Just as your personal case and situation is unique, so to is each lawyer. Each lawyer has a different personality type, unique ways of working, as well as broad or narrow experiences and specialties. Choosing a lawyer that is right for yourself and your case is not an easy thing to do but here are some tips to help you find someone that will represent you well.
Ask someone who has been in a similar situation before – a friend, a colleague or family members. A personal recommendation on who to work with, or more importantly, who to avoid, can be a great way to ensure you find someone who is reputable and someone that you will feel comfortable using as legal representation.
Do your own research for a lawyer specialising in your situation. Check out their client testimonials, their LinkedIn profile, their website and whatever else you can find on Google.
Call them up and ask questions about anything that is important to you. You will know pretty quickly by talking to them over the phone how comfortable you feel speaking with and working with them and whether they are someone you are willing to engage for their services. Some of the questions you can ask them might include:
- What experience does the lawyer have in your type of legal matter?
- How long have they been in practice?
- What is their track record of success?
- What percentage of their caseload is dedicated to handling your type of legal problem?
- Do they have any special skills or certifications?
- Who else would be working on your case and what are their rates?
- Do they outsource any key legal tasks for functions?
- Can they provide references from other clients?
- How will they inform you of developments in your case?
A good lawyer is a good communicator. They will be specific and very thorough; however, they will still be able to explain even the most complex legal situations to you with ease, in a way that you will understand. In turn, you should feel comfortable asking as many questions as you want – even if they seem like ‘silly’ questions. Communication between a lawyer and client should be two-way and flow seamlessly.
Ask upfront about legal costs and the fees they may charge. This information must be disclosed to you as to ensure they are no surprises. Also remember that fees can be negotiated, so do not be afraid to ask those tough questions.
Do not settle for the first lawyer you speak with. We always suggest you compare more than one lawyer to give you confidence in your decision. You will find plenty that meet your budget, and a lot who will have plenty of experience, but it is important to also get the relationship right too.
A good lawyer does not want to judge you; a good lawyer wants to defend you. If you evaluate your experiences with lawyers using these tips as guidance, you are likely to find someone who will represent you well.