Birmingham Law Firms

Guide to Birmingham Law Firms

With over 4,000 lawyers in the Birmingham area, it can be hard to figure out which law firm could best represent you.  Choosing a law firm is much easier when you understand the differences between different types of firms.  This guide will explain the different types of Birmingham law firms and help you to better understand your own preferences so that you can choose a compatible law firm.

Before You Begin Your Search

It is important that when you begin to look for Birmingham law firms, you know what you want.  Are you hoping for a lawyer to get you through a single legal issue or difficulty, or are you looking for a lawyer for a continuing lawyer/client relationship?  Do you prefer a warm, personable experience or a business-like, professional one?  What is your budget?

After thinking about these questions, get out a pen and some paper and write down what you're looking for in Birmingham law firms you research.  This will help you to keep your preferences in mind so that you don't get overwhelmed by choices.

Large Law Firms

Size definitely matters when it comes to Birmingham law firms.  The largest firms in the area have over 200 lawyers, while the smallest are solo practices with just one attorney.  Large law firms offer some unique advantages and disadvantages over their smaller cousins.  Here are some reasons that you might prefer a large law firm to a small one:

 If you are a corporate client, big law firms can often better serve your needs.  Larger Birmingham law firms often have a long existing roster of corporate clients, and are familiar with the kinds of legal needs common to corporations.

 If you have ongoing legal needs in several areas and want one firm to handle all your legal issues.

 If your legal need is extremely specific and requires an attorney with a great deal of specialized experience.

 If your preference is for a more business-like environment, with a bureaucratic structure and many support staff.

Small Law Firms

Smaller law firms offer more varied experiences than large ones.  Many of these firms have a particular brand or personality that may or may not appeal to you as a client.  Because of this, it is important to look for a small firm that seems to fit the way you wish to be represented, if you want a small firm handling your legal affairs.  Here are some reasons you may wish to choose a small firm:

 Your budget is relatively low.  Smaller firms tend to offer significantly better prices for legal services than larger firms, and may be willing to work with you on a payment plan that could fit your budget.

 You want a more personal lawyer/client relationship where you are not just one client among thousands.  Small firms can give you more direct contact with your lawyer, rather than with legal secretaries or paralegals.

You may be able to find a small firm that fits your needs and your budget even if you believe you do not have enough money to afford a lawyer.  In this situation, the most useful trait you can have is persistence—calling various small Birmingham law firms to find one that will work with your individual situation may lead to a good lawyer/client relationship.

Specialty Practice Areas

Most legal practices today have areas of specialization, and do not take cases outside of those areas.  Hiring a specialist law firm to handle your case can be highly effective, especially if your case is of a type often handled by a particular kind of specialty firm.  Some types of specialty Birmingham law firms include:

Divorce and family law:  These lawyers resolve issues in the family court system, including divorces, alimony, child support, child custody, and child adoption issues.

Immigration law: These Birmingham law firms help people with deportation defense or getting family members or employees legal immigration status in the United States.

Criminal defense: Criminal defense law firms help people who have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors.  These firms generally do not handle civil matters.

Medical malpractice: These lawyers sue negligent doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers for medical mistakes that have injured people.

Personal injury: Personal injury Birmingham law firms help those who have been hurt in car accidents, workplaces, and so on to get compensation that will help them with their medical bills and more.

There are many other types of specialty law firms in Birmingham.  You may want to consult with a lawyer referral service if you are not exactly certain what kind of specialty firm would take your partcular case.  The state bar of Alabama offers this kind of lawyer referral service, which can give you a free or low-cost consultation with an attorney who may be able to take your case.

General Practice Lawyers

Not all law practices have a specialty area.  Some of the smallest practices have lawyers who consider themselves general practitioners.  Much like doctors who are general practitioners, these lawyers generally can help with common problems but may not be able to help with issues requiring specialized expertise.  General practices are becoming rarer, but a small general practice firm may still be a good bet if you have ongoing minor legal issues and want to work with the same lawyer for years or decades.

Finding Birmingham Law Firms

In addition to the lawyer referral service from the Alabama state bar, you may want to find Birmingham law firms online.  Once you have a good idea of what you're looking for, you can begin typing keywords for your location and the specialty area of practice you want your lawyer to have.

Once you have found several websites for lawyers that take cases like yours, you can begin to make comparisons.  Use biographical information for attorneys to compare relevant experience, and you may even be able to find records of cases the firms have won.  After you narrow the selection to just a few, you may want to phone the Birmingham law firms you have chosen and schedule a consultation so that you can verify your compatibility with the firm in person.

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