If you are seeking a legal representative, here is a list of the most important things you should do when choosing a lawyer. While money is a huge factor, not everything comes down to the cost. A lawyer represents many of the biggest hurdles you have to overcome in your lifetime. Therefore, it is vital that you choose one that is the right fit for you.
The most important things you should do when choosing a lawyer
Selecting the right lawyer will boil down to asking the right questions in your initial visit or telephone call. Presuming that each lawyer is the same is the equivalent of thinking that a steak restaurant is going to serve you up a plate of sushi. Each lawyer has their own specialty and area of expertise that you need to be made aware of. So what questions, should you put to them?
Do they practice in your field of expertise?
Depending on your legal requirements, you first need to see if they deal with similar situations such as yours. A lawyer to help buy your house will be different to criminal law, as an example. When you make contact, explain exactly why you need a lawyer. Then confirm if it is something that they or someone in their office can handle.
If they can’t help you, can they recommend someone else?
If they cannot assist you, is there anyone else they can recommend? Getting a referral from a professional in the industry may be worthwhile in your particular circumstances. Perhaps they know of someone who specializes in the necessary field or has been down this road before. The worst thing they will say is no, so don’t be afraid to ask.
Do they charge a flat rate or by the hour?
Most lawyers will charge one of two ways. The first will be at an hourly rate, dependent on their experience. The second, less common, method is via a flat rate; so no matter how long it takes for them to complete the task, the fee will be the same. Make sure you check whether there are any additional charges included such as couriers, filing fees, photocopies, etc.
Are they available to answer any questions you may have at a later date?
On your visit, you may be too nervous to remember all those questions circulating in your head. Confirm with them whether it is okay to send a follow-up email with any further questions which crop up. If they seem present and available to your demands, then they may just be a great fit for you. You need to make sure that your legal representative is responsive at all times to avoid any confusion.
Can you think about it a little before you hire them?
What you don’t need at this point is a lawyer pressing you to decide then and there on the spot. It is well within your right to shop around for another. Give yourself some time to make your decision. You will know when it feels right and you come across a lawyer who is in tune with your needs.
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