A Conversation With: One Of The Best Lawyers In Dallas, Chad West

Chad was selected as one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas by D Magazine in 2014 and has been repeatedly selected as “Rising Star” by Texas Monthly (Thomson Reuters) in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

AE: What drew you to working in the legal field?

CW: Working in the legal field peaked my interest while serving my country by serving in the military. The importance of helping those that cannot help them-selves was very important to me.

AE: You have had your own law firm since 2011, what are the significant differences being an owner of a law firm versus working as an attorney for one?

CW: Owning my own law firm requires a great deal of time and energy to make sure everything runs smoothly and the bills get paid. However, the personal reward is much greater. Being in a small law firm in such a community based part out of Dallas give me the ability to connect with each client to make sure we are getting them the best results possible.

AE: Prior to becoming an attorney you served in the military and had a very distinguished career going, what made you decide to leave military service?

CW: I wouldn’t trade my time in the U.S. Army for anything. It was a time of my life that really shaped who I am as a man and as a leader. I left because I wanted to start my own business that focuses on helping people, and I saw the legal field as a way to do so.

AE: How did your time in the military prepare you for running your own law firm?

CW: The military prepared me for running my own law firm by instilling dedication to a greater good, defending freedoms, and working hard.

AE: You are a member of a number of organizations, do you think leaders and business owners have an obligation to get involved and give back to the community?

CW: Without giving back to your community, you should not expect to receive much from it. As a small business in the Oak Cliff part of Dallas, it is a privilege to be able to give back to such a vibrant and evolving area.

AE: The workplace has changed drastically over the last 20 years, do you think what motivates leaders and their teams have changed?

CW: Absolutely. The millennials are swarming the workplace, and the motivations and personalities are completely different than my generations (Gen X’s) motivations.

AE: How do you empower, inspire or motivate others in the workplace?

CW: I hire the best people and do my very best to give them everything they need to succeed. I avoid micromanaging whenever possible.

AE: What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

CW: The ability to recognize your own weaknesses and needs to put a team together to turn one’s weaknesses into strengths.

AE: What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?

CW: To continue to grow and develop as a leader I look for new ways to challenge myself both professionally and personally. Finding new challenges to take on is a good way to remind ourselves to remain humble.

AE: Have there been any role models for you?

CW: Both of my parents, for very different reasons. My mother taught me compassion and the love for learning. My father showed me the benefits of owning my own business. Both taught me the value of hard work.

AE: What do you attribute your success to?

CW: Success would not be possible without a good support system. My family and friends are my biggest supporters.

AE: If you could give one piece of leadership advice to your employees what would that be?

CW: Work on your most brain-intensive projects first thing in the morning, as you are at your best when you first get to work.

AE: What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

CW: Roll up your sleeves and get ready to work hard. Don’t sweat the small stuff and never lower your standards.

AE: What has been your greatest professional accomplishment so far as a leader?

CW: Starting my own business. Nothing beats it!

AE: What is something people don’t generally know about you as a leader?

CW: I absolutely hate public speaking, but I work hard to overcome it.

AE: If you could have a conversation with one leader alive or dear who would that be?

CW: Thomas Jefferson.

AE: What would you want to ask them?

CW: He was a multiple-business owner and brilliant politician and was ahead of his time in many ways. I would want to know what motivated him and how he became the leader he portrayed to the world.

AE: They say anyone can become a leader, in your opinion do you believe that?

CW: Absolutely!

AE: What do you want your leadership legacy to be?

CW: I want to leave a legacy of achieving high quality results and making a difference in the lives of others. Helping to start a charity 5k, Dash for the Beads, was a great way for me to give back and help a large number of people while focusing on healthy ways of life.

AE: What is next for you?

My firm is expanding to South Dallas, a second location, and we are welcoming two new lawyers to the firm in June and November of 2015, which I’m really excited about! In the non-legal world, I’m opening an express car wash with my family in Ennis, TX in early 2016.

http://www.chadwestlaw.com/

AE: I start each day off with a motivational quote, do you have a favorite?

CW: Just do it!

5 Ways to Choose the Best Lawyer for Your Legal Issue

When you are facing a serious legal issue, such as a criminal charge, you need to find someone who can represent your case efficiently and successfully. You are likely already very stressed and even scared, but you need to take the time to make sure that you are choosing the right person to represent you in your time of need. There are a few things to do to make sure that you are hiring the best lawyer to represent you.

Choose someone who is within your price range. It can be tempting to try to hire the first firm that you find in the phone book, but you need to take the time to figure out how much this will cost you. You do not want to run out of legal funds if your case takes longer than expected or if it becomes more complicated than you anticipated. Hire a firm that you can afford for the long term if the need arises.

If you cannot afford an attorney, you should have the option to have a public defender look after your case. While this is a great option for someone who absolutely does not have the monetary means to hire an attorney, the best chances of winning your case or getting the best outcome for it will likely come from an established lawyer. Do not dismiss the idea of hiring someone on your own because you think you may be able to get one for free.

Get someone who is experienced with the particular type of case that you have. Not every legal professional is trained with experience in certain cases. Lawyers who specialize in the type of case that you have will be best for your situation and will improve the chances that you will get the best outcome possible. His or her unique knowledge can lead you through the complexities of a courtroom that you may not understand.

