Seven Questions To Help You Choose Your Lawyer.
The following are 7 questions you should ask any lawyer you are potentially considering hiring.
1. How Many years have you been practicing law?
2. How many years have you practiced law for my type of case?
3. Will you be the lawyer working on my case and going to court with me?
4. Who else on your firm will be working on my case?
5. What is their experience with my type of case?
6. Have you taken cases like min to trial before?
7. “What are all the potential legal costs, including investigators, experts and the like?”
Four Things to Beware of When Meeting With A Lawyer for “Free Initial Consultation.”
1. Is the person you are meeting with even a lawyer?
This is a tactic used by some law firms that market heavily on TV and billboards. They hire salespeople to meet with new clients as opposed to lawyers. The result of this is that the person you are seeking legal help from best skills are too close you as opposed to properly evaluate your legal case and give you legal advice. In fact, these people cannot give you legal advice and surely have no experience handling cases. Therefore, I believe people are seriously misled and wasting their time when coming in to get such a “free initial consultation.” Ask yourself this, why should you hire a law firm that doesn’t tell you when you make your appointment that you will not be meeting with the lawyer but rather, a sales person/closer.
2. If the person you are speaking with is a lawyer, are they the lawyer that will be working your case.
Of the law firms that market heavily, some use a lawyer who is their best closer or has many years of experience when providing their “free initial consultation.” Many people make the mistake of believing that this is the lawyer that will be working on their case. The truth of the matter is that these type of law firms typically assign their least experienced attorneys to new cases. This is a way for them to stay profitable. In other words, they can pay lawyers with little experience far less money than they would have to pay a lawyer with substantial experience to work your case. Again, you must ask yourself, do you really want to hire a law firm does not make you aware of this information from the outset.
3. If the person you are meeting with is a lawyer and will be working on your case, ask them their experience level. This is something you should know.
4. Beware when the person you are meeting with will not give you a direct answer about fees.
Beware of entering into an agreement where the payments are very high for you. At least several law firms I know of that advertise heavily well known for withdrawing from representation as soon as the client fails to make a payment. I have seen this done where the client put’s a large “Retainer” down then, the law firm runs through the retainer quickly, sometimes, within 30 days and hits the client up for more money. When the client does not pay it right away, they withdraw from the case. I recently had a person tell me they put $10,000.00 down and in just over a month was informed that his retainer had been used up and that he needed to make another substantial payment.
Also, beware if the person you are meeting with leads the conversation regarding fees with the question “how much can you afford to put down?” Although this may be a legitimate question when discussing fees, a lawyer who is straightforward about fees will tell you their price and payment expectations. Again, this question is a legitimate question. However, it should not be one of the first questions your asked when discussing fees.
In the end, keep this in mind, you can likely hire a lawyer with 10 or more years of experience for the same price or close to the same price you will get a zero to 4 year experienced lawyer at a major advertising law firm. So don’t compromise on hiring yourself an experienced lawyer.