The first step in the process of choosing the right lawyer, then, is the research phase. Ideally, you want to start with the names of several lawyers, and, as with the purchase of most other services, personal referrals are often the best place to start. Begin compiling your list by asking friends, neighbors, and business associates for recommendations.</p> <p>State bar associations are also good resources for finding lawyers who practice in the field in which you require assistance. Online resources can be another good source, and many such resources have the added benefit of offering consumer reviews, so you can see how other people have rated their interactions with a particular attorney.
Once you've compiled a list of potential attorneys, you can begin the evaluation process. Most lawyers offer a free initial consultation, and, as an informed consumer, you should take full advantage of these.</p> <p>Be prepared with a written list of questions, and make notes during the consultation, so you can later compare the lawyers on your list. Important questions to ask during this initial consultation include the following:</p> <p>Area(s) of expertise. You want to make sure that the lawyer you hire has experience in the area of law in which you require assistance. There are many practice areas in the legal field, and most lawyers tend to handle cases in specific practice areas.<br /> Potential costs. Legal advice can become quite costly, so it's important that you know how much your lawyer will charge you. During the initial consultation, a lawyer should be able to give you a ballpark estimate, based on the facts of your case.<br /> The legal team. Some lawyers work by themselves, while others have paralegals on their team or outsource some of the legal work to other lawyers. You want to make sure you know who will be handling your file, as this can have an impact on both the quality of the service you receive and the cost.<br /> Communication. How does the lawyer communicate with his or her clients? If you have a question, how should you be getting in touch with them? What is their response time like? While every lawyer will most likely be handling several cases at a time, your case is a priority for you, and you need to make sure the lawyer you hire recognizes this and communicates with you in a timely manner.
1) What kind of experience do you have with similar cases?<br /> 2) What would be your strategy for my case?<br /> 3) Are there any alternatives to going to court?<br /> 4) What are my possible outcomes?<br /> 5) Who will actually handle my case?<br /> 6) What is my role in my case?
There’s, of course, no right answer to this one. The more experienced can serve as a more confident guide, but even the budding attorney hungry for that first case could pass with flying colors. It’s simply important to know whether or not you’re dealing with someone who knows what they’re doing. Also make sure you know what areas of law they work with the most.
We’re going granular here, defining exactly just how good of a fit the lawyer might be. You’ll want to know specifically what kind of cases he/she manages to see if your particular case will be a good fit. Ultimately the attorney will want to handle a case he/she knows with experience as well.</p> <p>In many areas of law, all lawyers will charge a similar percentage of your winnings for their attorney fees. That said, why not go with someone who has experience with your specific type of case?
Before you wonder why this one’s asked when it sounds so much like the previous one, know this: there are two different types of clients…. Business and individual. If you’re just an individual looking for representation, you’re going to want a lawyer that works specifically with individuals and not businesses.
Better yet, ask that lawyer how many he or she has won. You don’t need to be shy about it. Remember: this is a “job interview” for the attorney.
Why ask this? Even with some of the most common niches—like family law, or criminal law—you have specific “sub-niches” you’ll want to know about. For instance: attorneys specializing in DUIs within criminal law might be the best to go for if that’s, in fact, what you’re facing.</p> <p>If you see that the attorney is board-certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, this is a great sign. These attorneys have years of courtroom experience and must pass rigorous examination and testing.
Ask how you’re billed. Will it be on upfront retainer? Will attorney fees be taken out of a verdict or settlement? Important things to think about especially if you don’t have the funds right away. You’ll also obviously want to know if you can afford the lawyer.
Maybe it won’t get that far, but those who care about these international law disputes think China and the U.S. are on a collision course because both sides hew closely to contradictory readings of international law. One would assume the conflict won’t go nuclear, because that’s a patently absurd result for economically intertwined nations. Maybe it won’t get that far, but those who care about these international law disputes think China and the U.S. are on a collision course because both sides hew closely to contradictory readings of international law.
In short, you’re asking the lawyer how he or she would win your case. This defines for you the kind of attorney you want on your side. Some cases are very simple and straightforward. Others can get pretty cutthroat. If you’re among the latter, having an attorney that can “go for the jugular” might be best suited for you.
Just because you’re consulting the attorney doesn’t mean you have to hire him/her. There’s nothing wrong with asking if going the lawyer route is the best way. In the legal industry, there a variety of processes moving forward. Sometimes an arbitrator would be suitable. You can arrange things out of court without the need for an attorney, too. And the reason for asking is that you might have considerably less cost to worry about.
Communication is essential. How often you’ll hear from your attorney will determine just how satisfied you are with the progress. Find out if you'll be receiving phone calls, texts, or emails, and how often.