Military Lawyer Near Me
Soldiers facing a court martial or administrative action often search for military lawyer near me. It is perfectly reasonable to want a military lawyer near Fort so-and-so. The thinking is that having a military lawyer nearby will facilitate communication and the sharing of information. Also, Soldiers believe that it is more cost-effective to have a “military lawyer near me” than it is to have a military lawyer who needs to travel. These are all very logical and reasonable considerations.
However, hiring a military lawyer who simply happens to be near you is not necessarily a good idea. First, you are limiting yourself to a very small pool of military lawyers. There might only be one or two civilian lawyers near you who actually specialize in military law. Other military lawyers who are near you are likely generalists who practice a lot of different areas of law. In other words, there are civilian lawyers who claim to specialize in military law, but in reality, military law makes up a very small percentage (maybe only 5-10%) of their practice. So if you are trying to find a military lawyer near you, you are likely severely limiting your choices.
Second, you don’t need a military lawyer near you to communicate effectively. With modern technology, including email, skype/facetime, electronic file sharing services, etc., you don’t need to be in physical proximity with your lawyer in order to have the full client experience. In the seven years that I have been practicing as a civilian lawyer specializing in military law, I have never had a local client. All of my clients have been spread across the United States and across the world. I have never had a problem communicating with my clients, and I know that my clients did not feel that they had any less robust representation because I was not located in physical proximity to them.
Third, it is often the case that hiring a military lawyer who is not located near you is actually more cost-effective, even considering the additional costs of travel. In the grander scheme of things, the costs of travel for a court martial (hotel, flight, car) tend to be minimal compared to the cost of representation. So it is the overall cost of a court martial to you that should be considered. If Military Lawyer #1 (local) charges $25,000 for a court martial, with no travel, but Military Lawyer #2 (non-local) charges $15,000 for a court martial plus $2000 travel (for a total of $17,000), it is a financially better decision to go with Military Lawyer #2. To be clear, I am not saying that you should base your decision to hire a civilian military defense lawyer on cost alone; but I am saying that you should compare costs for all lawyers, and not simply focus exclusively on finding a military lawyer near your base or installation.