Some matters and situations in life just dictate that you have to use a lawyer. It can be as simple as a single legal document you need advice on, or full blown representation in court. Whatever the case may be, no pun intended, you may not be familiar with dealing with lawyers. Read on to learn a few things.
Do not hire a lawyer without doing some background research. Look their name up on the Internet and talk to friends or relatives who might know the lawyer you are interested in. It is always in your best interest to choose a lawyer with an excellent reputation and good ethics.
A good tip to keep in mind when hiring a lawyer is to be very wary of any lawyer who seems more interested in getting paid than winning your case. There are many unscrupulous lawyers out there who will try to get you to pay a contingency fee, or even get you to mortgage your house.
Make sure the lawyer you are hiring is suited for your needs. Like medical professionals, lawyers can be general practitioners or dedicated specialists. Know what general legal area your case is in, and narrow your search for a lawyer within that specialization to find someone with focused training and experience.
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.
Do your homework in trying to find a lawyer. If you need a specialist, do not just rely on the references of your general practitioner. Do background checks, ask around those you know with personal experiences or legal connections. Putting in the time to hire a good lawyer usually means a better outcome they eventually give you in return.
Before hiring a lawyer, contact the bar association in your area to see if they have ever had any complaints filed against them. If you find one or two, you shouldn’t be too worried. However, if you find more than that, you may want to think of looking elsewhere.
Look for people who have experienced similar problems and ask them which lawyers they used. Your friends and relatives might be helpful but do not follow their suggestions unless you need a lawyer for the same kind of issues. Use the different resources available in your community, such as support groups.
Money is an issue for many people these days, and the thought of paying for high legal fees can feel downright terrifying! Ask your lawyer if he or she might consider allowing you to pay off your fees with a payment plan; it’s possible that this might be an option for you.
Once you have decided to hire a particular lawyer, make sure you receive a written retainer letter that specifically defines the scope of representation, the details of the services you are to receive and the applicable fee structure. By doing this, you will stand a much better chance of getting precisely what you bargained for and you will have useful documentation of the intended relationship should you need to pursue the lawyer in a malpractice action at some point.
Most attorneys charge for their services by the hour, but hiring one with a lower hourly rates does not mean your total cost will be less. If your lawyer needs two hours to complete a job that some other lawyer can complete in an hour, you will pay more in the long run.
Set up a good communication system with your lawyer first thing. Lawyers are busy people, and your case may be one of many. If you haven’t established an expectation for communication, then you may be forgotten. So set it up during the first meeting. Make sure your expectation is clear.
Lawyers are sometimes a necessity in life. You might have to consult one for just a few minutes or have one stand beside you in court for days on end. Regardless of your situation, you need to know a few tips and tricks about finding a good one and dealing with them. Hopefully, this article has done just that for you.