How Do I Choose a Lawyer?
“How do I hire a lawyer,” is one of the most common questions asked by individuals involved in a personal injury incident. The answer is oftentimes simply a matter of personal choice. However, there are a few facts to know and questions to ask in order to help you make an informed decision.
How to Locate a Lawyer
One of the best ways to locate a reputable lawyer is to ask your friends, family and neighbors who they recommend. A word-of-mouth recommendation is often a very good indication of a lawyer’s skill and ability.
Another way to find several candidates for your legal representation is to run an online search for lawyers in your area or look in your local Yellow Pages for attorneys who specialize in the practice area your case requires.
How to Choose a Lawyer
After you have a list of lawyers for consideration, you may want to ask around in your community to see what the public has to say. You may find that this process allows you to eliminate one or two choices.
Next, you can schedule a consultation to help you make your decision. When preparing for your consultation, here are a few questions you can ask to help you make an informed decision.
10 Questions to Ask a Potential Lawyer
- Do you specialize in any practice areas? If so, can you provide statistics about some of your most prominent cases?
- What will be required of me, if I hire you to handle my case?
- How do you get paid? Do you take contingent based cases?
- Do you work with other attorneys or will you be the only one working on my case?
- Do you have experience with other cases similar to mine, and if so, what were the outcomes?
- How often will you update me on the progress of my case?
- How often do you check email or return client calls? Can I expect to contact you in person within a reasonable amount of time?
- Who covers your cases if you are off work or unavailable?
- How do you handle differences of opinion between yourself and clients? What will you do if I disagree with a settlement offer or advice you give?
- Have you ever had any professional action taken against your license to practice law or been involved in any ethical disputes with clients?
After you have interviewed a few lawyers on your list, you may feel that you are more comfortable with one in particular, or you may be able to eliminate a few from your potential pool of lawyers based on your consultation.
This is where choosing a lawyer often becomes a matter of personal choice and the selection process is based on your individual preference.