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  • 4 min
  • 02/07/2022

Considerations When Hiring a Lawyer

Choosing a lawyer can be overwhelming. A quick Google search will likely reveal dozens of lawyers in your area all with varying expertise. Not only can choosing a lawyer be overwhelming but choosing the wrong lawyer can be devastating consequences to your matter. This is why it’s important that you do as much research as you can before hiring a lawyer or a law firm. Here are some things to keep in mind while making your decision.

Know What Type of Lawyer You Need

While many lawyers are well-versed in multiple areas of law, most will specialize in certain areas. For example, a lawyer who specializes in family law and can assist with prenuptial agreements, divorce matters, or child custody issues may not be the best option for handling a real estate or personal injury matter.

This is why it’s important that you find a lawyer who not only understands your specific type of case but have expertise in detail with that type of legal matter.

Get Recommendations

Getting a recommendation for a lawyer is a great way to find someone to assist you on your case. In some cases, they may come recommended to you by a family member or friend who had a similar issue. For example, using the same divorce lawyer or real estate attorney as a friend did.

If you don’t have a personal recommendation for a lawyer, the next best thing to do is read online reviews about that lawyer or law firm. Google reviews, Facebook reviews, reviews, and even reviews the lawyer themselves provide can all offer valuable insight into the experience of that lawyer and what it’s like working with them.

Educate Yourself

The more you understand about your case before contacting a lawyer, the better you’ll understand the conversation when discussing your case with a potential lawyer. This doesn’t mean you need to become an expert, but having a basic understanding about what is happening, legal terms that have to do with your case, and what paperwork might be needed will give you an advantage during consultations.

Do a little research online first, read legal articles, and talk to others who have had similar legal experiences.

Interview More Than One Lawyer

Unless you’ve already worked with that lawyer or law firm before, odds are the lawyers you are considering are new to you. Since this is such an important decision, it’s important that you make sure you are choosing the lawyer that is the right fit for both your case and for you personally.

Many attorneys will offer a consultation, in some cases it may be free or for a small fee, in person or over the phone. This is the time that you can ask questions and learn as much as you can about them and what it will be like working with them. While you shouldn’t expect to receive legal advice during a consultation, you should expect them to discuss how they would approach your matter, an estimate on the cost (some matters may be a flat rate fee, while others will be an hourly fee), and what you can expect in terms of working with them.

This should give you an understanding of who is working on your case, how long they anticipate it to take for your matter to get resolved, and possible expected outcomes.

Understand Their Billing Model

Before committing to an attorney, it’s important you understand their billing model. Certain legal matters such as Estate Planning or Real Estate closings will be offered as a flat-rate fee. This means you’re told up front how much it will cost and you’ll paid either in full or using another agreement payment terms.

However, many legal issues will require hourly billing. Typically a lawyer will request an initial retainer deposit (the amount of that deposit will often depend on the anticipated total cost of working on the matter), from there the attorney will charge you an attorney rate and begin to bill you once the retainer is used up.

Most law firms will do work for your case throughout the month and send you a bill at the end of the month with the charges incurred. However, at Relevant Law, we want our clients to be in control of their legal spending so we request clients to maintain a positive balance in their account and we will alert you when it is running low and request an additional deposit. This is ideal because if the cost ever gets too high, you can request legal services to pause temporarily, or cease altogether. It also ensures you are never in debt to our law firm.

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