If the occasion arises when you need a lawyer to defend your rights and pursue justice, choosing who that person will be is a decision that can greatly affect your future. Finding a lawyer that is best for your case goes beyond résumé accolades and big awards. A lawyer should not only have the necessary experience to represent you in the most effective way possible, but also be able to check many other boxes that are crucial to a successful outcome for your case. Here are some reasons why you should hire a lawyer based on more than accomplishments and track record.

Personalization is key

No matter how similar the facts are, every case is different because the people who are in need of defense are different. When you talk to a lawyer, look for ways that demonstrate that he or she understands your case’s unique needs. A customized experience is not only good for your case, but it makes you feel valued and heard. You don’t want to just be another number to a law firm; you deserve personalized service that will make you feel comfortable and assured that your case is getting exactly the attention that it demands.

Communication is everything

If a lawyer claims to be the best at what they do, but they can’t communicate well to you or others, it is not good for you or your case. Before you search for a lawyer, consider what your communication expectations are such as how you receive updates and how often you are contacted regarding your case. When it comes to communication, everyone is different, so it’s imperative that you find someone who is on top of their communicative skills. While late filings and missed court dates due to poor communication would be some of the worst case scenarios, sitting at home wondering how things are going can be just as bad of a feeling.

Values matter more than you think

Graduating from the best law school doesn’t mean that you can skim over values and assume that they must be similar to yours. You’ve heard the stories about individuals who have been too far along in the process once they realized that their lawyer’s values couldn’t be further from their own. Do your due diligence and don’t be afraid to speak up about values, integrity, character, judgement, and other topics that you feel strongly about. While you might think that they don’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things, you will eventually realize that they matter more to you than you think.

You should be more than a tally mark

We all understand competition, winning, success, and awards, as these concepts are not strictly tied to the courtroom. While those items are all a part of a lawyer’s playbook, you should find a lawyer who is in it for the right reasons and ready to defend you because they believe in you and your future. Are you being treated like another case in the books or do you feel like a human with a story? It doesn’t have to be so cut and dry; compassion belongs in the law and you deserve to be treated accordingly.

Trust your gut

Intuition is a real thing and if something (or someone) doesn’t feel right, follow that feeling and find a lawyer that gets rid of those insecurities. You should connect with your lawyer and feel safe in their hands (that’s why you hired them, right?). When you begin your defense strategy, the last thing you want in your gut is doubt and unresolved reservations. You should be confident and comfortable with your decision and not feel tied down because of how many awards they won last year.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the prestigious universities, gold awards, and reputable accolades. Of course you want to find a lawyer who is recognized in the community with a strong record and a positive reputation, but you can’t let that be the end all of your conclusion. Your ultimate decision, when choosing a lawyer, should be based on a diverse variety of factors that are not focused too heavily on what’s highlighted on a résumé. You might find that some of their most impressive attributes are actually not found on their CV at all.