Akai, partner of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, stands out as a true expert and a recurrent name in most rankings of top-rated lawyers. In fact, ALB Japan Law Awards recognized him as the dealmaker of the year in 2007, 2010 and 2017 and appears as a recommended lawyer in the reputed legal publications such as Who’s Who Legal, The Best Lawyers or IFLR1000. In case you’re wondering, Mr. Akai can give you assistance both in Japanese and English.
4 – María del Carmen Alvarado Bayo – Lima, Peru
María del Carmen Alvarado Bayo is an international attorney providing outstanding legal services on intellectual property behind the legal firm Rodrigo, Elías & Medrano Abogados. What is more, she is an active contributor to various associations aimed at protecting trademarks, copyrights, patents and industrial properties. As a result of the high quality standards of her services, The Best Lawyers platform has recently named her “Lawyer of the Year 2020”.
+51 (1) 619-1900
3 – Oscar Aitken – Santiago, Chile
In the fourth position we find the Chilean Oscar Aitken, a prominent partner of Carey and considered by many as one of the best specialists in immigration law in Chile and abroad. Besides immigration, his practice also includes the areas of labor and employment as well as project finance and development. Last but not least, Mr. Aitken has to his credit more than ten awards in recognition of his outstanding career.
+56 2 2928 2223
2 – Ann-Marie Ahern – Cleveland, Ohio
Ann-Marie Ahern, from McCarthy, Lebit, Crystal & Liffman Co., LPA, has established as a leading advocate who has successfully resolved hundreds of employment disputes, especially of those who are in the most vulnerable situations. Her expertise in the field has granted her the respect and admiration her peers, which has resulted in numerous awards and recognitions.
1 – Luis Manuel Castro – Santa Ana, Costa Rica
If there is a name that appears repeatedly referenced by the most renowned legal publications, that is Luis Manuel Castro, co-founder of the Costa Rican legal firm BLP. For over 20 years of legal practice, Mr. Castro has become one of the most notorious legal talents inside and outside Costa Rica, especially in the areas of real estate, communications, corporate and M&A, project finance and development practice. This multi-awarded attorney is also a prominent member of associations such as the American Bar Association, the International Bar Association, Energy Committee of the Costa Rican Union of Chambers and Associations of the Private Business Sector (UCCAEP) and a founding member of the Costa Rican Association of International Law.
(506) 2205 3902
Besides these top-rated attorneys, we cannot disregard other prominent names such as Karim S. Anjarwalla (Nairobi, Kenya) from corporate law; Simon P. Barrett (Tokyo, Japan) from construction law; Asli F. Basgöz (Istanbul, Turkey) from banking, corporate and finance law; Reuven Behar (Tel Aviv, Isreal) from corporate, arbitration and mediation law; Panayotis M. Bernitsas (Athens, Greece) from arbitration mediation, corporate and European Union law; Richard Briggs (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) from insurance, litigation and maritime law; Ricardo F. Casellas-Sánchez (San Juan, Puerto Rico) from apellate, litigation, arbitration and mediation law; and, Gheorghe Buta (Bucharest, Romania) specialized in insolvency and reorganization law.
If you wish to obtain further information about their legal fees, success rates and the specifics of your case, do not hesistate to contact these professionals by telephone or email and visit their firms’ webpages. They will be glad to provide a first consultation, usually, at no charge.