If you are facing a court martial, review board or security clearing determination, you know that you are in some potential trouble and you need an attorney to help you.
But the problem for many people in this situation is choosing their legal counsel. How do you know who the right lawyer is for you? What do you look for in an attorney to make sure your case will be handled as effectively as possible? With the large variety of options available on the internet, it is difficult to know how to choose.
What to look for in a potential military lawyer
When considering who to represent you, you should consider:
- Experience: Every area of law has nuances, pitfalls and challenges. An inexperienced attorney will not be able to navigate this complicated legal landscape as well. Make sure any lawyer you hire has been around a while handling military law.
- Success: There is more to experience than just practicing law for a long time. If your lawyer has 20 years of experience losing cases, that won’t help you very much. If you are facing disciplinary action or the potential loss of your security clearance, make sure your lawyer knows how to win.
- Focus: Military law is a unique legal practice area. An attorney with 20 years of personal injury experience who has never touched a military law case will not be able to help you much. Success in military criminal defense requires in depth knowledge and experience in the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and other laws not widely known to other legal practitioners. If possible, try to find an attorney who focuses exclusively on military law. Since military law is such a unique area, it helps to have a lot of experience focused on this one area.
Finally, there’s another criterion that you should not ignore: your instincts. Usually, when you meet an attorney who might represent you in your case, you can get a feeling about him or her. Do you feel comfortable talking to this attorney? Does he or she convey poise and skill? Do you think he or she will handle your case successfully?
By exploring the three primary criteria and checking your own instincts, you should get an attorney who will handle your case competently. While this doesn’t guarantee any specific result, it will help you get the best results possible.