Who is an immigration lawyer
Finding a lawyer made easy
Stress with the landlord, disagreements with the other party involved in the accident, trouble with craftsmen? In these and other situations, going to court often appears as a last resort. It goes without saying that you want your own legal interests to be represented in the best possible way.
- Free choice of lawyer
- Hallmarks of a good lawyer
- Find the right lawyer
- Tips to prepare for the lawyer visit
- Tips for talking to the lawyer
Free choice of lawyer
Before you start looking for a lawyer, you should know that you are free to choose your legal adviser - this is enshrined in both the Federal Lawyers' Ordinance and the Insurance Contract Act:
“Everyone has the right, within the framework of the statutory provisions, to be advised by a lawyer of their choice in legal matters of all kinds and to be represented before courts, arbitration tribunals or authorities. (§3 Federal Lawyers' Ordinance)
Info: “The policyholder is entitled to represent him in court and administrative proceedings freely to choose the lawyer who is supposed to protect his interests from the group of lawyers whose remuneration is borne by the insurer according to the insurance contract. This also applies if the policyholder can take advantage of legal protection for other legal interests. " (§125 Insurance Contract Act)
If you have legal protection insurance, your insurer can recommend a lawyer for you. However, you are not bound by this recommendation and can still hire a lawyer you trust - you will not suffer any disadvantage in terms of the agreed insurance benefits. However, some legal expenses insurers reward their customers with additional services if they choose the lawyer suggested by the company.
Hallmarks of a good lawyer
According to the Federal Lawyers' Act, a lawyer is an appointed, independent representative and advisor in all legal matters. In order to do justice to this task, it should have the following core qualities, which the Federal Bar Association has defined:
- Independence: Independence here primarily means independence from the state. Nowadays, a lawyer is no longer a public servant and is therefore not subject to any state instructions. He is solely committed to his clients
- Competence: A lawyer acquires the skills and knowledge required for his profession in a university course of several years and subsequent practical training. In addition, every lawyer has the duty to train regularly - this is even required by law.
- Secrecy: A lawyer is bound to secrecy - namely with regard to everything he learns from his client in connection with an assignment. If the lawyer violates this obligation, this can have criminal consequences for him. Therefore, the law also guarantees the lawyer the right to invoke his duty of confidentiality in court and before the authorities. Therefore, documents whose content includes the right to remain silent cannot be confiscated.
- Loyalty: A lawyer represents the interests of his client. In this respect, it is his task to do everything within the framework of law and statute that serves to safeguard these interests. This also means that the lawyer is obliged to refuse assignments that could lead to a conflict of interest. In addition, he must be careful with the funds entrusted to him. Violations of this obligation can be punished under professional law and under certain circumstances also criminally.
In addition to these minimum requirements for a legal advisor, other factors can provide information about the qualifications and knowledge of a lawyer. These include, for example:
- Publications: Many law firms indicate on their website which articles their lawyers have already published in legal journals and books.
- Credentials: Some law firms also list satisfied clients - for example companies - as references on their websites.
- Location: Furthermore, the location of the law firm can say something about its success. For example, if it is located on a main street in a better neighborhood, it suggests that the law firm is doing well and has already had some success.
On the other hand, you should be careful if:
- You cannot reach a law firm by phone for days or you speak on an answering machine but the requested callback does not take place for a long time
- the law firm looks unkempt, the staff is unfriendly and the lawyer does not take the time to discuss your matter thoroughly; then it would not be surprising if a case that was nevertheless transferred is dealt with with little commitment
Worth knowing: Whether it is best to hire a single lawyer, a small or a large law firm, cannot be said in general terms. In the case of individual lawyers and small law firms, clients are sometimes looked after more personally and better. On the other hand, good, large law firms can sometimes fall back on more relevant experience and special know-how.
Find the right lawyer
If you have decided to go to court, the only thing missing is the right lawyer to support you. Your legal protection insurance will be happy to advise you on choosing the right legal advisor. Personal recommendations from friends and acquaintances can also be helpful.
