How to Choose the Right LawyerFebruary 23, 2011
It's normal to feel intimidated while talking to an attorney. The common perception is that law is an elite field of study which is difficult for "everyday" people to understand. Naturally, some people may feel a little nervous about questioning the skill or advice of a potential attorney. However, asking questions is one of the most important parts of choosing the right lawyer. After all, it's possible for people of all degrees of education to lose sight of their own competence when faced with complicated legal problems.
Any relationship between the client and attorney should be based on open and free communication. This means the attorney should be able to explain any questions in an easily understandable manner. Three important questions should be discussed with the potential lawyer before making any representation decision.
Question 1: "Do I really need a lawyer?"
This is a question the client should ask to themselves and the prospective attorney. Some problems which seem like legal nightmares have the potential for easy solutions. A problem can sometimes be solved with a simple face-to-face encounter or phone call. The prospective attorney should always clearly explain all legal remedies which are available and the steps necessary to move forward. It's also very important for the potential attorney to explain the effects moving forward with the case will have on the attorney-client relationship and the client's personal life. If the attorney fails to reveal this information the search for the right lawyer should continue.
Question 2: "Is this the right type of lawyer?"
This is a question which must be asked to every potential attorney. The legal field is composed of thousands attorneys practicing in a surprisingly vast number of areas of the law. The client should discuss with the potential attorney his/or her past experiences with similar types of cases. Questioning the attorney's results in these cases is also recommended.
Question 3: "Can I afford this lawyer?"
This is a very important and practical question which must be discussed with every potential attorney. Some attorneys bill by the hour and some work on contingency fees (meaning no payment is taken unless there is a recovery). It's important that the attorney explain in detail the payment arrangement which will attach to the case. There should be a mutual understanding of all financial obligations stemming from the case.
Although these questions will help to choose the right lawyer, they are by no means the only questions which need to be asked. When seeking the right lawyer fo r your case, it's important to ask any question which will help clarify the process. Any good lawyer should be happy to answer any and all questions posed by a potential client.
If you or a loved one would like a free and confidential consutlation about your legal matter, please do not hesiate to contact our office.