Getting involved in a legal issue can be a complicated matter. It’s a hard one to tackle all by yourself, thus you need the help of professionals. Whether you are dealing with legal work problems, a custody battle or criminal charges, the very first thing you need to do is look for the right attorney to handle your case.
The attorney you hire must be well-versed with the related laws in order to guarantee greater chances of winning your case. However, there are lots of attorneys in your area right now and choosing a potential one can be a daunting task. How do you know which among these attorneys you should choose?
To make your search simpler, here are three important factors that you should take into consideration to hire the best attorney.
1. The attorney’s general work experience
Work experience is one of the most important deciding factors in settling with the right professional for the job. In this case, you need to know if the attorney has dealt with cases like yours or cases related to it. If so, ask the attorney about the results regarding such cases.
This part is crucial since experienced attorneys often cost more than beginners in the field. While there are experienced ones who offer rates at a more affordable rate, this will entail more asking and shopping around.
You also need to know if the attorney possesses the needed licenses in order to practice his work. All attorneys are obligated to acquire the right licenses if they want to do their job in a specific area.
Gathering information on the basic duties of lawyers – from garnering facts, scrutinizing testimonials from clients, validating circumstantial evidence and dealing with documentation work – is something that you can do on your own. Knowledge about those things will help you ask the right questions to potential lawyers.
In addition, you also need to ask the attorney if he or she specializes in a particular area of law, the length of time it will need to settle your case plus its strengths and weaknesses.
2. The attorney’s rates
Find out if the lawyer charges by the hour, offers a flat rate or asks for a contingency fee. The costs of hiring a lawyer differ significantly since this factor will be influenced by the attorney’s experience, the location where he practices his profession and the areas of law that he specializes in.
Traditionally, the hourly rate of lawyers falls between $150 to more than $300 an hour. When it comes to flat fees, this will be based on the nature of the client’s case. For example, cases like divorces, bankruptcy, and minor criminal charges usually start at $400.
You have to be prepared with contingency fees though—they are not exactly affordable. For personal injury cases, attorneys’ fees typically rate at 33-40 percent of the amount the attorney acquires for their client. Once the expenses are deducted, clients more often than not take less the amount that attorneys acquire from insurance companies.
Make sure to ask and canvas lawyers; do not immediately presume that your potential attorney’s quote is the standard. Ask them about the overall costs of your case, if the client will be responsible for other expenses outside attorney’s fees and their preferred method of payment.
3. The attorney’s reputation and attitude towards his profession
Not all lawyers have an impeccable reputation. You don’t really want to deal with one you can’t easily get in touch with or a person who argues with their clients frequently. Lawyers who are there for their clients, who listen well and understand that their clients essentially are handing them very personal matters are the ones you should be working with.
Whenever you try to pick your possible lawyer among the bunch, take notice if you feel comfortable conversing with them. You should also evaluate whether the person is somebody you can actually trust and depend on when it comes to legal matters.
You need to be with a lawyer who has the positive qualities mentioned above since you will be spending lots of hours discussing details of your case repeatedly. Clients should be comfortable with their lawyers to divulge even required personal information to beef up their strategies. In addition, you should be confident enough that all things discussed with your lawyer will be kept private.
Doing research on potential lawyers is advised since this will reveal if these people have been reproached or were sanctioned due to certain violations, have been or are currently embroiled in their own legal battles. This particular information is typically available through your area’s state bar association or board of professional responsibility, or you can do a brief Google search as well.
Become informed first before hiring an attorney—remember the essentials in this article. Hiring legal counsel is a sizable investment, and you need to settle on a sound decision to win your case.