There comes a time where you must seek the services of an attorney. Whether you’re drafting a will or trust, seeking a divorce, buying or selling real estate.
In all these situations, you have to engage the services of a competent local attorney. That’s the only guarantee to quality services.
Consider these tips before hiring an attorney.
- Retain an Honest Attorney
Many lawyers don’t charge initial consultation fees. That’s the best time to determine whether the attorney is forthcoming and honest or not.
Instinctively, some people can decipher individual characters after interacting with the person for some minutes. However, there are other personality traits that may tip you off.
For example, is the attorney maintaining eye contact? People who don’t maintain eye contact are either shy or have some issues with truth. You don’t need such a person as your attorney.
Further, you can ask about the chances of success or failure in your case. If the attorney doesn’t share or downplays the risks and costs of the case, that’s a reason to worry. Remember, every case has its downsides and risks.
- Thorough and Responsive
Use the first meeting to determine whether the attorney is detail oriented and responsive to your needs or not. Your instincts should be your guide.
For instance, you can ask whether it’s okay to call them throughout the case to discuss any issues you may have. If the attorney balks at this idea, it’s an indication that you’ll have problems relaying your thoughts and getting feedback on the case.
There’s nothing worse than having a lawyer who won’t hear your concerns or respond to your queries. In this end, retain an attorney who communicates often.
- In Your Pricing Range
Finding the right lawyer means getting the one whose services you can pay. With this in mind, ask about the costs on your first meeting.
After all, it will be disparaging to find out your attorney charges per letter, per hearing or anything else that allows them to drag the case for years.
Also, ask them to estimate the costs it will take to fully litigate your case. Also, secure a contract that defines the maximum costs to incur. You don’t want to get any unwanted surprises.
Most lawyers who don’t want any disagreements with their clients insist on a formal contract before starting the engagement.
Choose an attorney with expansive experience in the area of law you require their services. For example, engage a divorce attorney to draft your divorce papers. Or a lawyer with estate planning to help draft your will.
General legal practitioners are good for noncomplex matter and basic real estate transactions. But the lack of in-depth knowledge on a given area of law can hurt your case. It may also be the reason you lose an argument in court.
- Consider the Size
Choose whether to hire an attorney from a small or huge firm. Each option will have its merits and demerits.
For instance, in a small firm, you’re likely to get prompt and personalized attention. Chances of success are therefore high.
Huge legal firms also have their advantages. Opposing lawyers and judges fear or respect them for their ability to influence judgements.
Weigh the pros and cons of each option before making your decision.