As of the end of 2014, there were approximately 90,000 lawyers licensed to practice in the state of Florida, 65% of which were males, and 35% females. Some of these lawyers are licensed to practice in Florida but maintain their primary practices in other states.
The most popular practice areas in the state are:
- Administrative Law
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Business Law
- Civil Rights
- Commercial Law
- Commercial Real Estate
- Construction Law
- Corporate Law
- Criminal Law
- Debtor and Creditor
- Elder Law
- Family Law
- General Practice
- Health Care
- Intellectual Property
- Medical Malpractice
- Personal Injury
- Product Liability
- Real Estate
- Trusts and Estates
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Florida had a population of 18,801,310. In terms of race and ethnicity, the state was:
- 75.0% White (57.9% Non-Hispanic White alone)
- 16.0% Black or African American
- 0.4% American Indian and Alaska Native
- 2.4% Asian
- 0.1% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander
- 3.6% from Some Other Race
- 2.5% from Two or More Races
- Hispanics and Latinos of any race made up 22.5% of the population.
Florida ranks among the top 10 states in the number of lawyers per capita. With a very large population of senior citizens, legal practice areas such as elder law, estate planning, probate and probate litigation and wills and trusts are are larger in numbers than other states with younger populations. Florida comprises 7% of all the lawyers in the United States. Florida offers some of the finest law schools in the country. These include Levin College of Law at the University of Florida, University of Miami School of Law and Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University to name a few.
The Florida Bar is the primary state governing bar association. Florida has many additional local and specialty bar associations. Whenever hiring an attorney, it is advisable to check with the state bar association to be sure that they are in good standing. Attorneys chosen by Top Attorneys Of America, and TopAttorneysFlorida.com are a very select group of attorneys rated by their peers as well as their clients. These attorneys by reputation have established themselves as preem inent in their fields of specialty. TopAttorneysFlorida.com and Top Attorneys Of America take great pride in presenting to the public and business community lawyers that are by education, experience and peer to peer rating, client ratings and strandards of practice have established themselves as the best attorneys in their respective specialties.
When do I need a lawyer?
The following are examples of circumstances when you should seek a lawyer’s advice:
- Real Estate law including buying and selling a home, foreclosure, landlord tenant
- Personal Injury including accidents and malpractice
- Family Law including divorce, child support, elder abuse
- Criminal Law including vehicular offenses
- Workers Compensation
- Corporate matters including incorporation, employment, and litigation
- Trusts and Estates including Probate and Probate Litigation
- Patent and Trademark protection
- Securities Litigation
- Tax Litigation
- Civil Rights
The best time to consult a lawyer is before, not after, you have legal problems. It can save you money in the long run and keep any legal difficulties to a minimum. A lawyer can help by offering you legal counseling and advice, preparing documents and, if necessary, representing you in court and other legal proceedings.
Golden Gavel Society
The Florida lawyers on this site have been chosen from many thousands of lawyers to be honored with Golden Gavel Society status. These lawyers have earned this status by their commitment to their clients and their professional conduct with their peers. The selection process is rigorous and no attorney can buy their way into this group. They are hand picked entirely based upon their own achievements. When looking for an attorney, look for the
Golden Gavel Symbol to be sure that your attorney has met the highest standards of practice.
How do I find the right lawyer?
Your goal is to find a lawyer with whom you are comfortable as both a person and a professional. Your case may involve very personal information and your lawyer will often need to know confidential details about you, your family and your finances to be effective in helping you.
The nature of your legal problem will help define the type of lawyer you will want to hire. Often lawyers have one or more specialties, and you want to make sure your lawyer has experience in your type of case. The lawyer who did a terrific job with your friend’s divorce may not have the expertise to take on your auto accident injury matter.
Before meeting with a lawyer, make notes about your problem and gather all of the related documents to take with you. This will allow you to present your legal problem in the clearest and most organized manner possible. It will also allow you to focus on evaluating the lawyer’s response to your case and your questions.
What should I ask a lawyer?
At the first meeting you should ask about the following topics. Keep in mind, some lawyers charge a fee for your first consultation, some don’t.
- The amount of experience the lawyer has in your type of legal matter;
- A preliminary outline of how the lawyer believes the case should be handled and the time frame for its completion;
- Whether or not the lawyer carries malpractice insurance;
- How you can or will be expected to participate in your case;
- How you will be kept informed about the status of the matter;
- Whether or not the lawyer will provide you with a fee agreement that details fees, expenses, billing and payment;
- The lawyer’s hourly fee (if applicable); and
- An estimate of the lawyer’s total fee.
After meeting with the lawyer ask yourself the following questions:
- Will I be comfortable working closely with this person?
- Am I confident that the lawyer has the experience and skill to handle your case?
- Do I clearly understand the lawyer’s explanation of what my case involves?
- Do I understand the proposed fee agreement?
How will I pay a lawyer?
This type of charge, sometimes called a “standard” fee, is used most often for routine legal matters. For example, a lawyer may charge all clients the same amount to handle a “simple will.” When you agree to a fixed fee, be sure you know what it does and does not include and if there could be additional charges.
Many lawyers charge by the hour and the hourly rate varies from lawyer to lawyer. Your total bill can be estimated by having the lawyer project the amount of time your case will take and provide a list of filing fees and other costs.
A retainer fee may be used to guarantee that a lawyer will be available to take a particular case and could mean that the lawyer would have to turn down other cases in order to remain available. With this type of fee agreement, you may be billed separately for the legal work that is done. A retainer fee sometimes is considered a down payment on any legal services you may need. Since this type of fee arrangement can mean different things, be sure to have the lawyer explain the fee arrangement.
This type of charge often is used in personal injury cases when you are suing someone for money. It means that you will pay your lawyer a certain percentage of the money you receive if you win the case or if you settle the matter. If you lose, your lawyer doesn’t receive a fee. In some cases, your lawyer may pay some of these costs for you when they are due, but you may have to repay the lawyer.
If you agree to a contingency fee, be sure you know what your lawyer’s percentage will be. Some agreements provide for a varying percentage depending on whether the case is settled, goes to trial or has to be appealed. If so, those varying percentages must be stated in the agreement as well. While obtaining a fee agreement from your lawyer is always a good idea, in contingency fee cases, they are required.
The cost of some probate and other legal work is set by law. For certain other legal problems, the court either sets or must approve the fee you will pay. Often, a lawyer cannot tell you exactly what the charge will be, because it is difficult to estimate how much work is going to be involved. But a lawyer can usually estimate the minimum and maximum limits of the fee and give you some idea of the work involved.
How can I help my lawyer and keep expenses down?
There are several steps you can follow to help your lawyer work for you and keep the cost of legal services at a minimum:
- Gather in advance all information that you think your lawyer may need;
- Carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of your case: could court costs and legal fees be more than the amount of money you would likely recover?
- Write down the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all people involved in your matter
- Bring any written materials relating to your legal situation, such as receipts, contracts, medical bills, repair estimates, checks, traffic tickets, deeds, wills and letters from the opposing side to the first meeting with your lawyer;
- Ask if there are some aspects of the case that you can handle yourself (e.g., some telephone calls);
- Bring a written summary of the facts exactly as you remember them;
- Write down the questions that you want your lawyer to answer;
- Avoid calling your lawyer unnecessarily;
- Inform your lawyer of any changes to your address, telephone number and to any situation that may have a bearing on your case;
- Ask the lawyer about ways to resolve your case without going to court; and
- Reveal all information, even if it may not be in your favor.