Alternatively, you can also use the directory of members of the Federal Bar Association on the Internet. The Federal Bar Association consists of the Bar Association at the Federal Court of Justice and 27 regional bar associations.
On the websites of the individual chambers, you can use search forms to search specifically for lawyers in your region. You can also use the search function to take into account special requirements for legal counsel - for example, a specialist lawyer, public defender or victim lawyer.
It is also important to specify which field the lawyer should specialize in.
The areas of law at a glance:
- Agricultural law
- Employment Law
- Banking and capital market law
- Construction and architects law
- Inheritance law
- Family law
- Trade law
- Real estate law
- Commercial and corporate law
- Information technology law
- Bankruptcy law
- Medical law
- Tenancy law
- Social law
- Tax law
- Criminal law
- Copyright and media law
- Traffic law
- Insurance law
- Contract law
- Administrative law
Tip: If you want to find out whether someone is actually admitted to the bar in Germany, the National Official Directory of Lawyers on the website of the Federal Bar Association will help you. To do this, simply enter the name, address and regional bar association of the person concerned and find out whether this person is listed in the database of authorized lawyers. Foreign lawyers who are authorized to settle in the Federal Republic of Germany under the Federal Lawyers' Act are also listed.
Tips to prepare for the lawyer visit
Once you have found the right lawyer for your concern, the best way to ensure that everything goes smoothly is as follows:
- Don't wait too long: In the event of a conflict, you should always act promptly and not hesitate too long. Otherwise, the deadlines for a response may have expired - this can be the case especially in disputes with employers and authorities. Once the deadline has passed, it will be difficult for your lawyer to do anything for you.
- Make an appointment: When you first call the law firm of your choice, you should first briefly describe your request. In this way, the lawyer or his employee can tell you whether you are at the right address with this law firm.
- Collect facts: Once you have made an appointment with a lawyer of your choice, you should first set out in bullet points what your concern is about. This way you make sure that you don't forget anything when talking to the lawyer.
- Collect documents: You should also collect all documents relevant to the matter, for example contracts, letters or memos. The best way to do this is to write down when you received or sent it. You should also take the envelopes with you, as the date of the postmark may be important. If in doubt, it is better to take too many rather than too few documents with you to the consultation. Your lawyer will then decide which of these are important.
- Set goal: Even before the appointment at the office, you should think about what you want to achieve. Is it important to you to reach an agreement as quickly as possible? Or would you like to bring your conflict partner to court?
- Have personal data ready: Your lawyer will need your address, phone number and bank account details. If available, you should also give him the address of your opponent in the conflict.
Important questions in preparation for the legal interview are:
- What happened and when
- What was the trigger?
- Who was involved?
- Are there people who can testify to what happened? This could be passers-by in a car accident or people who were present in a dispute with your opponent in the legal dispute. In this case, it is best to make a list of names and addresses for the lawyer.
Tip: If you have legal protection insurance, you should have the name of the insurer, your membership number and, if available, the general terms and conditions of your insurance company ready.
Tips for talking to the lawyer
- Even if you keep the appointment with the lawyer as well prepared, ambiguities can arise. Therefore, you should heed the following tips:
- Give your lawyer honest and detailed information about anything relevant to your case. Only good cooperation can lead to success.
- Ask about the cost. It is your right to know exactly how much your lawyer will cost.
- Legal terms are often difficult to understand for laypeople. Therefore, ask if you have not understood something.
- Remember, even if you've hired a lawyer, it's still your case. Therefore, you can and should let your lawyer keep you informed of all the steps.
- If you are not completely satisfied with the performance of your lawyer, you should also address this openly. Because you can expect good service!
Tip: The best thing to do is to take precautions in good time with a high-performance legal protection insurance policy just in case. Important: The insurance cover only applies in the event of conflicts that did not yet exist when the contract was signed. You can also find out more about the possibility of out-of-court dispute resolution in our guide on mediation.
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