There are times when we find ourselves in a scenario that calls for a lawyer’s help. Whether it’s a real estate transaction, a divorce or a DUI, you can count on this legal professional to steer you in the direction you want your case to take.
When searching for a lawyer, we all know how big a role research plays. But after you’ve found a number of prospects, you should meet every one of them and assess how right (or wrong) they are for you.
A great thing about these first consultations is that they’re often free of charge, so make sure you maximize this time to your advantage. Come with a ready list of questions, and take notes while the consultation is ongoing so you can make comparisons later on. You can ask whatever question or questions are important to you, but you can start with these basics:
What is your specialty?
Definitely, you should choose a lawyer whose career is dedicated to Cases similar to yours. So if you’ve been charged with a criminal violation, don’t hire someone who has spent the last 10 years drafting wills. You wouldn’t see a pulmonologist for a kidney problem, would you?
What are my potential costs?
Because the price of legal advice varies from lawyer to lawyer, you need to be clear on this with each prospect you have. The cost of legal services depends on the lawyer, so you have to be clear about this with each prospect on your list. Neither the lawyer nor you can predict the exact cost that you have to pay, but you need to ask for a ballpark estimate at least.
Who will be working on my case: you or a team of paralegals?
There’s nothing wrong with paralegals working on your case – it’s actually a widespread practice – but you have to do your due diligence finding out the lawyer’s or law firm’s background. Definitely, you’ll want to know how good these people are before you trust them to represent you. Besides, whether paralegals or a lawyer handles your case will also have an effect on your final bill.
How and how often will you communicate with me?
Effective lawyer-client communication is crucial to the success of any legal case. For instance, if you have questions about your case, how long before you could get the lawyer on the phone or receive a reply on your email? Lawyers do work on many different cases at once, but that should never be a reason to give late replies.
Finally, consider whether or not you and the lawyer have some personal connection going. Now matter how great an attorney’s reviews are, he can’t be that great for you if you’re awkward or uncomfortable in his presence. You’ll want someone who is both a legal expert and a person you’ll be happy to work with.