There are quite a few attorneys practicing law in the U.S. today — well above one million, in fact. While this can be beneficial if you are in need of legal counsel, since it gives you so many options, it also makes such a selection difficult as it can be trickier to know how to narrow down your choices. In this regard, looking to the characteristics of a top attorney can help you know what to search for in your own section process. We took the example of Juan Monteverde, a top securities attorney, to help create the following overview on the topic.
For some people, there is a tendency to look at only recent history when engaging in the attorney selection process. After all, it’s reasonable to assume that the most recent cases an attorney has handled are representative of their breadth of expertise. This, however, is a strategy that does not allow you to see the whole picture when it comes to an attorney’s set of skills. Instead of looking to just recent history, it can be beneficial to investigate an attorney’s past, even going as far back as their academic years.
Take the example of Juan Monteverde, where his undergraduate education was conducted at California State University, Northridge, where he majored in Business and Finance. He went on to attend the St. Thomas University School of Law, where he obtained his J.D. During his time at law school he engaged in extensive extracurricular activities, perhaps most notable amongst these was his work on the school’s law review as a staff editor. He also served as the president of the school’s newspaper, Plead the 5th. Both these activities would help to hone his writing talents and his ability to succinctly communicate complex legal ideas.
Field of practice
Another important consideration when selecting an attorney is their field of practice. While attorneys may have a tangential understanding of areas of law outside of their field, you’ll be at a disadvantage if your legal counsel is not intimately familiar with legal matters pertaining to your case. This consideration is important not just from the perspective of looking to the particulars of an area of law, but also the manner in which it is practiced in a geographical location. This can be due to variances amongst states as to how a specific area of law is crafted. There can also be differences between laws at the state level and the federal level.
The field of specialty of the attorney featured in this piece is securities law, which is the area of law dealing with financial investments in businesses. This can pertain to the stock market as a whole or it can focus on actions by particular companies that are owned publicly. This field also requires knowledge of the work of the Securities & Exchange Commission, the federal agency tasked with regulating the stock market and related financial tools. Attorneys practicing in this area can focus on a whole range of sub-specialties which concern issues of corporate conduct, stock issuance, trading, and more.
As much as you are able to look into an attorney’s career on your own, your search will usually be helped greatly when you look to other sources that can help you in your investigation. In this pursuit, a source might be able to provide an independent evaluation of an attorney’s abilities. They might also be able to look at an attorney’s work with more of a trained eye, better understanding the ins and outs of the legal profession than someone who has no background in the field. By using this type of resource, you are better able to ascertain how an attorney’s peers view them.
In the case of Juan Monteverde, we have the benefit of a number of different independent evaluations that help to show how the attorney performs in his field. The independent rating service, Super Lawyers, has ranked the attorney as a New York Metro Rising Star in multiple different years. That’s a distinction given to only 2.5% of attorneys in the area of securities law. He has likewise been selected numerous times as a Top-Rated Lawyer by Martindale-Hubbell, a leading global network designed to connect lawyers with clients.
While knowing an attorney’s specialty is important for determining if their expertise aligns with your needs, it can be just as important to look at their case history to see which cases they have direct experience trying. If an attorney has worked with cases similar to yours in the past, then they are more likely to be familiar with some of the factors that set your legal needs apart from those of others. This can be incredibly beneficial if your case veers into somewhat unique territory that may require specific knowledge on the part of your legal counsel.
In the above attorney’s case, while his field of practice is securities law, he has an even more refined focus on mergers. While working with these cases he maintains a focus on protecting shareholder value. This allows him to better represent the interests of his clients and also often improves the details of the mergers themselves. It is important to note how his focus within the field of securities law better prepares him for a specific set of legal work. By paying attention to the focus of a potential attorney, you’ll be able to select legal counsel that is best prepared for the eventualities that can arise within their area of expertise.
With such a large number of attorneys practicing law at present, there have never been more options for someone seeking legal counsel. The unintended consequence of this fact, however, is that it may take more effort to find the right attorney for you. By looking at the factors outlined above, you’ll be better prepared to make such a selection no matter how numerous your choices may be. Apply the criteria in the same way we’ve highlighted through the example of Juan Monteverde. In doing so you will be helping to set yourself up for the best possible resolution to any legal dispute.