Like a trusted friend, a good lawyer can have your back through a legal scrape. The right lawyer can be your personal savior while the wrong one can put you through proverbial hell.
It has been said that hiring the right lawyer is as important as choosing the right spouse. However, anyone with real-world experience understands that hiring the right lawyer is far more important than selecting the right spouse because it is the lawyer who might end up helping you through the divorce of that spouse.
Similarly, a good lawyer will be with you, potentially, through the launch of your business. If you pick the wrong lawyer or the wrong business, your new lawyer could be with you through the fall of your old business. Like a trusted friend, a good lawyer can have your back through a legal scrape. The right lawyer can be your personal savior while the wrong one can put you through proverbial hell.
So, what should you look for when hiring a lawyer? These seven qualities are a great place to start.
The most basic attribute for any lawyer is his or her experience. You should find one who went to a top-tier law school or one with extraordinary experience dealing with legal matters pertinent to your specific needs. Young lawyers as well as first- or second-year lawyers not from top-tier programs are basically interns. They are in training. Do not allow someone to cut their judiciary teeth on your case.
When comparing two attorneys apparently equal in terms of experience, you should differentiate their success. It is important to note that success is based on the number of cases won–not handled. If you are looking for a defense attorney, success is not based on number of cases that were resolved via a plea bargain. It is based on the percentage of cases actually won in court.
You should look for a lawyer who affords you one-one-one consultations. Do not retain an attorney who always dodges your calls. Do not continue with the services of one who uses his or her personal assistant as a means of interference. Retain the attorney who avails him or herself to you. Forego the attorney who seems to always be on vacation.
Affordable initial interview
Determining an attorney’s worth must be accomplished during some sort of initial interview. Look for a partnership whose lawyers are available for a free or an affordable initial consultation. If someone charges you full fare for an initial consultation, look elsewhere.
During that interview, you should be able to describe your case and understand your chances of having it resolved in your favor. You should be able to get an accurate estimate of your fees and the duration of the entire process. Finally, you should be able to ask all the questions you need without feeling rushed.
Procedural vision is something that you must absolutely ascertain during the initial interview as it impacts the entire client-attorney-payment relationship. For instance, during any proceeding, attorneys know the process of any given suit or case. There are never any real surprises. Instead, there are only expected courses of action. If you are suing someone, your lawyer should be able to anticipate each step of the case, the duration of each step, and the cost of each step.
The need for communication is a follow-up requirement to the aforementioned procedural vision. In addition to procedural vision, an attorney must be able to communicate to you that vision.
Do not trust a lawyer who describes the initial steps to you and then says something along the lines of “we will have to wait and see what the other side does.” Lawyers know what one another will do. They should be willing to tell you.
If they do not communicate the complete process with you, it will create an illusory sense of dramatic tension, which will be profitable for them and frustrating for you. It will also allow them to act surprised–as if it the entire process is one big mysterious chess game. Instead, the process is very orderly. They know this. They should help you know this.
Whatever your case is, it is nearly guaranteed your lawyer will have assistants doing much of the day-to-day work on it. Paralegals are semi-professionals. However, some do not act like it. Instead, they act like legal assistants with just enough education to care. As such, they will lose documents, procrastinate assignments, and fail to communicate. You should request that your case be overseen by someone with tenure. Do not allow your case to be overseen by any assistant who has been recently hired. Attorneys at Murphy’s Law Brisbane for instance, are able to oversee everyone to get a job done. This is what you must expect and demand.