Whether you’re going through a messy divorce or have been injured at work, you need to know how to pick a lawyer if you want to get the outcome you deserve.
However, especially when you’re already dealing with emotional and physical pain and suffering, taking the time to properly evaluate a potential legal team can be a challenge.
This post is here to help you avoid making serious — and costly — mistakes when you’re in the process of choosing a lawyer.
From understanding their education credentials to speaking with references, we’ll help you to make sure you ask all the right questions.
1. Ask About Case Experience
The first questions you should ask when you’re in the market for a good attorney?
You need to understand their overall case experience.
You should ask about how many cases they’ve taken on, what their average win vs. loss ratio is, and how much experience they have in dealing with cases that are especially similar to your own.
After all, the last thing that you want to have happen is to realize that you’re dealing with an amateur whose clumsiness and ill-preparedness in the courtroom ends up costing you your case.
For more info on how a law firm’s website can help you to determine their case history, areas of specialization, and other information visit the website of Chris A. Spofford.
2. Speak to References
When you want to understand how to pick a lawyer, you shouldn’t rely solely on the glowing testimonials on their website or on third-party review sites.
You should also ask to speak to several references over the phone.
When you speak to these references, ask about any surprise billing, how well the attorney kept in touch with the client, and of course, about the overall outcome of their case.
Ask if they would recommend the attorney to their family and friends — an effective way to get the “real story” about their experience.
3. Ask About Their Education
When you’re evaluating prospective lawyers, one of the most important questions you’ll need to ask relates to their education.
While it’s completely possible to get a fabulous and competitive legal education at a lesser-known school, you need to understand how their education credentials will help you to win your case.
In addition to asking where they went to school, also ask about any specialized training and certifications they’ve received.
How are they continuing their education while in practice? Are they a member of any legal associations or guilds? And if they don’t have the expertise you need, do they have the network connections to make sure they work with a colleague that does?
4. Evaluate Their Communication Style
When you’re choosing a lawyer, you need to remember that there’s a large possibility that you’ll have to spend several months working with your attorney.
It may not seem like a priority at first, but you need to be sure that you actually like this person, get along with them, and believe in their ability to fight for you and your case.
You also need to make sure that your communication styles mesh well.
To evaluate this, ask a lawyer to explain a legal concept to you. Also ask if they prefer to communicate by phone, email, or in person.
5. Ensure They’re Licensed
The last thing that you want to deal with when you’re looking for a good attorney is discovering that they’re not licensed in your state.
Any reputable lawyers will happily show you a copy of their degrees, license, and other certifications. If they don’t, run for the hills.
Usually, you can simply check the American Bar Association website to ensure that the lawyer you want to work with is properly licensed to practice in your state.
6. Understand Billing
When you’re interested in learning how to find a good lawyer, you also need to ensure you understand exactly how you’ll be billed.
What is the hourly rate of an attorney versus having them on retainer? What sorts of court fees will you need to cover on your own? Will the attorney hire any outside counsel that you’ll also need to pay? How long will you have to pay your bill?
Is it possible to get it in partial payments?
These are all essential questions to ask when you’re choosing a lawyer.
7. Schedule a Consultation
Finally, the best way to know how to pick a lawyer is to schedule a face-to-face meeting.
Even if you think you’ll likely get along based on phone conversations or the information on their website, you won’t really be able to evaluate the care you’ll receive until you meet in person.
Plus, you can study how they explain concepts to you and determine whether or not they’ll be able to effectively and convincingly argue on your behalf in court.
Learning how to Pick a Lawyer Doesn’t Have to be Hard
We hope that this post has helped you to better understand some of the most important questions you need to ask when you’re trying to understand how to pick a lawyer.
Remember that you need to study their communication style, check their licensing and education credentials, and speak with references.
Above all, you should schedule a consultation to meet with them in person.
Looking for the best legal representation in your area? Spend some time on our website to connect with experienced attorneys who are ready to fight for you.
Then, be sure to check back with our blog to learn more about what you can expect out of a wide variety of court cases.