WHERE TO LOOK FOR A LAWYER
Feb. 9, 2017
When looking for an attorney, it is important to find someone who is skilled and knowledgeable in the area of law relevant to your legal issue. It is as important to find an attorney in the geographical area in which you need the legal service. The United States is divided into many legal jurisdictions at the state and federal level. Each state has its own laws and attorney licensing requirements. Each federal district court and circuit also has its own admissions requirements. One of the many reasons for state licensing is that states have their own individual laws and rules of procedure. To effectively represent a person in a jurisdiction, he or she must know those laws and rules. There is also geographic convenience. It would likely be difficult and expensive (to both the client and attorney) for an attorney to have to travel far for court. There are attorneys who practice nationally, often in very specialized fields, and travel the country, usually pairing with local attorneys.
I ocassionally receive calls and emails from prospective clients who are located outside of my jurisdiction, which is Connecticut. Often they are about criminal or civil rights issues which follow federal and Supreme Court precedent. Although I would like to help, I cannot represent them. I try to answer basic questions or provide a referral.
If you are arrested or summoned to court (civil, juvenile or criminal), find an attorney who practices in or has an office near that particular court. In states with county court systems, find someone in that county (not all states are as small as Connecticut). I travel most of Connecticut because this state isn't all that big. I regularly appear in Meriden, Middletown, New Haven, Milford and Derby and also take cases in Bridgeport, Waterbury, New Britain and the Hartford area. From time to time I even go out to New London, Norwich, Norwalk, Danbury, Litchfield (including Torrington and Bantam) and Rockville (Tolland Judicial District). My main office is in Hamden and I know have a satellite location in Bridgeport, but I go wherever my clients need me.