Finding the right attorney to work with you or to assist you with a legal problem is very important, and there are many resources in Tennessee to help you make this step. The best advice is informed and impartial, and comes from someone who knows what he or she is talking about, or from someone who does not have a bias that would influence the recommendation of a lawyer.

The first question that you need to answer in looking for a lawyer is what kind of legal problem you have. No lawyer is an expert in every field of law, and many have chosen to limit their practice of law to one or more areas. So it is important that you find a lawyer who is able to handle your particular type of problem.

It is often helpful to obtain advice from relatives, friends, acquaintances, someone with whom you work, or other lawyers. When you ask such people to help you find a lawyer, be sure to explain to them the type of legal problem that you have. If they had a similar type of problem and were satisfied with their lawyer, you might want to consult that lawyer. On the other hand, if their problem was different than yours but they were pleased with their lawyer, that lawyer may be able to help you with your problem or to recommend another lawyer who could help you. In seeking advice about finding a lawyer, be sure that the people who advise you do not have some selfish reason for recommending one lawyer over another.

A good way to find a lawyer is through a Lawyer Referral Service. Several city bar associations across the state operate such a service, and here is how it works. First, find the phone number for the Lawyer Referral Service in your area:

East Tennessee: (865) 522-7501
Middle Tennessee: (615) 242-6546
Southeast Tennessee: (423) 756-3222

Contact with this service puts you in touch with a pre-screened lawyer with whom you may schedule a 1/2 hour appointment for a small fee (instead of the lawyer's normal hourly fee).

Scheduling an appointment with a lawyer through the Lawyer Referral Service will help you determine whether you need to hire a lawyer, the approximate cost for the services of the lawyer, and an estimate of approximately how long it will take to resolve your legal matter.

Come prepared to your appointment and plan to use that 30 minute consultation wisely. Bring with you any legal papers or documents, and prepare all of your questions in advance to make sure that you cover all of your concerns.

Under certain circumstances, people are entitled to free representation by a lawyer. If you think that you might qualify for a lawyer free of charge, read the topic "Do I Qualify for a Free Attorney?"

This information is provided as a public service by the Tennessee Bar Association. It is basic legal information and should not be considered legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. You should consult an attorney if you have questions concerning a specific situation.