Lawyers, rightly or wrongly, often have a reputation for being somewhat less than straightforward and honorable. However, by taking the time to learn about selecting and working together with a lawyer, you will come to see that not all lawyers are created equal. Continue reading to learn ways to make your relationship with the legal profession a healthy and useful one.
When it comes to hiring a lawyer, trust is an essential part of the relationship that you want to build. You will want a lawyer that you can feel comfortable with and who seems very capable of handling your case. This may take some time to find, so look carefully!
Make it clear up front that you would like your legal fee agreement in writing from your lawyer. This will help you avoid the surprise of an unexpectedly high bill. Make sure that all expenses and fees are itemized, so that you’ll have a clear understanding of what exactly you are paying for.
Imagine taking on a lawyer who is about to enter court for the first time. That’s what will happen if you take a general lawyer into a case where a specializing lawyer is a better bet. Ask any lawyer you know for their recommendations, and you’ll be pleased with the outcome.
Look for reviews on local lawyers online. Finding a lawyer that you can trust and respect can be very difficult, so any advice that you can get can be very helpful. Make sure the reviews you consider are on an independent site and take all comments with a grain of salt. The goal is to find the general consensus.
A general practitioner is not always your best option. You might have a good lawyer you trust, but do not hesitate to hire a specialized lawyer if you need help with an issue your lawyer has no experience with. Do not hesitate to ask your usual lawyer for a referral.
If you search for the word “lawyer” in your area on the Internet the results can be overwhelming. You have to check out many lawyers to know what is available. You might get some bad surprises if you base your choice only on a recommendation from someone you know. Therefore, you need to be cautious.
Don’t assume that a specialist lawyer is more expensive than a general practitioner. While a specialist might indeed have a higher hourly rate, they might charge you for less overall hours. A specialist will not need to spend as much time learning and researching laws regarding a case that a general practitioner would.
Communicate with your lawyer. A good lawyer should be easy to get in touch with and call you back quickly after you leave a voice-mail. You should not hesitate to call your lawyer to ask for some updates or schedule regular appointments so your lawyer can give you more details on what they have been working on.
Log your interactions with your lawyer. Discussed content, amount paid, time and date should be recorded in the log. That can assist you with later problems, like strange fees or big bills.
Always be mindful of how well you are communicated with by your lawyer. If it takes days or even weeks to receive replies to phone calls or emails, then two possibilities exist. Either your lawyer does not consider you a priority, or they are overworked. Neither situation is good for you.
Before your attorney starts to work on your case, sign a contract that outlines the fee structure. This way, you won’t end up paying more than you’ve agreed to pay. Further, your finances will be more predictable.
Be sure that you are completely comfortable with the attorney whom you choose to hire. A top lawyer has the right expertise and good people skills so that you feel completely at ease when you see him. If this isn’t the case, find a new lawyer.
It is often the case that lawyers are seen as a necessary evil, only to be consulted when things really go badly. The truth, though, is that if you educate yourself about what lawyers do and how they can help make your life easier, you are likely to see things differently. Hopefully the information above has been a useful resource to help you do just that.