Make sure you are able to communicate effectively with the lawyer. When sitting down with someone to talk about your case in a consultation, make sure you note how comfortable you are with the attorney. If he or she does not let you speak your mind or you feel as though you cannot tell him or her everything, then you need to find someone else that you will be comfortable with and who will listen to you.

Avoid hiring someone who is very hard to reach. If it is hard for you just to schedule a consultation with someone, then you need to find someone else who has the time to devote to you. You cannot afford to wait too long before talking to someone about your case. You need to speak with someone as soon as possible in order for work to begin in your defense.

Research the attorney online and see what type of reputation he or she has. It is always a good idea to look at online reviews about particular law firms and attorneys to see if he or she has a positive reputation. You should also be able to find out his or her background and whether or not he or she is very experienced in the type of case that you are facing. Avoid anyone who does not seem legitimate or cannot provide you with credentials when asked.

Do not give up in your search for someone who will defend you professionally. It is never wise to take on your own case, so make sure that you find someone who is experienced, that you can afford, and who will devote his or her time to your particular case.

Tips to Finding the Best Lawyers for Your Unique Case

At some point in your life you may find you need a lawyer to help you get through a difficult case where charges are brought against you. This doesn’t mean that you have committed a crime, maybe you’re going through a divorce or a nasty custody battle, maybe you have been fined for DUI or maybe you were caught vandalizing someone’s home, whatever the reason it’s important you find the best person that can handle your case and help you reach a good resolution.

The best place to find a lawyer is through word of mouth. Family or friends who have required legal services will be able to provide you with the name or law firm they used. The great thing about using word of mouth is that you know that your family and friends won’t recommend anyone who didn’t provide them with a professional service and a good resolution.

If you haven’t got family and friends who have required this type of legal service, then it’s time to go onto the internet and start your search. Of course you are looking for a reputable law firm in your local area, it’s essential they are located in your state because each state has different legislations, so your lawyer must be registered in the state where the trial or case is being handled.

During your search you are looking for firms that have bar associations. See what bar associations they are members of, such as the Bar of the United States Supreme Court, for example. This is an indicator that you are looking at a company with a good and reliable service who should be dedicated to their clients and will work with you for a favorable outcome.

The next thing to look for as you go through the selection of law firms working in your local area is to determine their track record. Many firms will advertise their successes on their website, but if you can’t find anything, don’t be shy to call them and ask them about their track record to ensure they have worked on a case similar to yours or of the same nature.

Always check to see what the lawyer’s specialty is. Not all law firms work in the same law, some will provide criminal law services while others may offer public liability law services. It’s imperative to ensure that the firm you choose has extensive experience in your sector of the law to enable them to provide you with the best service and hopefully a favorable outcome.

The lawyers you choose should be dedicated to providing you with the best possible service and should be with you every step of the way from pre-trial to the court proceedings, if it goes that far. They should work hard to come to a resolution before your case reaches court, though of course this isn’t always possible. If your case goes to court, they should have experience with trials, questioning witnesses and making winning opening and closing statements.

Your team should always be able to answer your questions quickly, there shouldn’t be any hesitation in giving you all the answers you need to help put your mind at ease when going through this difficult time.

The lawyers should remain professional at all times. They should offer you years of experience and knowledge and keep you informed of your case at all times, ensuring you are always kept in the loop and understand what to expect in terms of your own case. There are many outcomes and your team should ensure that you are aware of the possible outcomes, so you are not left surprised when the case comes to a close.

Need a Divorce Lawyer? Tips for Choosing the Best Lawyer

Going through a divorce can be a very difficult process. Some divorces are quick; others require court and lawyers. If you happen to be in the latter category, you need a good lawyer. Choosing a lawyer is one of the most important things that you can do in your divorce. Here are three tips in choosing the best lawyer. The tips are: do your research, cost of the lawyer does not equal the level of service, do not be afraid to fire your lawyer.

Your lawyer is going to be the person who files all the papers and represents you in front of the judge. Ask friends and family for referrals to a lawyer. Make sure you ask what you liked about the lawyer and what you did not like about the lawyer. Before you sign any retainer agreements, interview them. When you make your appointment make sure that you ask if there are any consultation fees. You do not want any surprises.

Once you gather your information, you want weigh the costs versus the services. Each lawyer charges for different things. Some charge by the minute; some charge by 8th of the hour. You want to know if the lawyer charges for postage or hand-delivering documents. Do not forget that this is additional to the court fees. You want a lawyer who you feel comfortable with, who listens to your needs, and communicates well. Remember this person needs to represents your interests to the best of his or her ability. The cost he or she charges does not accurately reflect the service you are going to receive. For example, you can go with the biggest named law firm and have the worse lawyer on your team.

If you have chosen your lawyer and he or she is not representing you well in your case, you can fire your lawyer. Remember you want the best lawyer possible. Communication is very important in this situation. Before you fire your old lawyer, make sure that you have already obtained a new one. The new lawyer will send a discharge letter to the lawyer and file it with the court. The old lawyer will still charge you for time for discussing the case with the new lawyer and preparing your file for transfer. If you owe the old lawyer money, it will delay the release of your file to the new lawyer.

Even though it is a process, changing lawyers still can be done. That is why the first two tips are the most important. The average divorce takes a year. You want to have the best person representing you. If you choose the wrong lawyer, you could be paying for years for your mistake.