By Bretton Love
If you’re thinking of hiring your first attorney you may be wondering where to begin and what you need to know to ensure you’re choosing the right person for the job. By asking these five questions, you can make sure you’re getting the services and experience you need for your situation.
1. Billing Services
There are different ways of billing for the services of your attorney and it’s not something to be afraid of talking to them about. In fact, when you contact them, this should be one of the first questions you ask. No one wants surprises when it comes to the bill. If you contact your lawyer and they won’t give you information about how they charge for their services, you could be in for some big shocks further down the road. You should look for a lawyer who bills their services with a flat-fee or on a project basis, but not on an hourly basis, as this could mean you’ll pay more.
Communication with your attorney is vital for a successful partnership, but many lawyers aren’t great at proactively communicating with their clients. You should look for an attorney that will make the effort to keep you informed as you go through the process of your case, whether it’s through a call once a week or even by email.
In today’s world, lawyers are typically specialized in one specific area such as…
- Personal injury (Friedland & Associates)
and many more areas of law. You don’t want to be working with a lawyer who doesn’t understand the field of your case, as this can slow up the process of your case is resolved. It’s important to find an attorney who understands your case in detail and has expertise in the specific area so they can provide adequate guidance.
4. Record Keeping
Chances are that your lawyer will ask you for documents that relate to your specific case, so it’s vital that you keep good records and are organized in where you store them so they’re accessible. If your lawyer requests original copies, you should keep a copy for yourself as well. It’s also key to ask for copies of all other important documents so that when you get your bill from your attorney, you can review it carefully and ask about any charges you’re unclear of.
5. Understand the Deal
Once you’ve decided on a lawyer, make sure you understand what you’ve both agreed to. This should include how often your lawyer will update you, the type of information you’ll be expected to provide and what the total cost will be. If you’re not clear at any point, it’s critical that you ask for clarification and that you’re comfortable with your lawyer’s approach. You should always be upfront with your attorney about the circumstances surrounding your situation too – having an agreement with your lawyer in writing is also a good idea so you can refer back to it if need be.