Looking For Legal Help? The 5 Questions You Should Be Asking
When you’re having legal troubles, hiring the right law firm or lawyer is key to a successful resolution. Therefore, it’s important you do your homework before making a commitment. Law firms will often provide a no cost (or at a minimum, very low-cost) consultation to discuss your situation and identify your legal objectives. During this meeting, you will have an opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the firm before the contractual handshake. Ultimately, it’s your responsibility to make sure the firm is the right fit for your case.
Here is a list of questions people should always ask when deciding whether a law firm is the right fit for their case:
- Who is your typical client? While this may seem straightforward, it’s not asked as much as it should be. If you are an individual, but the attorney or firm you are meeting with typically represents corporations, they may not be a good fit, even if they have experience dealing with the types of issues you are facing.
- How many cases have you represented that have been similar to mine? Asking this question will help you discover if the attorney or firm has experience dealing with cases similar to yours. If they have, you’ll be able to get an idea about their strategy and success rate, allowing you to be confident in your choice of hire.
- Will a portion of my case be handled by paralegals or legal assistants? While paralegals and legal assistants are more than capable of being an asset to your case, it’s important to know how much time the attorney you hire will be spending on your case. If you hire a firm because you were impressed with the attorney in your consultation meeting, the last thing you want to see happen is your case get handed off to someone else. Trust and confidence in your lawyer is critical.
- Are there other ways for solving my legal problem? Hiring a lawyer doesn’t mean you will have to pay out the nose for a lengthy and expensive legal battle. A reputable lawyer should be able to tell you if your case can be resolved outside of court, saving you time and money.
- How will you let me know what’s happening with my case? A lawyer’s most valuable asset is his or her time. Failing to hear back from your lawyer immediately does not mean they are purposefully ignoring you. You don’t want to continuously call your attorney’s office; they will get the message, and they will get back to you as soon as they have information to share relative to your case. Before hiring representation, try to get a sense of preferred communication timeframes, as well as how often it’s appropriate to call with questions or concerns.
Legal issues are a major headache; don’t add any unneeded stress. Do your homework and ask every question that’s on your mind before hiring legal representation. Your best chance at resolving your legal issue comes from hiring representation that is the right fit for your case and with someone you feel like you can trust. See if we’re a good fit for you; read up on our list of practice areas (and what we don’t cover) here, and then give us a call to schedule a consultation where we’d be happy to answer all of the above questions.