If you are like many of us, chances are good that you have very little knowledge of the inner workings of the legal system. However, many people will need a lawyer in their life at one time or another and not know what to do. The following tips will point you in the right direction.
A good tip to remember when looking to hire a lawyer is to make sure you find a lawyer that has the necessary experience that you’re looking for. If you’re going to court soon for a criminal case, it wouldn’t make sense to bring on a divorce lawyer, you’ll need a criminal lawyer.
Ask everyone you know if they’ve used a lawyer for a legal situation such as yours, and who they might recommend. Don’t forget to collect references for the lawyers on your short list and check them out. Also conduct a background check and Google them to see what others say about their services.
Beware of giving a lawyer a big retainer for taking you on. This may not be given back to you at the end of your trial. In addition, you should do your research. Lots of lawyers will accept small retainers, and if there is a difference, you will be appropriately charged for it.
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.
Make sure that you and your lawyer communicate well with one another. In fact, it is important to discuss in advance how often you will be talking and by what means. Will your lawyer email you weekly or biweekly? Does he prefer to call you with updates instead? The form of communication doesn’t really matter as long as you and your lawyer stay in contact often.
Avoid lawyers that use the term “slam dunk” in regards to any situation or case. Seasoned legal professionals know that the law is rarely a cut and dry matter. Otherwise, lawyers might not need to exist at all! You do want a confident attorney, but not an arrogant or ignorant one.
While a high profile lawyer might be the promise of success you dream of, they might also be way too busy to deal with your case. This can either leave you in the hands of a less experienced lawyer at the firm, or alone at times when you need your lawyer. Look for someone with a balance of time and experience.
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.
Keep in mind that you will end up paying a lawyer for more than just the time they spend on your case. If applicable to your case, you may have to pay them for phone costs, traveling costs, and even costs to make copies. Take this into consideration when making a financial plan.
Meet and interview a few lawyers before you hire one. Talking to each personally can give you a chance to see if you have good rapport. It is also a good opportunity to ask them key questions that will help you make an informed decision. Many attorneys are willing to have a thirty minute meeting with you at no charge.
See if you can find a lawyer that gives you a free consultation. Not only will this reduce your stress financially, but you will be able to get a glimpse of what you are dealing with and what the lawyer can provide for you. This can help ease your mind, especially when dealing with a tumultuous lawsuit.
One usually feels overwhelmed when dealing with the law. This article was your first step. When you have clear expectations about lawyers and legal matters, the whole ordeal may seem less overwhelming.