Hiring a Lawyer

Hiring the right attorney to represent you can be crucial to your case. You want to choose an attorney with experience related to your legal issue and one that you feel comfortable working with.

With many lawyers offering free initial consultations, you may want to consult with more than one lawyer before you decide whom to hire. It is also important to know and understand all of the fees that you will be expected to pay and what exactly the fees cover.

Here are sample questions that might be helpful during your initial consultation with a lawyer.

  • How long have you been practicing law?
  • What types of cases do you usually handle?
  • How many cases have you handled like mine?
  • Can you explain to me what laws will be relevant in my case?
  • What will a judge primarily look at when making a decision?
  • Do you have any additional or special training for my type of legal issue?
  • What are your fees? Will you charge an hourly rate or a flat rate to handle my case?
  • Do you charge a retainer?  If so, how much? What exactly does the retainer cover?
  • Do you refund all or part of the retainer if my case ends up being dropped?
  • Are there any other expenses that I may have to pay, such as filing fees, mailing or copying fees?  What are they and how much do you estimate them to be?
  • Will I be charged for your time if we speak on the phone or if we email each other?
  • Are you willing to work out a payment plan?
  • Will you require that everything that I owe you is paid, before you go to court with me or finish my case?
  • Are there any other options available to resolve my legal issue?
  • How will we communicate during the case? If I call you, when can I expect a call back?
  • Will you send me copies of any documents or court papers that you receive regarding my case?
  • Will you put our agreement about fees and work you will perform in writing?
  • What do you expect the outcome of my case to be?

It is important to remember that a lawyer cannot guarantee the outcome of any case. These questions are to help give you an idea of the lawyer’s experience and to make an informed decision when hiring a lawyer.

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