While we all hope to never be in a situation where it is necessary to hire a lawyer, there is a slight chance that you will find yourself tackling the daunting job of hiring a lawyer for yourself at some point in your life. If this does happen – or perhaps it is something you are going through right now – there are a few things you will need to know before jumping in and hiring someone willy-nilly.
In general, it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer before you decide to hire them. Make sure you actually need a lawyer. Some people (especially business owners) have their lawyer all set up in case the worst should happen. In this case, they will consult their lawyer to make sure the services will actually be necessary before they enter into any legal agreements.
Whether you are looking for a lawyer for long-term interactions in the future, or to have for a San Antonio auto accident lawyer help fight an upcoming case, the best practices remain the same. Get recommendations from people you know, interview the top candidates, and see what the rates of each of your shortlisted attorneys are like. When interviewing them, you are going to need to look for a certain set of criteria in their professionalism and personality. Continue reading for more information about these criteria.
Past Experience and Expertise
While you don’t necessarily need someone who is perfectly knowledgeable in everything regarding your specific area, you should have a lawyer who knows the basics and the advanced information concerning your situation. For example, if you need a lawyer for your small business, you are going to want someone who has dealt with small businesses before.
When you interviewed the attorney, did everything they say make sense to you? Did their legal jargon seem easy to understand? If so, that attorney is an effective communicator. You won’t always understand all of the legal issues in a case, but as long as your lawyer can explain it to you effectively then it shouldn’t hinder you from justice.
Does the lawyer listen and understand you perfectly, as well? Did the lawyer make the extra effort to get to know the real you, including your goals and current stance in life?
If you need to reach your lawyer, they can’t be too busy to take your calls. If you can’t trust this attorney to be there, then you should hire someone else. You need someone you can trust.
Definitely always ask for references when interviewing a personal injury lawyer. You should also find more about their past work experience – and make sure they give you the name and contact information of more than one person who can attest to this candidate’s legitimacy.
Lawyer’s fees can range by thousands of dollars per hour – the rate is based on the attorney’s preferences and expectations. Don’t choose someone only because they offer the cheapest price, think about what you want to receive from your case.