Checklist to Have Before Hiring a Lawyer

by Legal Author on March 26, 2021

In today’s unpredictable times, it is essential to have a lawyer. Even if you approach life cautiously, there are situations that you need the services of a legal professional. Unfortunately, searching for the right lawyer can feel overwhelming. A simple online search can present you with many choices. And as you know, you can’t just hire any lawyer. That is why it is crucial to have a checklist. In this post, we will discuss a checklist or questions you should ask a potential lawyer. 

Why Do You Need a Lawyer?

Before everything else, start with the basics. Find out why you need an attorney. In most cases, you will hire a lawyer because you have a specific need at hand. The key is identifying the right lawyer for your situation. For instance, if you have a workplace dispute or you need advice on compliance with federal employment laws, then you will need the right lawyer to help you. To put it in perspective, when hiring an employment lawyer, you don’t look for the guy who helped you with a real estate transaction or even with your divorce. 

Finding the Right Lawyer

If you already know the reason for hiring a lawyer, then you start off looking for potential candidates. Referrals from friends, family members, or coworkers are usually helpful. Even if they don’t know the right lawyer, they might know other lawyers who could provide recommendations. With that said, you still need to do your own due diligence. Remember that the individual preferences of a lawyer may be based on intangibles such as your comfort level with the professional or their personality.  

Meeting with Prospective Lawyers

For a better outcome, you can interview a couple of lawyers. But even before narrowing down your lists, you can do a little research about each candidate. In most cases, you can find relevant information from their websites. Irrespective of whether you interacted with a prospective lawyer online or in person, please consider these factors: 

Knowledge and Experience

Always hire a lawyer with the relevant skills to handle your case. So, don’t shy away from asking crucial questions regarding your case to assess their knowledge. The lawyer should also have relevant experience. Probably this is the most crucial factor that will help you hire the right lawyer. Basically, you need somebody who has handled cases like yours in the past. So, try to find out if your potential lawyer has handled your type of case. A lawyer with the relevant background will help you save time and money. Moreover, you are likely to get the best resolutions when you work with such a lawyer. 

Character 

You have every right to know if your lawyer has been sanctioned or accused of violating professional responsibilities. And if there are any allegations of professional misconduct, then you are entitled to an explanation of the outcomes and circumstances of the violations. Hiring an employment lawyer with a record of professional misconduct will cause more harm to your case. It is important to get a full picture of the attitude of a prospective lawyer, especially if you have a case that might take a lot of time to resolve. You need someone you are comfortable sharing confidential details with. 

Check Client Reviews

If you are searching for a lawyer online, it is important to consider client reviews. Apart from checking client testimonials on their sites, you should also search through mentions of the lawyer through the web. For instance, you can walk through their social media profile to check for negative reviews by clients. 

Case Evaluation and Management

As stated above, question your lawyer about your case. Here are a couple of questions to ask the lawyer:

  • Do you think I have a strong case?

While lawyers cannot predict the outcome of a case, a qualified lawyer will look at different possibilities. If a potential answer gives you a guaranteed outcome, then you should be wary of his or her abilities. 

  • What philosophy or strategy of winning this case? 

A smart lawyer should share with you a solid strategy for handling the case and how it will work in your favor. The explanation should include both the pros and cons of the strategy. 

  • How long will the case take? 

What you are expecting here is a rough estimate of how long the case will go to get resolved.

  • How much will the case cost?

It is important to establish upfront the expenses or charges for the case. You won’t want to hire someone outside your limits. In some cases, the cost will be fixed, while in others it is open for negotiation. In other words, It could be hourly or contingency fees. 

Communicating and Managing Your Lawyer

Most disagreements with lawyers have to do with poor communication with their clients. So, you should ask the professional how long you will hear from him/her. Remember that you are the most important person in the case. In addition to this, you need to keep your own calendar of dates. Sometimes, you may miss deadlines because of relying on a lawyer. 

Wrapping Up 

There you have it. Choosing the right lawyer who has relevant experience, specializes in the area of law you need, has a clean professional record, and can work within your budget will simplify your case.  

Legal Author

Legal Author

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