Guide to Finding Seattle Attorneys

Guide to Finding Seattle Attorneys

Guide to Finding Seattle Attorneys
Where do I find a Seattle attorney?
When facing a legal issue, you may wonder if it is your best interests to hire a local lawyer over large national law firms or cheaper out of state options.  There are a number of good reasons to have the services of an experienced local lawyer.  For instance, when dealing with a legal issue in Seattle, a Seattle attorney will be the most knowledgeable and experienced professional that can handle the distinct challenges in interpreting state and local legal codes.  You will have the benefit of having the case proceed in your local jurisdiction and you will have an easier time contact and meeting with your Seattle attorney.
How are laws unique in Seattle?
Local municipalities tend to set their own laws on a number of issues, such as the carry and discharge of firearms.  The state of Washington, which explicitly protects the right to bear arms in the state constitution and the city of Seattle that attempted to ban guns within city limits.  The Seattle ban was overturned as the state held the right to preempt local laws on firearms.  This battle is just one example of intersecting state and local laws contradicting with each other as well as an example of how Seattle law might differ from the laws in the rest of the state.  For this reason, it is in your best interest to have the services of Seattle attorneys when dealing with legal matters in Seattle.
What are organizations of Seattle attorneys?
All Seattle attorneys will be members of the Washington State Bar Association.  WSBA has been an integrated bar since 1933 and is administered by the State Supreme Court as a regulatory body for lawyers.  All Seattle attorneys are admitted, licensed and disciplined through the WSBA.  There are practice sections for specialized lawyers, such as family law and criminal law as well as competitively priced Continuing Legal Education (CLE) classes to keep Seattle Attorneys up to date and informed on critical ethical and legal issues.  The WSBA also provides a number of professional services, including an ADR service to resolve fee disputes, a lawyer assistance program to help lawyers with substance abuse and stress problems and mentoring for young lawyers.  There is also an ethics line to provide ethical advice for Seattle attorneys that require assistance.
In addition to the WSBA, there is the King County Bar Associations.  King County is the part of Washington State where Seattle is located.  In addition to professional networking, among the more important features of this Bar Association is its lawyer referral service.  The WSBA does not provide a referral service, opting to leave that function to county and regional referral services.  The King County Bar Association also encourages pro bono service and can link those individuals that may require free legal to a lawyer that will be able to assist them.  This is separate from the lawyer referral service.
How do I know my Seattle attorney is legitimate?
The Washington State Bar Association is the fastest and easiest way to verify the credentials of your lawyer.  Lawyer records are public and you will be able to ascertain the legitimacy of your Seattle lawyer.  You will be able to find all Seattle Lawyers in the directory.  Membership is mandatory in the Washington State Bar and any Seattle attorney who is not a member is not licensed to practice law in Washington.  
Also, look for a history of legal malpractice cases against the lawyer, as this may be indicative of a larger problem the lawyer has with clients, even if the lawsuits were not successful.  The disciplinary record is important when researching a potential lawyer to represent you.
The Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection is a fund administered by the WSBA that compensates clients for potential fraud and other breach of fiduciary duty by the Seattle attorney.  This will provide you with some peace of mind when dealing with a lawyer.  Still, be sure that you understand all arrangements you make with the Seattle attorney and get the fee agreement in writing.  You will invariably have to submit irrefutable proof before you can expect to collect from the client security fund.
How do I find a Seattle attorney?
The King County Bar maintains a Lawyer Referral Service that will charge potential clients no more than a $45 referral fee for an initial consultation with a Seattle lawyer.  This fee is reduced to a $10 processing fee for personal injury, criminal defense and worker’s compensation cases.  SSI/SSDI appeal cases are not charged for referrals.  You may receive up to three consultations through your fee.  You may apply electronically or call the service directly.  This service is backed by the American Bar Association.
The King County Bar Foundation provides pro bono services and legal clinics for low income Seattle residents.  Those that cannot afford typical legal representation should contact this foundation to determine if they qualify for pro bono services.  The legal clinics are neighborhood based and can dispense some legal advice that may suit the needs of some Seattle residents.  There is also a separate Housing Justice Project that provides legal services for families that may become homeless without proper legal representation.
You may use this website to find an attorney.  To do so, use the search box on top of all pages.  You may also compare attorneys and ask free questions by clicking Find Attorneys on top of the page.
What are the typical rates of a Seattle attorney?
Factors affecting the Seattle attorney rates are the lawyer’s experience, expertise, service provided and location.  
For malpractice, personal injury or accident cases, a Seattle attorney will usually work on contingency, unless the client indicates otherwise.  Contingency arrangements will have the Seattle attorney collect a percentage fee of the eventually jury award or settlement.  Contingency fees may be limited by law or court decision.
There may still be fees for the initial consultation and court costs.  Additionally, you may be able to receive legal services from Seattle attorneys in unbundled or in flat fees.  In that way, you pay only for the services you need.
What are questions to ask Seattle attorneys?
How does my case relate to Washington state and local laws?
What are your fees and do you have alternate payment plans?
Can I please have all fees in writing?
Are you an active member, in good standing, of the Washington State Bar Association?
What roles do you play as a member?
What are my chances of winning a settlement or at trial?
Can you refer me to another lawyer if you are unable to take my case?




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