Lawyers, rightly or wrongly, often have a reputation for being somewhat less than straightforward and honorable. However, by taking the time to learn about selecting and working together with a lawyer, you will come to see that not all lawyers are created equal. Continue reading to learn ways to make your relationship with the legal profession a healthy and useful one.
When it comes to hiring a lawyer, trust is an essential part of the relationship that you want to build. You will want a lawyer that you can feel comfortable with and who seems very capable of handling your case. This may take some time to find, so look carefully!
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.
Do not feel obligated to hire a lawyer because you met a few times and got some useful advice. You should sign a contract only after you agree on fees and feel comfortable with your lawyer. If you are hesitating because you have heard bad things about this lawyer or think the fees are too high, keep looking.
Wait to sign a contract with an attorney until you feel the situation is right. Request an estimate from the attorney so that you know approximately how many hours he or she intends on putting into the case. If the lawyer refuses, move on. A range is acceptable, but it is not fair if you have no idea what you are getting into.
A good tip to keep in mind if you’re thinking about working with a lawyer is to give them as much information as you can. The more documents and information they have that pertains to a case, the better your chances are of winning. If you think a document might be worthless, you lawyer might think otherwise.
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.
Always be mindful of how well you are communicated with by your lawyer. If it takes days or even weeks to receive replies to phone calls or emails, then two possibilities exist. Either your lawyer does not consider you a priority, or they are overworked. Neither situation is good for you.
Before your lawyer begins work, be sure you have a fee agreement in place. This will let you focus on your case without being distracted by the financial implications. This will ensure that you do not end up paying more money then you plan on.
Know just exactly how much opportunity cost you are giving up when choosing to go to court. Any case takes time, and just how much time depends a lot on the ability of your lawyer. If you choose a young lawyer to save money, you may find that the case takes many more weeks than if you had gone with someone more seasoned. Those weeks can be many hours of lost pay! Do your homework here and make sure the math works out for your choices.
Try not to make money an issue when you are trying to find the best lawyer for your case. The object is for you to get out of the pickle that you are in, and sometimes this means to shell out a couple of extra dollars to get the desired result.
Most lawyers will agree to meet with you for free so you can explain your problem and get some useful advice. You should plan on meeting with different lawyers to get several professional opinions and compare fees. Spend a few weeks meeting with different lawyers before you decide to hire one.
It is often the case that lawyers are seen as a necessary evil, only to be consulted when things really go badly. The truth, though, is that if you educate yourself about what lawyers do and how they can help make your life easier, you are likely to see things differently. Hopefully the information above has been a useful resource to help you do just that.