«   |   »

What to Consider When Hiring a Lawyer

All of us need doctors, dentists, schools, banks and the services of various other providers.  When we need these things we often ask around for other people’s experiences and recommendations.  However, we may not have the same luxury when picking a lawyer to represent us, since we may not know anyone who has needed a lawyer before.

Choosing a lawyer can be quite overwhelming, especially if you need one quickly or are in a situation you never thought you would be in.  Whether you need a lawyer for a divorce, bankruptcy, personal injury, criminal, estate settlement, or other type of case, choosing the right lawyer is of utmost importance since most specialize and a divorce lawyer will be of little help in a criminal case.  Here are some important tips when searching for the right lawyer for you.

Have a Face to Face

Tips for hiring a lawyer for Legal adviceDepending on your needs and type of case, potential lawyers should be willing to do a free meet and greet appointment.  Lawyers should not be hired based on telephone communications alone.  No matter the issue at hand, you will be working closely with your lawyer and it is important to make sure you feel comfortable with this person and in their presence.  This person will likely know some very intimate details of your life and it is important to trust them.  If the potential lawyer talks over you or does not want to take the time to listen to you count it as a red flag.  When you meet face to face find out how accessible he or she is; if you have questions can you contact them directly, how quickly will calls or emails be returned, will you be working with a paralegal, or directly with the lawyer?

Promises vs. Confidence

A very popular question that lawyers get asked when meeting with potential clients is if their case can be won.  After meeting with potential lawyers and discussing your case, beware of any lawyer who makes promises about your case.  Lawyers do not have psychic abilities.  No lawyer can guarantee you will win your case.  On the other hand, if the lawyer is willing to handle your case, they should have confidence that you have a valid case and that they have the experience, abilities, and knowledge to have a good chance of winning for you.

Experience

Whatever area of the law you are seeking help in, make sure the lawyer you hire has a lot of experience in that particular area.  Lawyers who specialize in a few specific areas of law are usually more successful than those who practice several areas of law.  Focusing in on a few types of cases helps them to get more experience and therefore a better chance of winning.  You can also inquire about their successes and failures.  You may also want to ask about their education and if they belong to any legal associations.

Money Talks

Rates and fees for legal work can vary greatly depending upon the type of law, how long the case will last, and how complicated it will be.  Unless you have an unlimited budget, it will be very important to inquire about what your potential lawyer charges and how they charge.  Not understanding their fees can be a very expensive mistake.  Fees and how payments will be handled and applied should be clearly spelled out in any contract you are asked to sign when hiring a lawyer.

Following these few simple tips can help you hire the right lawyer for your case.  Do not hire the first lawyer you come across just because you are in a hurry to have representation.  Often this can be an expensive mistake, both financially, and for your legal case. The first step to success in your legal dilemma is securing the right lawyer, shopping around and comparing lawyers will help you feel confident in your final decision.

See also:

Resources:

Make Your Own Living Trust How & When to Sue Your Lawyer Small Business For Dummies Family Lawyer

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net