Finding A Good Civil Lawyer In Singapore
Are you facing any legal issues and you are not sure what to do? Where do you seek help? Can you trust your friend’s recommendations of Singapore’s civil lawyers whom they have previously engaged?
In Singapore, there is no shortage of good civil lawyers. It is just a matter of finding the right one for you in terms of their expertise as well as whether your budget fits their rates.
When choosing a civil lawyer for your legal representation, not just for civil cases, here are some pointers for you:-
As with other professions, lawyers do have their area of expertise. Some lawyers prefer to focus on one area over many others. For example, with some lawyers specializing in a particular area whereby others would prefer to be a generic professional. Depending on the legal issue that you require assistance with, do seek out a lawyer in that particular domain (eg; commercial litigation lawyer, family lawyer, etc)
For example, if you are seeking assistance in buying a property, you should be seeking the help of a conveyancing lawyer. Similarly in other cases such as Accidents/Personal Injury Claims, Divorce or Criminal cases, seek out the assistance of lawyers within that area of expertise.
Getting A Second Opinion
It is always good to have a 2nd opinion from a civil lawyer with the issue that you are having, This is because as you might have overlooked certain aspects of the case. With proper legal advice, it also gives you better insight on how you should proceed further. You can also see how passionate he/she is to help you.
Know Your Lawyer’s Fees And Prices
There are different payment schemes by different law firms. Typically, they are categorized as follows:-
Your appointed lawyer will inform you of his/her billing amount upfront. This is usually for a one-time payment for a straight forward tasks such as drafting of legal documents. A fixed fee is good in that it is clear with no hidden costs. However, it is used in limited situations.
You will be billed according to the number of hours that your lawyer will take to handle your case. Typically, it is used for more complex cases. On the plus side, you will make payment only after your case is completed. But you might chalk up a huge bill if your case is too complex and prolonged.
Lastly, the retainer basis. This means that you will pay the lawyer a lump sum to retain the services of the lawyer for a fixed duration. The lawyer will track the amount of hours that has been used up for the case and when it reaches the set amount, you will be billed on an hourly basis. The advantage of paying retainer is that you will have access to your lawyer for any issues that arise within the agreed duration.
How To Engage A Civil Lawyer If You Have No Money?
Having mentioned the payment schemes, what if you have limited or no financial means to go about engaging a lawyer but you need legal assistance on certain issues? Fret not, as there are other avenues for you to go to if that is the case.
In Singapore, there are community legal clinics by The Law Society of Singapore. They are available in various locations across Singapore.
Again, depending on the issue that you are facing, there are different bodies that you can go to. For example for consumer related disputes, you may take it up to Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE), for family matters, there is the Family Court Legal Clinic and many more.
Do take note, that these free clinics are on a first-time basis and there might be a wait-list and you will have to wait for a couple of weeks before you are able to obtain advice.
There have been some misconceptions of the people in law profession. However, none of them are true.
Some of the misconceptions are:-
Big Law Firms Have Higher Chances Of Winning
While bigger law firms have more manpower and staff to handle your case, smaller firms may be able to offer a more personalised service and more attentive to your needs. When it comes to winning a case in Court, the Court will base each case on their merits and evidence(s).
All Expensive Lawyers Are Good In Their Job
Maintaining a balance between the lawyer’s fees and his/her experience matters when it comes to you winning your case. Do check a lawyer’s past track records or testimonials given before you engage his/her services.
Lawyers Are Manipulative
They are not being manipulative, but they are making the best use of evidence(s) presented or not presented to them. There are strategies that will be able to help you win in your case.
Lawyers Are Doing This Just For The Money
This is a very common misconception when it comes to lawyers in the law profession. It is very misleading and does not portray lawyers to be in good light. They are passionate and skilled about what they do and if they could make a good living out of helping others, then they have served their purpose well. If they enjoy what they do, they can excel in their job and help their clients better as well.
Lawyers are human beings with a heart too. So keep an open mind and they do have the knowledge of the law and providing a service to the community.
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