Are you getting ready to head into court? If you are, then you need to find the right attorney.
Getting the right person behind you can make the difference in winning or losing. You need to find the right person to try your case.
There are a lot of lawyers out there. How do you know which one will increase your chance of a successful case when you are looking for an attorney?
Below are eight questions to ask to figure that out.
Table of Contents
1. What’s Your Specialty?
Would you rather hire a lawyer that has handled dozens of cases like yours, or settle for one that has never handled a situation similar to your circumstances?
While getting a jack of all trades has its place, you want someone who has experience in the type of case you are going to court to resolve.
Many attorneys specialize in specific fields, so you shouldn’t have to look hard for someone that specializes in the area you need. When you talk with an attorney, ask them about their experience in their field.
They should be able to provide you a list of cases they’ve handled in the past that show their experience.
2. How Are Your Fees Handled?
Before you head into your first meeting with a lawyer, find out if the initial consultation is free. Many lawyers still charge for the first meeting. Make sure you go in with the expectation that you are going to pay.
This meeting is where you should ask about the rest of their fees. There are many ways an attorney can bill you for their work. Most people think of hourly fees, but this isn’t the only option available.
For routine cases, a flat fee is a common practice. These cases can be anything from divorces to evictions.
For other cases that have unknown outcomes, contingency fees are the regular practice. Your attorney will get paid based on what they win for you. You will find contingency fees in medical malpractice and accident cases.
3. Have You Had Any Disciplinary Problems?
When you hire an attorney, you want a professional. You don’t want to worry about babysitting a problem child.
Before you hire your attorney, ask them about any disciplinary problems they’ve had in the past.
You can find this information on your state’s website, but you should still ask the attorney about any problems. You want to see if they will be forthcoming about their past. There may even be circumstances outside of their control that led to the problem.
A past problem shouldn’t disqualify an attorney, but it can be used as a red flag if you don’t like the circumstances of the disciplinary problem.
4. Who Will Be Handling My Case?
You’ve probably seen the billboard and TV ads. Hire the law experts to handle your case.
But the question is, will the people you see on TV be the ones that actually represent you? Many law firms spend a lot of ad dollars to try to get you in the front door. But if you’re dealing with a larger firm, the people in the ads may not be the ones working on your case.
If they are the ones you want to work with, then you need to clarify this before you hire a firm.
If you are assigned another lawyer, get to know the person who you’ll be working with you so you can figure out if they are a good fit.
5. What Are Your Past Results With Similar Cases?
Sure, someone can specialize in a law field. But that doesn’t mean they win their cases.
When you find an attorney, ask to see a case history that is similar to your court case. You want to know if they have a good track record for winning.
It shouldn’t take long for an attorney to tell you about their case history. In fact, they should have their history prepared for this occasion.
6. What Will You Require from Me?
For your case to go smoothly, you need to establish what you are responsible for in your case. Your attorney might not do everything, so make sure they tell you what you need to do during this process.
You shouldn’t need to do anything like speak to witnesses, but there could be paperwork and other tasks that need to be handled. Is this responsibility yours or will the attorney’s law office handle this?
If you want to save money, you can choose an attorney that isn’t as hands on. But if you don’t mind paying for more service, then hire someone who can handle everything for you.
7. Do You Have Any Conflicts of Interest?
Have you ever wondered what happens when an attorney comes across a situation where they would be inclined to act against your best interest? This occurs when they have a conflict of interest.
By law, your attorney is required to tell you if there is a conflict. But it doesn’t hurt to ask them yourself before continuing your relationship.
A conflict can be anything from having a previous relationship with another party in the court case to having a personal relationship with someone involved with the case.
8. What Will Our Relationship Be Like?
Are you the type of person who needs a lot of handholding or do you want your attorney to be someone that just gets the job done.
You need to determine what kind of relationship you want with your attorney so you can find one that can accommodate your needs.
Don’t Neglect These Questions When Looking for an Attorney
The legal process can be long and complicated. Before you settle on an attorney, make sure you ask them the questions above so you can better gauge if they are the right fit for your needs.
You shouldn’t rush when looking for an attorney. You need to find someone that can give you the results you need.
Are you looking for more information about the legal process? Keep reading our blog.