Attorney Shopping: Local Attorney, Local Court Knowledge


When a person needs to hire an attorney, most assume they should get a local lawyer in the same town as them. However, when an attorney is licensed in a given state, he or she can practice anywhere in that jurisdiction.

While this isn’t much of an issue in small states that can be covered in an hour or two of driving, it makes a big difference in larger states. The fact is, the farther away an attorney is from the local court, the less they know about how details are handled locally and the more they cost.

Communication Advantages

Lawyers thrive on communication. Local attorneys do quite a bit of that skill, establishing relationships with everyone in the legal world locally. As a result, they know the local judges, opposing attorneys, and prosecution where work involves criminal law matters.

They are also familiar with local government officials ranging from elected politicians to local law enforcement. Those relationships make a big difference in both obtaining information about a case as well as finding reception from parties the lawyer needs attention from.

The same doesn’t necessarily exist with an out-of-town attorney. In fact, lawyers from well out of town can only rely on procedural rules and often come across as ignorant of local nuances, which doesn’t help a case.

Size Doesn’t Make a Difference

Especially outside the big city, large firms tend to be at a disadvantage. They come across as corporate. Local attorneys from small offices are a known commodity and come across as people to the local court system.

So, reception for their arguments tends to be better on the natural. All licensed attorneys can argue the law, but many jury members and judges are still influenced by familiarity.

Staying Local Cuts Down on Extra Expenses

Attorneys have operating costs. When they have to travel out of town for a case, that’s an added expense for the client. Mileage, meals, and lodging add up, especially when incurred repeatedly for multiple trips or week-long representation stints.

With a local attorney, clients don’t have these costs. Instead, the expense of representation is focused on actual legal work versus paying for getting from location A to location B.

Local resources like Killian Law Grand Junction make it easy to obtain excellent legal representation for all types of civil law. There’s no need to struggle with out-of-town firms that barely apply any time, jam everything into short meetings, and don’t seem to be engaged with a local case except when it comes time to charge for services.

Instead, the better approach is to work with a local expert and put the focus of attention on the case itself versus travel logistics. The point we’re making, via our own experiences, is that it’s often worth your while, and advantageous to make use of a local lawyer versus someone further away.

Yes, big cities can attract great lawyers, but that doesn’t mean the best lawyer is there, and certainly not the ‘best lawyer for your case.’


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About Marc Wallace

I'm never too busy to share my passion. I've created this page to help people learn more about business, finance and real estate. Besides all the serious stuff, I'm also a man that values family and healthy relationships. I hope you find my content insightful.

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