The judiciary system is complex in any country. It becomes difficult for people to move through the complex labyrinth on their own and they need help in the form of an attorney. It is the same with needing a doctor or a mechanic; they help fix things that people don’t know to fix by themselves. But even getting to a good lawyer is a complicated procedure. Certain kinds of questions need to be asked to the attorney before hiring them.
1.How long have you been practicing in this field or area?
Answering this question is crucial as it lets potential clients know the wealth of experience the attorney has, as well as their success rate. It may also help clients tell whether the attorney is capable of handling their specific case, depending on variations of it they might have handled before. It will also lead clients to previous clients who might be able to give a clearer picture of whether the attorney is good with handling documents, making legal papers, arguing cases and resolving issues outside the court.
2.How and how much will I be charged?
Answering this question is crucial, because, like all imminent services, legal services are quite expensive. The client needs to know exactly how much and in what way(s) is he being charged. Lawyers generally charge in one out of three ways: hourly, a one-time flat fee depending on the case type and duration it might take to resolve or by contingency (percentage of the amounts recovered). These fees vary according to case type. For personal injury cases, most lawyers charge a contingency fee; while for business transactions they might charge a flat fee. Hourly rates range from $100 to $1000 and upwards. People might think that the more expensive an attorney is the quicker a case will be resolved, but it might be that if the attorney charges $200, he might take up to twice as long to resolve the case than someone who charges $100.
3.What is the size and registration of your law firm?
Law firms range in size from one lawyer to about 2,000. If you are a large company wanting to sue someone for libel or fraudulent exchange of money, then you might want to hire a large company of attorneys. If you are suing someone for bumping into your car and breaking a headlight, then you might want to hire just one. Remember that the attorneys that set up the big shops also tend to hold more weight in the legal field.
4.What are the possible outcomes, procedure and complications that could arise in my case?
After making the general enquiries, talk in depth about your case and get as much information as possible about the process. If and when the attorney can easily explain the outcomes and procedure of the case, it will prove his or her ability to argue on your behalf. Ask the attorney to make a rough time schedule, keeping in mind the delays caused during judgment or holidays or lack of proof. When the attorney has got all fronts covered, it means that he or she is thinking from all angles and has a firm grasp over multiple areas, a quality that is highly valued in attorneys.
5.How will you or your office be in touch with me and vice versa?
Handing your case and details of your life to an attorney is not the most difficult part of the legal scenario, it is the waiting period when your attorney is doing his job and you are by the phone. Make sure that you know how frequently your attorney will call you to inform you about the updates on your case. Make sure that you have a way to reach your attorney or his secretary directly, via phone, e-mail and personally. Attorneys normally handle many cases at the same time and might not be able to give personal attention to your case, so the onus might fall on you. Asking this question and getting a definite answer will make the attorney liable for keeping in touch with you about the progress instead of you haunting his office.