25 Jul 11 Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring Your Lawyer
Looking to hire an attorney should be a process grounded in research and careful discernment. This relationship is uniquely important and can influence the outcome of your case. So, be sure that the attorney isn’t the only one asking the questions. Before hiring your lawyer, make sure to ask strategic questions to ensure that they are right for the job.
Questions you should ask before hiring your lawyer:
In regard to their experience…
1. How long have you practiced law?
This may seem like a simple and obvious question. However, in the assessment of a lawyer’s experience, consider the complexity of your case. It may not require an extensively experienced lawyer. Instead, you could opt for one with fewer years under their belt as a less expensive option. And if your case requires the knowledge of a seasoned attorney, be sure that your lawyer qualifies.
2. Have you ever handled this type of case before?
It is important that your legal representative thoroughly understands the subject matter of your case. Be sure to inquire about the specifics of their experiences- when and where these took place, their outcomes, etc.
3. Do you practice in the courthouse where my case will take place?
It may be beneficial for your lawyer to have practiced in the same courthouse where your case will be. They will have had interacted, and experiences with its judge and can, therefore, be able to evaluate the expectations for your case. Additionally, they can provide you with accurate advice as you proceed and potentially prepare for court.
4. Who is your typical client?
Consider who they’ve worked with most often. Are their clients typically corporations or individuals? These unique experiences could influence the way in which they approach and handle your case. Also, make sure to understand the demographics of their typical clients. Do they hold a high net worth, or are the recent college graduates? And consider where you fall before proceeding with this lawyer.
5. Aside from your law degree and experience, what additional training or knowledge could you apply to my case?
Each case differs immensely from the next. So, if your lawyer has unique experience pertaining to your particular situation, they could offer advantageous knowledge and understanding.
In regard to your case evaluation….
6. What do you believe is the likely outcome of my case?
No lawyer can guarantee the outcome of your case. However, your attorney should be able to provide a thorough assessment of your case to give you an idea of what results you can expect.
7. What fees and expenses can I expect?
It is important that you are provided with these exact amounts upfront. There are a few ways in which your lawyer might apply a charge. They can have a fixed rate, hourly fees, or charge a contingency fee, in which they are awarded a portion of the money won in a successful trial. Make sure to have a good understanding of these expenses and expectations before proceeding.
8. What strategy do you plan to implement?
Your attorney should have a specific strategy with which to approach your case. Ask them to explain this plan in detail, along with its benefits and potential setbacks.
In regard to their case management….
9. What is the anticipated time frame for the case?
Though your lawyer may have little control over the pace by which your case proceeds, they should provide for you a general timeline. Ask for an estimate on how long your case might come to a settlement.
10. How will we communicate?
When it comes to the lawyer-client relationship, communication is key. Gain a good understanding of how you will share information and the expectations for each party’s communication.
11. What role should I assume in preparation for the case?
It is important to understand what you should and should not do to help your lawyer in your case. You may be expected to collect documents or complete tasks that only you are capable of completing. However, you will likely be asked to reserve several aspects of the case to your lawyer.
Hiring a lawyer is an exceptionally important process. Though these questions may serve as guides, you should also implement your own discernment when selecting an attorney. And if you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, do not hesitate to reach out to us at The Law Offices of William D. Shapiro.