Seven Questions To Ask A Lawyer
If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law or if you feel you've been wronged and are seeking legal recourse, it's important to pick a reliable attorney or law firm with high standards. While no lawyer can provide guarantees, a professional lawyer will ensure that your case is presented in the best possible light and you stand a better chance at emerging victorious.
However, if you've never worked with an attorney or a law firm before, you may not know where to start when it comes to choosing the right one for you or your business. To make the whole process easier for you, we've outlined seven valuable questions to ask a lawyer.
During your initial consultation, ask these questions to help you understand if the lawyer or law firm is the right fit for you, and capable of advocating for your needs and rights.
1. What kind of experience do you have?
While it's not essential to find an expert in your particular field, it makes sense to look for someone who specializes in the area of law you need help in. It won't make much sense to hire a lawyer that specializes in bankruptcy to help you defend a criminal charge. Therefore, before you enlist a lawyer's services, it's essential to ask how many cases they have handled that are similar to yours, what the outcomes were and how he/she felt about such outcomes. A lawyer may have "lost" a case, but made the kind of headway that really it was a "win."
2. What kind of deadlines should I expect?
When deciding whether or not to hire an attorney, you should interview the lawyer as much as he or she is interviewing you about your case. You should make sure that he/she is the right fit for you. One of the first questions you should ask is about deadlines. Questions like "How long do you think this case will take?" and "How long will you need to set up my file and begin work?" are two questions that can get the ball rolling.
3. How often will I be updated about the progress of my case?
It's essential to be updated about the progress of your case. To ensure that you're not put on the back-burner or your matter is sidelined, get answers to questions like "How often will I be updated? Should I expect an email or a phone call?" and "Whom should I expect a call from, the attorney, the paralegal, or some other professional?"
4. If I have a question, who do I approach?
If you're tangled in a legal battle, it's essential to understand how the case will progress and if you have any doubts, your lawyer should work to clear them as much as possible. As a legal matter is complicated and questions may arise at any time, it's imperative to ask your lawyer who will address your doubts. You should be able to call and make an appointment to speak to the attorney, or call the paralegal, or send an email seeking clarifications. Be prepared that there will likely be a cost difference in speaking with your attorney or another staff member.
5. What do I need to provide and how will you proceed?
It's essential to gauge what information a lawyer requires from you. Ask the attorney what expectations they have of you and if you need to fill out any paperwork that needs to be written before work on your case begins. Once the discussions have been finalized, ask the lawyer how he or she will proceed.
6. What is your billing structure?
A legal matter may require a series of meetings and court appearances, so it's best if you are aware of how your lawyer will bill you. Usually, lawyers charge either a "flat rate" or bill clients by the hour.
If a lawyer has charged you a "flat rate," you usually pay the amount up front, and the amount doesn't change irrespective of the number of hours or the amount of work that is done.
If a lawyer charges you an "hourly rate," it's usually because your case has a lot of labor intensive work and requires extensive investigation and inquiries.
To get a better idea of what rate best suits you, you should speak to the lawyer and figure out what options would be ideal for you.
7. Do I have any payment options?
Apart from an hourly rate or flat rate, ask your lawyer if you need to pay a retainer fee and will it have to be replenished? Moreover, if you change to mind and opt not to use a lawyer's services as you decide that you don't want to go through with the representation, ask if any of the fees are refundable.
If you want a reliable and trusted law firm in West Palm Beach, FL that is committed to delivering the best legal services, reach out to The Quattro Firm, L.L.C.
We're committed to understanding the complete needs of our clients and not just the legal needs. By using this full understanding, we advocate with compassion. Backed by a passionate and driven team, we'll work towards creating an ideal case for you and swing the tide in your favor.