By Jedidiah McKeehan

Before I became a lawyer I had the naïve impression that because lawyers wore suits and ties each day that they all worked hard and knew what they were doing. I thought that if they went to the trouble of wearing such fancy clothes, they must be responsible members of society who were proficient at their chosen profession.

Much to my surprise, when I became a lawyer I found that not to be the case. Instead, I found that like plumbers, auto mechanics, or any other profession, there are varying degrees of ability. Some lawyers are good, some are bad, and some are okay.

When I am speaking with a potential new client and they tell me that the opposing party already has a lawyer, one of the first questions I ask is who that lawyer is. The reason for that question is that if I know who the other lawyer is, I can advise the potential client more specifically based upon my personal knowledge of the other lawyer’s abilities. My advice to the potential client will be tailored based on the facts of the case, but also on whether the other lawyer is competent or not, and whether they are difficult to work with or not.

If you are in need of a lawyer, how do you go about choosing a good one instead of one who is bad or okay? Many different factors go into it. If you need a lawyer for a personal injury, criminal or custody case, yes, just about any lawyer you hire can get your case to the finish line, but which lawyer can get you the best result?

I do not have any perfect advice as to the best way to pick your lawyer other than to ask, “How do you go about spending money on anything else?” Do your research, ask around, read up on your options online. Talk to the lawyer and figure out if you are comfortable with them and if they are a good fit for your needs.


Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties.  He works in many areas, including family law, criminal, and personal injury. Visit for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.