Countless employers throughout the nation run background checks on every employee they hire. If you're employed in Illinois, there's a good chance that a current or former employer has subjected you to a background check.
With so many employers running background checks, if you're considering hiring a lawyer to work for you, don't you think it might be appropriate to run a background check on your lawyer, too?
Here's how you run a background check on your lawyer
When lawyers fail at their jobs, commit legal malpractice or commit negligence, you could end up going to jail, lose hundreds of thousands of dollars, lose custody of your children or suffer some other kind of severely negative consequences. As such, if you might want to fully investigate your lawyer's background before you put so much trust into his or her abilities.
Here's how to fully check your lawyer's background:
- Check the criminal records on your lawyer at the state and county levels. Consider doing a national criminal records check as well.
- Check your lawyer on state and national sex offender registries.
- Search for pending investigations against your lawyer or malpractice lawsuits by simply entering your lawyer's name and the states where he or she has worked into a Google News search. This will bring up any news headlines that may have featured your attorney.
- Go to the Illinois State Bar Association website and make sure that your lawyer is in good standing. Search the Bar Association website for any disciplinary actions on his or her history. Do a similar check on the American Bar Association's website.
Make sure you feel comfortable with your lawyer
Aside from running a background check on your lawyer, make sure that you feel comfortable working with him or her. This is an individual with whom you will be sharing a lot of personal information. Above all else, you want to feel like your lawyer "gets" and "understands" your interests.
The more you investigate your prospective lawyer, the better chances you'll have of finding something that could be a "deal breaker" in terms of hiring him or her. Ultimately, you'll want to identify that deal breaker as early as possible in order to avoid the threat of becoming a victim of legal malpractice or lawyer negligence.