The choice of a lawyer is an important decision. There are many factors to consider when selecting a lawyer, including experience, competence, cost, and communication. Law and legal procedure are difficult to understand. Most lawyers practice in certain areas and only accept cases within their practice areas. It is important for you to feel confident the lawyer you select is competent to handle your legal situation. When you contact a lawyer, review a list of questions to help you determine if you are comfortable with the attorney. Questions might include:
- Do you charge for the initial (first-time) consultation?
- How long is the initial consultation?
- Do I need to bring documents to the initial consultation?
- How many types of cases like this have you handled before?
- What do you charge for this type of legal service?
- Do you bill by the hour, the task, or do you work on a contingency basis?
- What is your billing policy on telephone calls, emails, or texting?
When you meet with the lawyer the first time, take another list of questions,
- Can you explain the attorney-client privilege?
- What are the legal issues involved with my case?
- What are the possible outcomes of my legal situation?
- How long do you think it will take to complete my legal matter?
- Do I have a right to settle my case?
- Will I have a written attorney-client fee agreement?
- How long should I wait for a return phone call from you?
- What if you don't return my call, what should I do?
If you contact a lawyer and the lawyer cannot assist you with your specific
legal problem, ask the lawyer to recommend another lawyer or law firm.