A Millennial's Guide To Getting A Lawyer: How To Know If You Need One

by Katie Mather

You're a Millennial born between 1980 and 1995, and you're experiencing a legal dispute.

Different stages of your life produce different likely legal troubles and scenarios. As a Millennial, it's highly likely you've never hired a lawyer before, which means you will be delving into the world of law for the first time.

A critical thing to understand about lawyers is, not all lawyers are alike. From company size to area of expertise, to role with clients, lawyers can have a wide range of niches they fill, and it is important the lawyer you hire knows how to address your specific needs precisely. Therefore, the rules of getting a lawyer depend on what kind of legal situation you've found yourself in.

Here is advice for finding a lawyer for common Millennial legal problems, and when you should consider hiring one:

1. Drug Possession Charges

When you're hit with drug possession charges, it may be tempting to panic and throw all caution to the wind, but you should proceed on level-headed terms.

Depending on where you live and how much of what drug you've been charged with possession of, your charge could be a misdemeanor or a felony. But regardless, it will be classified as a criminal case. In such cases, a public defense attorney will be assigned to you if you cannot hire a lawyer.

If you have a straightforward charge, a misdemeanor or something that can easily be negotiated down, you may not need anything more than a defense attorney. Preliminary research can be conducted online.

If you determine your charges could accrue some bad consequences, however, you may want to turn to a private practice for a stronger defense team. Because plea deals are often a critical part of a drug defense, you will want a lawyer with local experience and who is familiar with your local district attorney's office.

2. DUI/DWI Charges

Like drug possession charges, DUI charge severity depends on the circumstances surrounding your particular case. Punishment and severity range from minor legal trouble to potentially severe prison sentences and fines.

If your DUI or DWI had no aggravating factors such as reckless driving, a minor present in the vehicle or a blood alcohol content (BAC) above 0.12, then you likely don't need to spend the time and money hiring a lawyer.

However, if your charges are more severe, such as for a second offense, it's time to seek out legal help. Look for attorneys with expertise in DUIs, and make sure you get an initial consultation before proceeding to ensure they can handle the details of your case.

If you're considering pleading guilty, definitely consult an attorney before proceeding forward, as you may be subjecting yourself to a harsher sentence than needed.

3. Landlord Or Tenant Disputes

There are a wide variety of situations that might motivate you to lawyer up and take your landlord to court, but that can sometimes be an overreaction.

If your landlord won't make repairs or your property has been damaged, but you have renter's insurance, a lawyer's consultation may be all you need. For more critical matters, such as an eviction or discrimination matters, a lawyer can make a crucial difference.

There are several laws in place protecting both tenants and landlords, and you will need a lawyer's expertise to parse out what rights you have protecting you. If your landlord has failed to fulfill crucial promises or violated your rental clauses, you want a lawyer with expertise in landlord disputes.

For disputes such as illness or injury caused by your landlord, you may instead seek out a personal injury lawyer, who has experience working with premises liability.

4. Employee Or Employer Disputes

If you think you may be facing legal trouble at work, there's a good chance the right course of action is “consult an attorney”.

This is because companies almost always have lawyers on retainer for the express purpose of protecting themselves. That's understandable since companies can be hit with lawsuits at any time, and if they catch a whiff of legal trouble, chances are, they're ready to start building a case against whatever possible complaint you may want to bring.

For these disputes, an attorney with experience in employment or labor laws will make the difference and help defend your rights and protections. Directories are available for workplace-related cases, where you can narrow down your search by location and specific practice.

The world of legal aid can be confused, and a lawyer's fees can intimidate many Millennials, who tend to be strapped for cash. But, the cost of a lawyer can be nothing compared to the cost of damages and consequences of failing to prepare yourself legally.

Rather than letting something catch you off guard, do your homework, look into your legal rights and consider consulting a lawyer before a minor problem becomes a massive one.