Finding a lawyer is just like choosing a product or a service. Thorough research will help you make informed decisions. After several referrals from friends and experts in the same field, carefully select the candidate to offer legal services you may need based on the following criteria.
To assess a lawyer’s legal ability to perform, you should conduct a one-on-one interview. Most consultants are ready to offer an hour or less discussion free of charge, and that is the opportunity for you to judge the level of confidence they carry to deliver quality services. Before you hire a lawyer for your legal needs, consider asking the following questions during an interview.
- What is your experience in the legal matter I have?
- For how long have you been in practice?
- What is your track record in legal practice?
- What percentage of your workload are you dedicating to my legal matter?
- What certification do you possess, do you have any other particular skill you possess?
- What is your fees structure, and how do you plan to charge me for your services?
- Do you carry malpractice insurance? And how much is it?
- Apart from you, who else will be working on my case and what will be their hourly rates?
- Do you outsource some of your functions to third parties? If yes, on what basis and who will be charged for the outsourced services?
- Apart from the lawyer fees, what other charges should I expect, and how often should I be billed.
- Can you provide references from your past clients? Were they happy with your services?
- Do you have an engagement agreement or representation agreement? If yes, show me.
- How often should you communicate with me about the development of the case?
Remember that higher fees do not necessarily equate to the experience and expertise of a lawyer. However, the cheapest fee services may signal problems, incompetence or inexperience. After interviewing the shortlisted candidates, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the lawyer’s experience meet your legal requirements?
- Do you feel comfortable working with them in your legal matter?
- Do you think they can handle your case?
- How are you comfortable with the fees charged and the structure of the fee payment?
- Are you satisfied with the terms of compensation and representation agreement?
Afterwards, you can look at other sources of information about lawyers available online. Check their ratings and customer reviews to have a hint of how their services will be. By reading online directories, you will find out whether the lawyer is worth it or not. Seeking advice from attorneys with experience and reputations will help you find the right lawyer for your specific case.
Before hiring, please do a background check, especially if you found a lawyer from the internet. Take time to visit the lawyer’s office. The appearance of an office tells a lot about officeholders. Check out the type of support staff, find out their work culture and ethics. Watch for arrays of complaints from past clients. If they are complaining about the services they are receiving, mark that as a red flag, apart from the paid services what other services a lawyer will offer to you as after-sale service. Or find out if there are discounted prices for a continued subscription. Following the right steps will improve your chances of getting the right lawyer for your legal matters.