New Orleans Law Firms

Guide to New Orleans Law Firms
Every law firm is different, and when you begin to look for a New Orleans law firm you may not even know what you're looking for.  Especially for first-time legal clients, the huge number of New Orleans law firms can be overwhelming.  This guide can help you to understand the differences between several types of law firms, so that you can tailor your search to the exact kind of New Orleans law firm you'd be happiest with.
Write it Down
Before you can start looking for New Orleans law firms, you need to have an understanding of your legal problem and your goal.  Start by getting out a piece of paper and pen, and write down in a sentence or two why you are seeking a New Orleans law firm.  Try to keep this factual, and limit it to your legal issues rather than medical or emotional ones.
After you write down your problem, writing down your goal will help you to understand the bigger picture of why you need a lawyer.  Make your description brief and keep it confined to your legal goals—remember that you may be able to seek restitution and even press criminal charges, but courts can only give certain types of legal remedies.  This sheet of paper will come in handy when it's time to decide what kind of  New Orleans law firm you want to represent you.
Your Law Firm Needs
Now that you have your goal written down and know what you want New Orleans law firms to accomplish in your case, think about the kind of New Orleans law firm and lawyer you want to represent you.  Do you want your case handled with nuanced negotiations, or with aggressive litigation?  Do you want a law firm that feels warm and personable, or businesslike and professional?  Whatever your needs are, write them down—there are enough New Orleans law firms that you will be very likely to find exactly what you're looking for.
Types of Law Firms: Big Firms
The largest New Orleans law firms have over a hundred lawyers and even more paralegals and legal secretaries on staff.  With this kind of size, it's no surprise that a large New Orleans law firm is very much a business, with a specialized hierarchy and a relatively formal atmosphere.  For some types of clients, this environment can pay off.  Here are some signs that you may be looking for large New Orleans law firms to handle your case:
 You need to find legal representation for a corporation instead of yourself as an individual. The largest New Orleans law firms tend to be the ones with the longest lists of corporate clients, and a large New Orleans law firm may be best equipped to deal with the particular legal needs of a corporate entity. You want to look for representation not just for a single legal issue, but instead anticipate having a continuing lawyer/client relationship in the future and don't mind paying extra for the high level of expertise of big New Orleans law firm staff. You want businesslike, professional interactions with the New Orleans law firms you are seeking, and understand that you may have to relay messages through a legal secretary instead of always speaking directly to your lawyer.Not everyone will be happy with the services offered at a large New Orleans law firm.  Some clients may simply be priced out by the hundreds of dollars per hour charged by the largest New Orleans law firms.  These clients may want to start by searching for smaller firms.
Types of Law Firms: Small Firms
The largest New Orleans law firms have big offices, big name clients, and big prices.  If you'd like lower prices on your lawyer in the Big Easy, you may need to look at smaller firms, which can offer much cheaper rates because of their lower overhead costs.  A smaller New Orleans law firm is likely to have more experience assisting lower-income clients and people seeking representation for the first time.
Because many legal clients are budget conscious, small New Orleans law firms often offer flat fee pricing for their legal services.  If you decide to use this, you will pay one rate that covers all of your legal representation for one legal issue, from beginning to end—for instance, your lawyer may charge you several hundred dollars to handle a bankruptcy.  You can comparison shop more easily when lawyers offer you flat fee pricing.  You may also want to negotiate a payment plan to pay your legal bills in monthly installments rather than all at once.
Aside from financial considerations, you may feel more comfortable with a small New Orleans law firm if you want warmer, more personal touches.  These firms are also more likely to give you a direct phone number for your lawyer, instead of always needing to go through a legal secretary.
Types of Law Firms: Practice Areas
While it is important to know the size of the New Orleans law firm you'd like to hire, you should also think about whether you want a law firm that has a broad range of experience handling many types of cases, or one that specializes in just a few legal practice areas.
For clients who want an ongoing relationship with a New Orleans law firm that can represent them for a long time to come, a general practice law firm may be best.  These New Orleans firms can help you regardless of what legal concerns you bring to them now or in the future.
However, if you are just looking for legal representation for one, case, you may want to find the firm that has the most experience with similar cases.  Specialty law firms only take cases that fall into their specialty areas, and because of this, their lawyers will likely have more experience handling cases very much like yours.  You can find specialty New Orleans law firms working in just about every kind of legal field, from adoption law to worker's compensation.

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