People often hesitate when hiring or speaking to a lawyer. The process of finding someone trustworthy to represent you may seem daunting. But, speaking with a lawyer can help to alleviate some of this stress.
Consulting with a lawyer prior to filing a claim can help you to better understand if you have a case and prepare you for the process ahead. That’s why we’ve outlined some vital questions you should be ask prior to handing your case.
1. How long have you practiced law?
This question is vital to giving you a picture of how experienced your lawyer is. If you feel more comfortable having a long -practicing lawyer represent you, then you will want to find someone with more than a few years of experience. This is also necessary if your case is complicated, as you won’t want to have someone with minimal practice handling it for you.
2. What cases do you handle?
If the lawyer you are meeting with does not handle similar types of cases as what you are wanting to file, look elsewhere. You will want to hire someone who has the correct legal background because they will have prior knowledge, experience, and practice with the laws related to your claim. For instance, you will want to hire an employment lawyer to handle specialized employment cases.
3. Who is your typical client?
Avoid lawyers who typically represent large corporations, as they are likely not the right fit for you. You will also want to research the financial background of their standard clients. For example, lawyers that typically represent low-income individuals compared to high net worth clients will often have different perceptions which reflect on how they represent cases.
4. How many similar cases have you had to mine?
Avoid signing on with lawyers that have little to no experience representing similar cases to yours. This can decrease your chances of winning the claim, because they won’t be as experienced.
5. What are the fees and costs associated with hiring you?
A good lawyer will be able to tell you right away how much their services will cost. Otherwise, you can become victim to hidden fees and surprises along the way. A good lawyer will know how much their time is worth, and not be afraid to tell clients.
6. Are there alternative ways to solving my issue?
All good lawyers will be honest with the options available to you. Oftentimes, out of court negotiations (or mediations) can be used instead of heading to court. A lawyer should be able to advise you of all potential strategies; and what will work best for you.
7. What is the likely outcome of my case?
The lawyer you hire should be able to give you an honest opinion of the outcome. They should be able to advise how the judge will likely rule, and not provide you with false hope and optimism. That way, when the ruling is made, there are no major surprises on your end.
8. How will we communicate?
If you don’t feel comfortable with the lawyer you are meeting with- keep looking. You will want to be comfortable enough with them so you are not intimidated. That way, you can freely make contact without worry.
9. Who is doing the work?
You will want to understand who exactly is completing the work on your case. Lawyers are often part of firms which can pass off tasks to other workers. Although this is common, you will want to understand how involved in the process your lawyer is; or how much work is passed off onto others.