The right lawyer is often the difference between being found guilty or innocent. In civil cases, a bad lawyer can keep you from winning a settlement that you deserve.
That’s why it’s crucial you pick the best lawyer you can afford. But how can you tell in a consultation whether or not this attorney will be any good?
Luckily, there are a few specific questions you can ask them. The answers will give you a better idea of who they are and what to expect from them.
Do you need to hire a lawyer this year? We have outlined the major questions to ask an attorney before hiring them in 2019!
1. How Often Do You Work on Cases Similar to Mine?
Every attorney has a specialty. You want to be sure that the lawyer you hire has expertise in your type of case.
You wouldn’t want someone who usually works as a car accident lawyer representing you in your divorce case!
What’s the correct answer to this question? They should say that the vast majority of their cases are like yours. Even better, it could be the only kind of case they deal with.
2. How Will You Bill Me?
Hiring a lawyer can get really expensive, really quickly. Before you ever hire a lawyer, you need to be 100% clear on how they’ll bill you.
They could bill you all upfront or by the hour. Either way, don’t take that number at face value. Follow up this question by asking if there is a possibility for additional fees.
3. Do You Have Any Specialized Training?
There are all sorts of additional training lawyers can get to make them better equipped to try certain cases.
For example, a lawyer can get a Board Certification in DUI law. They don’t need it to try a DUI case. But wouldn’t you rather a lawyer who received that additional training?
4. How Available Will You Be to Me?
Some lawyers are very responsive and willing to hold your hand through this process. Others might be working a full caseload and can’t call you back the same day.
Need someone who will be readily available to you? Make sure upfront that they have the time to prioritize your communication.
5. Will You Be the Person Working on My Case?
It’s pretty common that the lawyer you meet during your consultation won’t be the person working your case.
This isn’t always a bad thing, even if they hand your case off to a junior associate. The more experienced lawyers are likely keeping tabs on the work they’re doing.
If the answer is “no” to this question, they aren’t necessarily hiding anything. Just ask if you can meet the person who will work on your case. It’s only a deal-breaker if they say no to this request.
These are the 5 Questions to Ask an Attorney
Now that you know the 5 questions to ask an attorney, you can have a productive consultation with them. If they don’t have the right answers, don’t be afraid to move on.
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