When you start looking for a lawyer, you may wonder whether you should look for someone outside of your area or for local attorney services. Generally, a local attorney is going to be the best option unless you're searching for a firm that does highly specialized work. Someone from a small town would probably have a heck of a time finding someone versed in aviation law, for example, but there's a good chance they hire a quality criminal lawyer locally.
Should you go with a local attorney as your counsel? Let's look at four reasons why that may be the best way to represent your interests.
Knowledge of the Courts
A local lawyer is usually going to have fairly extensive knowledge of the people who work at the courts for the municipalities and counties around them. This extends far beyond just knowing who the judges and prosecutors are. For example, it can be helpful to know where to take paperwork at the county courthouse to ensure it gets to its destination before a tight deadline.
Similarly, there are benefits to knowing the security personnel, office staff members, and support personnel who deal with the everyday problems of the local courts. Even if it leads to just a small bit of help when your attorney is hunting for someone in the building, it might make a huge difference at the right time.
Lay of the Land
Another argument for paying for local attorney services is that your lawyer will know the literal lay of the land. If a client is accused of a crime, for example, a locally based attorney will probably know a bit about the location where the alleged offense supposedly happened. The lawyer can picture the location and try to figure out what claims about the case could or couldn't be valid.
Cops and First Responders
Over time, a local attorney also develops relationships with the people who do the daily work of dealing with accidents, crimes, and other incidents. Likewise, a lawyer from the area will know retired professionals who can provide opinions or even direct knowledge. If you're trying to figure out where witnesses were at the scene of an incident so you can talk with them, these professionals can speak from experience about where to look.
It helps to have regular access to your attorney. When they live locally, you can rest assured they'll have a chance to meet with you regularly. Likewise, they should have less trouble showing up for court appearances.