At times, lawyers seem to be the butt of jokes, and they can take it, but when you really need a lawyer to represent you, it isn’t a laughing matter. Let’s be honest; a lawyer is the guardian of the rule of law. When hiring an attorney, there are certain qualities to look for no matter what your legal issue concerns. Our law experts have come up with a few recommendations to ensure you choose the right lawyer for the job.
Always Pick Experience
There truly is no alternative for experience, and when you’ve hired an experienced legal expert from an experienced law firm, these seasoned pros have a long record to stand behind.
Don’t rely on a slick TV advertisement that boasts how outstanding a law firm is. Do your homework, research the firm, and don’t be afraid to ask a potential lawyer about their background.
For example, what areas does he or she specialize in, and how many years have they been at their craft? Is this attorney and/or their team respected by their peers? Does this lawyer have experience with the law that governs the issue facing you? Interview them as if this is the only way to determine if a lawyer’s experience is right for your occasion.
Know The Legal Costs
Every lawyer is different, and their fee structure will reflect this, and every client wants to know what the legal costs will be. Of course, that is a fair question, and before you hire an attorney, ask them about the fee structure. Your particular legal issue will determine the arrangement.
For instance, is there a consultation fee? Some attorneys do not charge an initial consultation fee, but you should always ask upfront. When it comes to a contingency fee involving a Houston personal injury lawyer, the arrangement generally works like this:
The attorney’s fee would be based on a percentage of the amount awarded in a judgment or negotiated in the settlement of the case. If you lose the case, the lawyer does not get a fee.
Demand Good Communication
The lawyer-client relationship is an important one and essential to legal engagement, and that is where good communication comes in. Yes, attorneys are very busy people, but so are you, and you should expect to reach out to your lawyer for any questions you may have and hear back from them.
Discuss with your lawyer ahead of time on how you wish to have communication. Is it strictly via phone, email, text, etc.? You should also expect that all communication is confidential and will be honored by your attorney. It’s known as Rule 1.6 Confidentiality of Information, according to the American Bar Association (ABA).
Expect Only Honest Advice
Your lawyer is not a magician, and he or she cannot promise to win a case or even guarantee anything. You should expect your attorney to give honest advice based on the facts of the case and their experience handling these types of issues.
Every client should have an attorney that is consistent with their advice from the beginning of the case to its ending. Unmet expectations are not something any client should have to experience. That is why a decent attorney will always tell it like it is and never sugarcoat any step of the process.
ABA Can Also Help
If you want to look for a lawyer through a referral service in your community, you can also do that, but these referral sources don’t always look at the kind of law an attorney practices or what their level of experience is.
One of the best ways to ensure that you’re going to hire the right lawyer for your needs is to choose a referral service that participates in the ABA-sponsored certification program. That means you will see a logo by the lawyer referral program indicating that the service complies with certain quality standards developed by the ABA.
When you require the services of a lawyer, you want the very best individual that can represent you. Don’t be shy about interviewing potential lawyers and finding the best fit. Take your time and good luck!