Choosing the right attorney for the job is not as simple as selecting one at random. Much consideration must be given. You should ask yourself a number of questions to guide you in making an educated and well-thought-out choice.
While not exhaustive, the following is a list of questions to consider in deciding on the right attorney for your case:
• What’s your budget? – First of all, it will be important for you to know your budget. Hiring an attorney for just about any cause can be very costly. It is important to know what you are getting yourself into.
Make sure you know how much the cost will be before hiring your attorney. Find out if the cost will increase if the case drags on. If it turns out there is additional work for your attorney to do other than what was expected, will it cost more?
Weigh the cost of hiring a better attorney versus one who is not as established or educated. Maybe your specific case would not require a higher pay rate.
• What’s your problem? – The expertise of attorneys is extremely diverse. Knowing your problem before seeking a lawyer is important. What do you need an attorney for (closing on a home, defense attorney, custody of a child, etc.)?
Know your problem, and then find an attorney who specializes in the field.
• What’s your time frame? – The time frames for which attorneys are needed will vary from either a short-term (single case) time frame or a long-term (ongoing care) time frame. For many of you, hiring an attorney may be a one-time thing (hopefully).
However, for a different group of you, hiring an attorney for ongoing matters such as business-related legalities may be what you are looking for. If you are looking for a long-term lawyer, finding one who is not bogged down in the affairs of others will be important.
Knowing that you can call on your attorney at any time will be essential in developing the ongoing business relationship.
• What’s their experience? – Experience is something that you may end up paying for. Nevertheless, this will be important to look for. Books only teach so much. The experience will mold and shape an attorney into a true professional in his field.
If you want someone who will handle your case well, find someone who has been dealing with matters like yours for a while.
• What’s their track record? – I’m sure when you purchase products online, you take note of the ratings and customer satisfaction. This helps you to know if the product will be a good fit for you.
In much the same way, try to locate references on the attorneys that you are contemplating. Maybe a family member or friend has used him before, or maybe you can find information about him online.
Although it may be harder than finding a product review, do your homework first where you are able. This may prove to be the one point that is most important.
• What’s their approach? – This question can be further broken down into three questions:
1. How do they communicate? – Do they speak well to others and to you? Are they easy to talk to and get answers from? Do you understand them/do they make themselves understandable?
2. How do they present themselves? – It will be important that your lawyer presents himself like one. Does he look professional? Does he talk professionally (i.e., Is his speech ethically sound and moral?)?
3. How do they show they care? – At the end of the day, you want to find an attorney who truly cares for you. If it is clear they truly care about you, they will labor for you until their work is accomplished.