If you’re seeking the help of a lawyer for any reason whatsoever — personal injury claims, copyright infringement, criminal defense, etc. — it is important to consider some specific points. When choosing an attorney, you must keep the nature of your situation in mind, and find the most appropriate legal representation based on what your needs are, not those of everybody else’s.
Finding a good attorney isn’t as easy as asking for a recommendation and looking at reviews. You need to interview each potential prospect. Ultimately, you are hiring them to perform a job for you. You wouldn’t hire an employee without conducting an interview, so why wouldn’t you do the same with a lawyer? Here are some ideas on what to ask an attorney when you’re trying to hire one.
How long have you been practicing?
Experience is often a key part in choosing an attorney. A more well-seasoned lawyer likely knows the courtroom better than the younger candidate, fresh out of law school, although this is not always the case.
What sort of experience do you have in this area?
This is a potentially better question than the former. Regardless of how many years a lawyer has spent in the courtroom, they may never have been dealing with a situation such as yours. Whereas, perhaps the recent law grad may have just done a heavy amount of research on the matter. The material could still be fresh in their brain, or they could have chosen to specialize or concentrate in it.
What does your track record look like?
Some lawyers, even the ones who have been around for a while, can be under-performing in their field. No matter how many cases they have handled in a specific area, it’s important to know how many cased they’ve won, how many sentences they’ve reduced, or other important turnouts.
What made you want to be a lawyer in the first place?
This many be a question they haven’t heard in a while, but it’s useful if you want to know where the attorney’s passions lie. Remember, part of choosing an attorney to represent you fairly is being a judge of their character. If you do not trust or respect them, then they will not trust or respect you. In this case, the arrangement will not work and you will likely lose the case.
Feel confident in your decision before you make it, and be sure to interview multiple lawyers in the area to ensure that you make the right choice.