It’s important when looking for a lawyer that you make sure you’re choosing the right attorney. You need to feel comfortable with the person and believe that they will truly help you. Most attorneys say that you don’t have to like them for them to represent you effectively, but I highly disagree. When it comes to criminal defense, I need my clients to trust me and be honest with me. To not hold back information from me. And if they don’t like me, they’re not going to do that. I had a client once tell me that he had withheld the identity of a witness from his public defender until the day of trial because he did not trust the person. He assured me that he would not hold information back from me as we had a close working relationship. He liked and trusted me. That is very important to me.
Another reason why it’s important to make sure you’re choosing the right attorney is because sometimes you need help after the case. Some people choose the cheapest option for a lawyer because they think they’re getting a good deal. But the old saying “You get what you pay for” rings true often enough. A few days ago, I had a former co-defendant on one of my closed cases call me because she was having trouble changing her community service. She had hired an attorney who cared more about getting the low fees (and therefore more clients) and not about her. She had called him several times and he refused to call her back. Then she remembered the fact that my client had liked and respected me, and the great job I had done for him. So she called me. I was able to give her a bit of advice to help her figure things out.
The point is, if you don’t get along with attorney and trust him or her with your case (and your freedom!!) then he or she won’t be able to effectively represent you. And if you choose the cheapest option, you very likely will be stuck when a problem arises.