Things to Consider when You Hire a Lawyer

At one time or another, it’s inevitable that you will require legal services. With the help of a lawyer, you can resolve your personal or business-related disputes in a professional and non-confrontational manner. Knowing how to properly hire a reputable lawyer is important to ensure that you are receiving the representation that you deserve. Much like other types of professionals, lawyers can range from general practitioners, that dabble in a range of legal fields to specialists who focus on just one area of the law. If you are in need of legal expertise, follow these simple tips to hire a lawyer in your area.

1. Ask Family and Friends for Referrals

Family, friends, and colleagues are excellent sources of referrals. Hearing about someone else’s experience with a certain lawyer can help you make a more informed decision about who you want to hire. By talking to clients who have previously worked with a lawyer, you can find out how well the lawyer responds to inquiries, negotiates, and explains legal matters. If you cannot get any referrals from friends or family, search online for testimonials or reviews to gain a better understanding of the lawyer’s strengths and weaknesses.

2. Know What Type of Lawyer You Need

When dealing with complex claims, it’s best to hire a lawyer who is specialized in the area of your claim, e.g. Bryan Garrett PLLC. While some lawyers are generalists and practice a wide range of specialties, others focus their practice on just one or a few specific types of law. Working with a specialized lawyer can increase the likelihood of a successful outcome as the lawyer will have greater experience and expertise in the subject area. Be wary of lawyers who promise too much or claim that they are an expert in all specialties.

3. Review Law Firm Websites

Most of the information you will need before talking directly to a lawyer will come from the attorney’s website. While some lawyers have minimal information on their website or no website at all, others have detailed websites with paramount information that can help you distinguish professional lawyers from the rest. Note that a website will probably not tell you everything you want to know about a case, such as how much you can expect to receive in compensation. As every case is different, you will need to discuss that aspect of your claim directly with your lawyer.

4. Ask About Payment Arrangements

Knowing what to expect in terms of payment is important before hiring a lawyer. Ask the lawyer about payment arrangements and how much you can expect to pay based on your unique case. Most lawyers charge contingency fees which mean that your lawyer will earn a percentage of the money you receive if you win your case. If you receive no money in your case, the lawyer does not collect fees. Certain services, such as preparing a will, may require a flat fee instead. Be sure to ask your lawyer what the flat fee will include.

5. Treat the First Meeting like an Interview

When you meet someone for the first time it is not always easy to know if the person will mesh well with your personality. Through communication, you can better gauge a person’s level of openness and willingness to help you with your claim. Treat the first meeting with a lawyer like a job interview by asking questions and really listening to the answers. To help the process go more smoothly, it can be helpful to prepare a list of important questions before meeting with the lawyer. If the attorney answers your questions to your satisfaction, you may want to consider hiring him or her to represent you.

6. Look at the Lawyer’s Track Record

Don’t trust that just because a lawyer has a lot of years of experience or claims to be an expert in certain areas of law that they are good at what they do. Some lawyers will make promises of high compensation or will give you unrealistically low-cost estimates so that you will hire them. Steer clear of these types of lawyers. Look at the lawyer’s track record to better determine his or her history. If a lawyer has more losses than victories, this is not someone you want to hire.

7. Visit the Firm for a Consultation

Never hire a lawyer over the phone. You want to take the time to visit them in person. Request a consultation with the lawyer and have a face-to-face conversation about your case. Ask the lawyer about his or her experience in dealing with cases that are similar to yours and how often these cases result in a favorable outcome. Also, ask the lawyer who will be working on your case and how long it usually takes to reach a resolution.

8. Get an Agreement in Writing

Before continuing on with your case, you will want to make sure that the lawyer writes up a contract that states all of the terms of your case. This agreement should include what services the lawyer is to provide you, as well as estimates on how much it will cost and when you can expect a resolution. Do not sign the document until you read through each section carefully. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you are confused about any of the terms. Before leaving the office, ask the lawyer for a copy of the contract for your own records.

Hiring a Qualified Lawyer

There are many circumstances in which you may require the services of a lawyer. Whether you are dealing with a personal injury case, business litigation, estate planning, or are have been convicted of a crime, having a reputable lawyer on your side can make a real difference in the outcome of your case. However, you don’t want to choose just any lawyer. Carefully access the lawyer’s ability, experience, and availability before signing any contracts. When you take the time to choose the right lawyer for the job, you get the peace of mind that you’re in good hands.

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