If this is your first time needing an attorney, finding the proper legal representation can be challenging. The sad truth is that first-time clients have a hard time distinguishing between a qualified lawyer and the right attorney. Hear us out. Sure, you can retain the best attorney in a specialized field, but if they are not versed in handling your case, choosing them may not be the best legal move for you. The right attorney will not only represent you and protect your interest but also save you the sanity of dealing with the legal technicalities of your case.
That said, let’s cut to the chase and help you find a suitable attorney. As you filter through the different trial lawyers who can potentially handle your case, you will look at; experience, skills, specialization and a proven track record. These are crucial factors to consider when hiring a lawyer; however, they will not tell you the entire story. Before hiring an attorney, ensure you have a sit down with them. Remember, this is someone significant to your case, and you want to ensure they are the right fit. An interview with potential legal counsel to answer your questions will clear any doubt about whether they are the best person for the job.
5 Questions To Ask Your Potential Attorney
Not every attorney that looks good on paper will be right for you. Before getting into any contract with a legal representative, there is a need to meet them face to face (virtually or in-person) to determine whether they will be a good fit for you. During the interview, here are five questions you can ask the attorney.
1. How long has the lawyer practiced law?
It takes a certain level of expertise for an attorney to handle your case properly. And it takes time and dedication for a lawyer to perfect their litigation skills which means the experience is essential. If your lawyer has been practicing law, more so in the area of specialization for your case, you can be sure they can handle your case. To put it simply, you wouldn’t want an attorney with little or lack of experience in Family and Divorce Law handling your divorce litigation.
2. Will you be personally responsible for handling my case?
Some lawyers have many clients, which means more workload resulting in delegating some cases to other people. In some cases, these individuals are paralegals or sales agents who know little about your case. During the consultation, ensure to ask whether the case will be handled personally by your legal representation or delegated to someone else at any point.
3. Do you have any unethical listings with the State Bar?
Having a trustworthy lawyer is vital for clients; therefore, before making a hiring decision, ensure you inquire whether the lawyer has any disciplinary actions taken against them. Not all attorneys have spotless records, some have had disciplinary cases due to unethical behaviors. Ask your Portland lawyer whether they have a disciplinary history with the State Bar before hiring them.
4. Are there hidden fees beyond the flat fee I should know about?
Granted, you cannot put a price on your legal rights, especially with your freedom at stake. Hiring an attorney is more about the quality of legal services you receive than the money you pay them; however, we cannot ignore that legal fees matter. The last thing one anticipates is the attorney withdrawing in the middle of a case. Thus, confirm that you are on the same page when it comes to payment. If there are hidden charges in the contract, ask the attorney to disclose them before signing it.
5. Can I contact you with any questions regarding my case?
Understandably, attorneys have hectic schedules, but your lawyer should cater to your needs even when you are not meeting them in the office. A call or email from the client with questions should be a priority, so ensure you can get hold of your attorney when necessary. If you cannot reach them, is there someone available to take a message on their behalf? At Cowlitz Law Group, we will delegate your case to a lawyer who will cater to your legal needs.
Hiring an attorney is unavoidable in some situations. One may not like it, but sometimes, it is in their best interest to have one. This guide centers around helping clients find the legal counsel that matches their needs, from what to look at to the right questions to ask to gauge whether they are the right fit. Reach out to us; we are ready to answer your legal call.