That's the common thinking.
That's what some injured victims think when they get hurt and are searching for an attorney to help them solve their legal problem.
They need to find attorney from the “Right law school” in order to help solve their problem.
I will share with you that in more than 26 years of practicing law here in the state of New York, I have been asked only 4 times where I went to law school. I will also share with you anecdotally, that my colleagues are rarely, if ever, asked where they went to law school.
The public's perception of where you went to law school is misplaced.
Why do I say that?
Because after representing injured victims here in NY throughout my career, I find that they only want to know the answer to two specific questions...
- They want to know “Can you help solve my problem?”
- They want to know “Do you have experience with my specific problem?”
These injured victims don't care what we did for our extracurricular activities in law school. They don't care if we were on moot court. They don't care if we were on law review. They don't care if we clerked for a judge. They don't care what motivated us to become an attorney by the age of five. They don't care what charities we participate in.
Injured victims don't care about any of that. Nor do they care what our diplomas say that hang prominently on our office wall.
Instead, they only want to know if we can help solve their particular legal problem. That's it.
If you think it's so important to go to the best law school and that will make all the difference in the world to your clients, I will tell you straight out that it doesn't. Nobody asks where you went to law school. It's not important to them.
The only thing that is important is experience, dedication and your ability to strive for the best result for your client.
I know injured victims who walk out of fancy lawyer's offices and instead have gone to an attorney in a dumpy rundown office. On the other hand, I know attorneys who scoff at the notion of walking into a poorly furnished lawyer's office and instead need the self-validation of going to a lawyer's office that looks like a palace.
That's all personal preference and that's okay. An injured victim needs to find the best attorney for them.
Some injured victims prefer going to a large law firm. Other injured victims prefer going to a solo. No matter what they choose, it's all personal preference and how they get along with the attorney, with the staff and importantly how they make you feel.
Let me give you an interesting example...
Two weeks ago I went to continuing legal education seminar to learn about recent updates in medical malpractice and accident law here in New York. There were about 300 lawyers in the room.
300 personal-injury and medical malpractice lawyers....in one room
All of the attorneys in that room handle the same exact type of cases.
My personal observations were as follows:
- Some lawyers were well-dressed.
- Some were not.
- Some lawyers were eagerly taking notes.
- Others were nodding off.
- Some were well-known to lawyers in the profession.
- Others were not.
If an injured victim walked into that room of 300 attorneys and said “I suffered a significant injury as a result of improper medical care, is there anyone in this room who can help me?”
What do you think would happen next?
I envisioned a feeding frenzy similar to throwing bait into the ocean to attract sharks.
From the injured victim's standpoint, looking out over a sea of 300 lawyers eager to take on a valid case, how would this injured victim be able to distinguish one lawyer from all the others? How would this injured victim know who is the best attorney in New York for them? How would she be able to evaluate which lawyer was the right one to solve her legal problem?
From the attorney's standpoint, I can imagine all the attorneys raising their hand at once and trying to shout the loudest to get noticed, similar to when the president holds a press conference and reporters have to jump up and blurt out questions quickly before their colleagues do.
If this injured victim who straggled into this continuing legal education seminar didn't know someone who could refer her to one of these lawyers...
How could she possibly wade through this sea of muck and mire and all these attorneys vying for her attention?
One of the most useful ways this injured victim could help herself and weed out those lawyers that were not right for her is to begin looking to see which of these lawyers have handled her exact type of case. That should eliminate some in the room. Not all of these attorneys handle medical malpractice cases. Some are just personal-injury lawyers handling accident cases.
Then she might further filter out these attorneys by the number of years they have been in practice. Let's say she only wants to have an attorney who has at least 20 years of experience. That will eliminate many more lawyers.
Then she only wants attorneys who've achieved million-dollar verdicts. That factor alone will weed out many lawyers who have not yet achieved that type of success.
What does she do now that there are still many lawyers left standing?
How does she determine which lawyer is right for her? Is she going to interview the 50 attorneys who are left standing? That would seem to be an impossible task.
What if instead she were to go online to do research about which lawyer is right for her?
What if she were to find lawyers who not only handle her specific type of case, but have significant years of experience and have achieved remarkable success?
What if those same attorneys provided her with great content in the form of free books, free reports and free videos to teach hwe and educate her about how her type of case works?
That would go a long way toward educating her about how her type of case works as well as what type of information this lawyer and law firm has to offer. Importantly, she would learn this information before she ever picked up the phone to call an attorney or waste her time in a lawyer's office trying to speak to multiple attorneys to handle her problem.
The big dilemma...
The biggest dilemma for injured victims who are trying to find an attorney to help solve their problem here in New York is that so many attorneys have similar results, similar years of experience, similar types of law firms and do very little to distinguish themselves from any other lawyer who competes with them on a daily basis.
I often ask my colleagues how they differentiate themselves from other attorneys who do the same exact type of legal work as they do.
The responses are eye-opening and fall into the category of Yellow Pages clichés.
Their responses are often:
- “We fight harder"
- "We give personal attention”
- “We have 68 years of combined experience”
- “We care”
- “We have a team of people working just for you.”
- “We have free parking.” Yes that has actually been used and that's what some attorneys think will differentiate them from their competitors.
These phrases are so clichéd and overused that they mean nothing.
These phrases do nothing to help one attorney stand out from any other. For an injured victim who's trying to find the right lawyer for them to solve their legal problem, these typical clichés do nothing to ease the victims' search for the right attorney.
How am I different?
One of the best ways I find to stand out from the crowd is to provide tons and tons of free information so that an injured victim can learn as much as possible about how their type of case works here in New York. They don't have to call my office to get any of my free consumer oriented books to teach them about accident cases or medical malpractice cases or even wrongful death cases during New York. They can get these books as immediate downloads.
I find it to be so useful to offer hundreds of free reports on my website. I also find it to be useful to provide over 500 frequently asked questions and answers.
I'm especially proud of having reached a personal milestone of having created 1500 great educational videos that appear on YouTube and also here on my website to teach and educate my ideal clients and consumers. There is no one else in the country who has achieved this amount of useful content designed to help injured victims in New York understand how these types of lawsuits work.
Your goal as an injured victim is to become an educated consumer.
Your goal is to learn as much as possible about how the lawsuit process works before you ever pick up the phone to call an attorney and before you ever walk into an attorney's office.
An injured victim who staggers into a room filled with 300 lawyers who are learning how to be better lawyers is in the wrong room. They need to go back out and learn first before they go ahead and are able to make the right choices to determine which attorney is right for them.