There are about 1.3 million lawyers in the United States. That number is always going up as more law students graduate and start their careers. With so many lawyers available, how do you find the right one when you’re dealing with legal trouble?
It can be tricky, but we’re here to help. Read on to learn a few things you should keep in mind before you hire an attorney.
1. The Lawyer’s Specialty
Not all lawyers handle all types of cases. When you’re hiring an attorney, make sure you choose one that has plenty of experience with your type of case.
While some lawyers are generalists and will handle almost anything you can throw at them, it’s generally best to pick one who practices a specific area of law. They’ll be an expert.
You wouldn’t want to hire a Social Security disability lawyer for a car accident case, right? You’d choose them for issues regarding disability law.
The same holds true for every area of law. Let the lawyer do what they know best.
2. Their Fees and How They Charge
It’s no secret that hiring a lawyer is expensive. While you shouldn’t base your entire decision on the cost of an attorney, it’s an important thing to know. The best attorney isn’t always the most expensive one.
Some lawyers work on contingency. This means that they only get paid if they win the case. This is common for personal injury cases.
Other lawyers get paid upfront.
You also need to know what the lawyer charges for. Will you have to pay for phone calls? Do they charge by the minute or a set amount per session?
3. Their Communication Style and Methods
How does the attorney communicate? You need to make sure that you and your attorney “mesh” well enough to get along for the duration of the case.
It’s also important for you to know how the attorney prefers to communicate as the case is ongoing. Do they prefer emails, phone calls, in-person appointments, or video calls?
Make sure that these things work for you before committing.
4. What They Expect From Clients
Attorneys all have different expectations for their clients. None of them are either right or wrong, but you want to be prepared and you want to know that you’re able to do what your attorney asks of you.
Some attorneys prefer their clients to be completely hands-off. After the initial meeting, the attorney will only call on the client when absolutely necessary.
Others like it when clients get involved and will even take their input into consideration.
Many attorneys are somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.
5. Their Available Time
When you’re talking to various attorneys, ask about their caseloads. Make sure that they actually have enough time for you.
An attorney with a heavy caseload and full calendar might be the best local attorney in town, but they won’t be helpful if they can’t devote their attention to your case.
Are You Ready to Hire an Attorney?
If you’re in a position where you need to hire an attorney, you’re likely under a lot of stress already. Finding the right lawyer is stressful at first, but they’ll make your life so much easier. Keep these things in mind when you’re hiring an attorney for your case.
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