Questions to Ask when Finding the Ideal Lawyer

By: Toby King

You don't have to be involved in some legally questionable circumstance or cross with the law to need the services of an attorney. When you draft a business contract, litigate an issue or need legal advice for a family issue such as divorce, it is best to seek the advice of a lawyer. Someone who has extensively studied and practiced the law can help you deal with the situation at hand and lead you to taking the right course of action.

In this regard, it is only fitting that you find out if your lawyer is cut out for the job. There are certain practical steps you can take for this task of selecting your attorney to become manageable.

In order to determine whether your attorney is the law practitioner you need, you need identify your own goals and set a timeframe for achieving them. It is also important that you know how much you can afford or where you're at financially, because hiring an attorney is not exactly cheap.

When these significant concerns have been identified and addressed, you can start with finding a law firm in your area and shortlist the most reputable of them. You can proceed with a brief meeting with your chosen lawyer and ask a few questions from which you can decide on hiring.

You may want to ask your lawyer their particular area of specialization and success rate. Most law firms engage in various legal services such as Commercial or Business, Employment, Family, Property, Estate, Tax, Personal Injury or Civil Litigation. Your selected firm and lawyer should be devoted in the particular practice that you will be hiring him or her for, and excel in it.

As you already have a legal situation that you need your lawyer for, you can seek initial information on the usual resolution time for the case. You can then compare their timeframe with yours, which you have set as part of your objectives.

"May I reach you at any time?" Many clients tend to forget to ask this question. Many law firms and attorneys are available to attend to client issues even beyond business days and hours. In many cases, lawyers and law firms can be reached at any time especially when in the preparation phase for document presentation or court appearance. Depending on your need, make sure you have a clear knowledge of their availability.

Knowing the billing arrangements with your prospect attorney is important. Lawyers bill for their services differently, so you need to become familiar with the different methods and expense areas such as for consultation costs, retainer fees, contingency fees, flat fees, statutory fees and hourly rates. Doing so lets you determine whether or not your budget fits. Remember that fee structures vary, and certain costs associated with the case may need to be shouldered by you.

When meeting your prospect lawyer for the first time, pay attention to how he or she answers your questions. In any matter that you need to settle, overcome or complete with legal implications, your legal counsel will represent you. Make sure you are perfectly at ease and satisfied with the way your initial inquiries are handled, because you will be spending too much time with this legal practitioner to be uncomfortable.

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