Baltimore was once one of the top manufacturing centers in the U.S., but this is no longer the case. This, coupled with the fact that the whole of the U.S. has been undergoing tough economic times ever since late 2008, explains the high rate of bankruptcy filings. Baltimore is a big city of 619,493 and 2,690,886 in the greater metropolitan area (2011 estimates) and it is not surprising that there are many bankruptcy lawyers here. Some are better than others. There are several tips that will help you get the best bankruptcy lawyer Baltimore.
Consider the capacity of the lawyer to do a good job. To do this, consider the training of the lawyer. A good lawyer is one who has trained in a top law school. The bankruptcy lawyer should be a member of the Maryland State Bar Association, the Baltimore County Bar Association, the U.S. District Court of Maryland, the U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, and the U.S. Tax Court. He/she should have practiced bankruptcy law for several years and he/she should have a high win rate. You could ask for a portfolio of past clients and call them to determine if the lawyer is indeed credible and reliable.
Consider the credibility and the reliability of the bankruptcy lawyer. You could get this information by checking with the local bar associations. You could also check with consumer protection agencies and the local Chamber of Commerce. Dissatisfied clients file their complaints here and you will find a list of blacklisted lawyers.
You could get tips on good lawyers from your relatives, friends, or colleagues who have recently enlisted the services of such a lawyer. You could also get referrals from your other lawyers. Other options are Internet directories, independent reviews, and such online communities as discussion forums and blogs. Independent reviews in legal journals and review websites are particularly helpful because they give you both the pros and the cons of the bankruptcy lawyer Baltimore you are considering.
To ensure you have the best bankruptcy lawyer, consider if he/she is licensed by the relevant regulatory bodies. The lawyer should be part of a law firm. This is important because such a lawyer will have access to paralegals, conference facilities, and other facilities.
Do not be guided by cost considerations when making the choice. You expect to pay for quality legal representation. A good lawyer will offer free initial consultation to advise you on the merits of your case. Under new bankruptcy rules, anybody filing for Chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy protection has to show proof of income. Your bankruptcy lawyer should be able to do this. Ensure the lawyer you go for does not have too much on his/her in-tray to ensure 100% attention is given to your case.
Do not go for the first bankruptcy lawyer in Baltimore you come across since some are neither credible nor reliable. There are several tips that will help you with your choice.