How to tell if online legal advice is coming from an attorney who is licensed in your state

Neck & Back Injuries | Legal Advice

By Arthur D. Leritz

October 11, 2018

Recently I’ve noticed ad campaigns on TV and billboards from out-of-state law firms attempting to market themselves as local attorneys based in the state of Washington. It’s deeply concerning to me because the advice they’re giving could not only be off-base or even straight up wrong.  The result could have a grave consequence to an otherwise legitimate legal claim.

Their ads don’t clearly disclose whether their law firm is new to Washington State, or even if they’re licensed to practice here. Laws differ widely from state to state and in-depth knowledge of nuances matter. Hiring an attorney can be a stressful process and choosing the wrong one can have disastrous effects on your claim.

When choosing an attorney, it’s important to get as much information as possible before making an informed decision. Here are a few questions to ask:

  1. How long has that attorney been licensed in the state?
  2. How many injury cases, specifically for your type of situation, has the attorney handled?
  3. How many cases have they pursued in litigation, all the way through trial?
  4. What percentage of their practice is personal injury? (If it is not 100 percent, then continue your search.)
  5. Will your case stay with the same attorney until resolution?
  6. What is the fee arrangement?
  7. What kind of costs are anticipated to pursue the claim to resolution?

It’s always smart to do as much research as possible. Look for reviews by former clients. Online tools such as Google, Yelp and Avvo.com can be very helpful. And remember, trust your instincts if you feel pressured or something doesn’t feel right.