Not every lawyer is right for every case. Just like doctors, lawyers specialize in "areas" of practice. Finding the right lawyer does not stop at finding a lawyer that specializes in your type of case. You should meet with that lawyer, in person if possible, and not be afraid to ask questions. We have provided you with some questions you should ask the lawyer. Listen to how the lawyer answers the questions, does he or she sound knowledgeable, can he or she explain the law to you and does the lawyer take the time to talk with you. In the end, a lawyer client relationship is one of trust - not formed the first time you meet, but over time. At that initial meeting, however, if you don't feel that the lawyer is right for you don't be afraid to move on and talk with other lawyers.
What experience does the lawyer have in handling your type of case? If it is a driving under the influence case ask the lawyer how many similar types of cases he has handled. A lawyer may have pracitced law for 30 years, but you don't necessarily want to be his first criminal defendant or personal injury client.
Ask them how they view the attorney client relationship. Every lawyer has a different outlook on the attorney client relationship. Find out how the lawyer views this relationship and make sure it fits your needs. You may not want to be bothered with the everyday events in your file, you may want updates weekly, or maybe you want to be emailed about every pleading. Ask whether the lawyer is willing to make exceptions for your needs.
Ask if the lawyer views themself as a litigator or a trial lawyer. This may need some explanation, but many lawyers are afraid of the courtroom to the popint that they cannot find the courage to enter that ring. A trial lawyer understands the importance of the courtroom - understands the importance of the jury - and notwithstanding his or her fears is willing to step into the ring and fight for you. A litigator may be a fine advocate for you - he may know the rules, may know how to file motions, may have lunch with the judge or the prosecutor. But if you need someone to fight for you, you need the trial lawyer, not the litigator.
Is the lawyer a member of any associations or professional groups? This question needs to be followed up with what does it take to join these groups. There are many organizations that simply involve paying some enourmous amount of money and you are a member. So ask, does membership require that the lawyer pass any test or practiced for so long? Is membership based on the approval of other members? Does membership require continuing education.
Ask the lawyer if he has ever been sued or sanctioned. I am always amazed that potential clients never ask me this question. Maybe they are afraid to offend me - DON'T BE!! This is your case and sometimes this is your life. Ask if the lawyer has ever been sued by a client? Ever been sanctioned by the bar association? Ever had an investigation opened into his or her ethical conduct.?
Ask the laywer for at least two referrals to other lawyers in this area of practice. Then call those laywers, then ask them for the same thing. You may find that certain lawyers names will be repeated.
Fees. So many times the first question that is asked by possible clients is how much do I charge. For a boy that grew up in a middle class family in a steel town, this question is very important. But you should understand that a lawyer that charges $300 per hour may be a better bargain that one that charges $150 per hour. Why? Experience. Also, lawyers that charge flat fees versus hourly may or may not be a better bargain. Have the lawyer expalin his fees and why he feels justified in charging you that amount. If the lawyer doesn't want to answer the question or avoids the question, he or she may not be the lawyer for you.
Ask friedns and neighbors. It is important to ask friends and neighbors, but take this with a grain oif salt. Who your talking with may not have had a result they liked or may hav no personal knowledge of the lawyer except from the other side of a difficult case.
Do internet research. In todays' world checking the internet is critical. see if there are any articles about the lawyer or ones he or she has written. Check out their web page and see if it is done professional or simply thrown together. See what kind of information it provides you with to help you make a decsion about hiring a lawyer or about your case.
Trust your instincts. In the end the lawyer is there to tell your story. If you don't trust that he will accomplish this then there will be no justice for you. Most people that eventually end up at a lawyer's office is because someone along the line has ignored them. If your lawyer will not listen then you will not ever feel that you are being represented.
FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US ABOUT THE PROCESS OF HIRING A LAWYER AND OTHER HINTS THAT MAY HELP YOU IN MAKING THIS IMPORTANT DECISION.