If you don’t know, here’s some food for thought from the Huffington Post.
The author is a former public defender who writes about the realities of our justice system, and he makes five good points that are worth considering in evaluating your lawyer. I’ve paraphrased them below, but you can read his words for yourself right here.
Good lawyers advocate zealously for you. They fight tooth and nail for their clients, as the author puts it, and doggone it, they care. They care about your case, they care about the result, they care about their work in general, and they care about the rule of law.
Good lawyers have a reputation for competence, passion, and ethics. They can catch flies with honey or vinegar but have the judgment to know the difference. They strike hard blows at the opposition, but they don’t commit hard fouls because they represent you in the truest sense of the word, and they want their representation to reflect well on you.
Good lawyers do their jobs whether you’re guilty or innocent. They may never know, and they usually don’t care (unless it helps you) because their job is to defend you, not prosecute you, and the government does a good enough job of prosecuting people on its own. They honor their constitutional duty to stand by your side even if no one else does.
Good lawyers have no respect for allegations, indictments, and police reports. That doesn’t mean they take them lightly. But they know that a police report may not be worth the paper it’s printed on, and just because the government alleges something doesn’t make it so. So they assume nothing, take nothing for granted, and question everything.
Good lawyers take the time to listen to you. They know that their relationship with you is an important part of preparing and presenting your best defense, and they make the time to talk to you and get to know you as a whole human being.