When looking for a lawyer to handle a personal legal case, you can usually find one by contacting the local law firm or a lawyer referral service in your area. If these do not pan, try the State Bar Association or word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied friends, family members or colleagues. Once you get the names of two or three attorneys who specialize in the area that you need help with, you need to make an appointment to “interview” each attorney before deciding which one to retain as a lawyer. Some attorneys offer a 30-minute free consultation to discuss your case and see if the client and attorney fit. Here are some questions you may want to ask:
1. How long have you specialized in this type of legislation? If the lawyer has recently switched from probation to criminal law and you are accused of committing a crime, you can search for a more experienced lawyer. On the other hand, this lawyer may have helped a partner in criminal cases or previously done extensive work in this area. Find out if there is enough evidence to justify your trust in this particular attorney to handle your case.
2. What are your fees? Never keep a lawyer vague about the cost of his or her services or the type of expenses you may have to pay. While it is natural to be uncertain about an exact cost of copy, telephone and postage costs, the attorney should be able to provide you with a ballpark figure as well as any expert testimonial costs, including depositions, interrogations or videotaping and travel fees. Try to get a written estimate of the legal fees at least. Many charge per hour or after the procedure, e.g. A divorce of $ 1500. Others are required to collect a portion, such as One third, of any prices made in e.g. Personal Injury Cases.
3. What are the chances of success for my cause? This applies to litigation where you are suing someone in court. You want to get a percentage, like 60 percent or 20 percent, of what the outcome is likely to be. In other cases, e.g. Planning the estate, you can change the issue to address issues involving your expected estate plan with applicable taxes.
4. How often can I expect to hear from you? A competent attorney must be in regular contact with a client to provide status updates, although there is not much to report. A monthly phone call, email or letter will help alleviate concerns and confirm consultation dates so that you are not disconnected from the legal process for several months at a time.
5. What is the likely course of action in my case? Your lawyer should be able to give you a clear record of what to expect. Some types of cases may require a few meetings with the lawyer. Others may require legal action and deposition meetings. Sketch a timeline of the expected activity so that you can plan accordingly.
Once you have compared lawyer responses to your questions, you may be in a better position to choose the lawyer who will work most effectively to protect your interests.