Have you ever needed a lawyer? Finding the right one can be stressful, adding to an already complicated situation. It is important to find someone who is experienced and the right fit to handle your problem. Here are seven questions you should ask a prospective attorney before you hire them:
1) How long have you been practicing law?
First, you need to know how long they’ve been in the field. Beginning lawyers shouldn’t automatically be discarded. Depending upon the situation, a less-experienced lawyer might be more up to date on new media type issues whereas a more experienced attorney could prove better for criminal defense.
2) Do they handle cases in the area of law you need?
You don’t necessarily need someone 100% focused on your one problem, but you want someone with experience in the field of practice in which you need help. Is it a legal issue they generally handle? Need a divorce lawyer? You typically wouldn’t want someone focused on international commerce.
3) What are your fees? How much do you charge?
There are many ways to phrase the question. You basically want to know what it will cost to represent you. How much work will get passed off to paralegals or assistants? And, with what frequency will you be billed? Some cases are handled on a contingency basis where they get a percentage of any funds won.
4) What is a typical client of theirs?
Again, using the divorce example, if they typically represent the female side of a divorce, you might not be interested in their help if you’re a man. They may have the experience and a good rate, but it might not be the best match for you.
5) How do you keep clients abreast of what’s going on?
Discover their communication style. Some cases have long waits after filing. How frequently will they let you know what’s going on? How would they help you be patient without making you overly anxious? Dates are important, too. How will they make sure you’re available on the required dates?
6) What is the plan of attack for your specific case?
How will they strategize with you to bring the case to a successful conclusion? Probating a will is easy. Suing someone after falling on their property requires a different approach.
7) What’s the likelihood of a win?
Realistically, get a feel for if they think your case has a chance at winning. Even if the case has a long shot, are their opinions in line with your expectations? If not, have they convinced you why they’re different?
There are a ton of questions you can ask your lawyer once you’ve hired them. Hopefully, these seven will help guide you to finding the right one for your specific situation. If you’re ready to hire a lawyer, check out our practice areas to find out if Laird Hammons Laird will be a fit for you! Call us today at (405) 703-4567.