Tips for Shopping for a New Lawyer
If you are need of an attorney, the last thing you need to be doing is fighting with your attorney. It’s really that simple. There are a few signs that make it clear it might be time to part ways and find someone different to represent you in your time of need.
Ask yourself the following questions.
- Does my attorney return my calls promptly?
- Does my attorney make me feel intimidated?
- Is your attorney keeping you posted on the status of your case?
- Is your attorney being dishonest with you?
- Are you and your lawyer simply not clicking?
If you have a lawyer that is representing you that you do not feel confident in, you need to acknowledge the signs and do something about it. But, you’ve failed in you hunt once, what’s to prevent you from repeating your mistake? Here are a few tips to help you find a new lawyer.
Do Your Homework This Time
Before you offer up a retainer, take some time to learn who you are dealing with. You don’t want a divorce lawyer representing you if you are suffering from the side effects of medication to treat cerebral palsy symptoms.
Make sure that the person you are considering using has experience where you need him/her to have experience. Some attorneys are better in the courtroom while others are fantastic at drawing up paperwork. Thoroughly examine your needs then find the most qualified person to represent them.
Set Clear Terms
You’ve fired a lawyer because he/she didn’t live up to your expectations. This time around make sure your expectations are clear to both you and your attorney.
- How often would you like updated?
- What information does your attorney need from you?
- What are all of your options?
- How will your lawyer approach the case?
The bottom line is simple. Be upfront with your lawyer about all the facts surrounding your situation. And, make sure your lawyer is upfront without what he/she can offer you. Then get your terms in writing, so you don’t end up searching for a new attorney midway through your case.
Look at Cost
An expensive high-power attorney is not necessarily the best person for your job. But, that’s doesn’t mean you should go shopping for a bargain either. A good rule of thumb is to try to find a balance between experience and cost. You might even be wise to see if your legal needs can be handled by a paralegal or a junior attorney. I could save you some money.
Before you hire anyone, make sure you have a clear understanding of the costs associated with the service. Lawyers are expected to explain their fees to potential clients. Some states say this needs to be in done shortly after they take you on as a client. And, other states say this needs to be done before a lawyer accepts a retainer. Furthermore, some states even require that these fees are given to you in writing.
Attorney bills aren’t cheap. So, this time around, make sure you do your homework before hiring someone to take care of your needs. Talk to prospects, make sure your needs are precise, and follow your gut. If you don’t feel like the attorney you are considering is a good fit, find another one. There are plenty out there.