Find a Cutting Edge Lawyer or Professional
In the links to your right, you will find lawyers and allied professionals sorted by geographic and practice area. If you don't find a lawyer in your community or the area of practice, please feel free to post a question or request on the Forum. We're a relatively new site and still building our resources.
Law Students: We have also allowed a search by law schools so you can also connect with your colleagues and alumni of your institutions.
Some Issues to Consider When Choosing Your Attorney
Start by knowing YOUR Values.
At CuttingEdgeLaw.com, we're focused on peacemaking but not opposed to litigation. If I were falsely accused of a crime, I'd want a defense lawyer with a toolbox full of constitutional protections. If someone is dumping toxic waste in the stream above my house and won't stop it, I don't want to talk about it. I want a judge to order them to stop, THEN we can talk.
But, if I'm in a conflict with someone I love (or used to), I want to create a resolution. If my neighbor's son breaks my window, I want the window fixed but I don't want the son to go to jail.
In some places, there are many options for people who prefer to resolve their conflicts. Mediation centers, community restorative justice programs, collaborative law, and problem-solving courts are probably the most common. In other places, these new ideas haven't taken hold yet.
Whether there is a program to help in your community or not, it is your legal issue and you should resolve it in a way that is consistent with your values. The questions below aren't all equal but you're the only one who can say which are the most important questions to you.
Do you Need a Lawyer or Another Helper?
Are you dealing with a problem that is mostly legal? Or is it a broader or deeper problem disguised as a legal problem? Would a counselor be an appropriate helper? Or a financial adviser? Do you need a multidisciplinary team to help you sort things out? A team approach may get to the heart of the matter and resolve it for much less financial investment than hiring a lawyer. Be prepared to do some of your own personal and spiritual work. Our site includes professionals who are not lawyers but may be able to help you with a problem.
Collaboration and Cooperation
If you do need legal help, do you need a litigator (an attorney who mostly goes to court) or a peacemaking attorney? Is it more important to have someone who works mostly on drafting documents or someone with good listening skills? If you are looking for a peacemaking lawyer, you might want to ask these questions:
** Is the attorney trained in mediation or collaborative law? These are resolution-based legal skills and can give you an indication of the lawyer’s inclinations.
** Is the attorney committed to resolution? If the attorney gives you a blank look when you ask that question, you might want to inquire further.
** How often does the attorney litigate? Does he or she take more pride in his/her Win record or in his/her record of resolving cases?
Many attorneys go to court even if they are resolution-minded. Most (98% of cases) are resolved outside of court anyway. You should take note if the attorney seems more interested in bragging about his or her latest win in court than in focusing on amicable (inexpensive) resolutions.
** What is the attorney’s reputation in the community? Is this attorney known as a “hawk” or a “dove”?
Having an attorney known to be a good litigator isn’t necessarily a bad thing but you should inquire closely about whether the lawyer is open to resolving issues outside of court. There is an expression that if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. If the attorney is focused on litigating, every case will begin to look like a case that must go to court. Check with others in the court system and in your community for information about an attorney’s reputation.
** Does the attorney belong to any organizations that stand for resolution or peace making in the law?
** Do you like this attorney? Do you feel comfortable discussing your issues?
** Does the attorney listen well?
** Do you trust this attorney to talk straight, to tell you the truth? Is this someone who will challenge you if you are just trying to be right?
** Are you satisfied that the attorney will look out for your best interests?
** Is the attorney’s office organized and clean? Does s/he project a professional appearance? Is the staff friendly and helpful?
If you have a matter that is going to take some time to resolve, you will be working with the lawyer for a long time. It is a good idea to interview more than one lawyer to see who is a good match for you. Expect to pay for the consultation where you interview the lawyer.
** What is the attorney’s hourly rate? Does he or she charge a flat rate? Is there a reduced fee for an associate’s time or paralegal services? Does he or she have any helpful forms or information that can help you do things yourself?
** Does the attorney give a free consultation to prospective clients? This is rare in some types of law and common in others.
** Is the attorney willing to meet with you and look over your forms library in a consultation appointment?
** Do you need a certified specialist? Is your matter more complex than usual?
Many state bar organizations have special testing and certification processes for attorneys who want to advertise an expertise in a particular area. The specialization isn’t always a necessity, especially if your matter is not complex, but specialization does show the attorney’s commitment to a particular area of knowledge. In some situations, you may actually be more interested in having a generalist who can give you advice and refer you to specialists only when needed. (Sort of like your family doctor who can help with general health issues but refers you to the experts when you actually need that level of expertise.)
** Is the attorney part of a firm or collaborative association with access to experts in many areas of law?
Again, most attorneys can handle general matters. If you need help with a complex or unusual situation, you may want to consider whether it makes sense to use a lawyer in a firm or collaborative association. There is value in having a lot of expertise available to you and a large firm will often offer that. Small firms often have relationships with specialists who can supplement their knowledge. The rates for a small firm may be lower but this is not automatically true. Ask.
** What percentage of the attorney’s practice is devoted to the type of matter that you need help with? Does he or she belong to organizations dedicated to keeping him or her informed about the topic?
** If you are looking for a business attorney, you might want to ask if the attorney is familiar with your type of business. Does he or she regularly represent small businesses? Does he or she have a working knowledge of special issues like e-commerce, intellectual property, and Internet law? Does he or she have expertise in representing other professionals?
** How many years has the attorney been practicing in this area of law?
Although the information provided on our website is obtained or compiled from sources we believe to be reliable, CuttingEdgeLaw.com cannot and does not guarantee the accuracy, validity, timeliness, completeness or appropriateness of any information for your particular situation. No internet site can substitute for the advice of an experienced lawyer who is fully informed about your particular situation.
Note: We don't do any independent investigation of the attorneys on our site. Please see: