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What Questions You Should Ask Before Hiring An Attorney

When it comes to seeking legal counsel for your specific situation, it may become more complex than you expect and you may have doubts. These things are to be expected, you don’t want to accidentally make an uninformed decision that leads you worse off than you were before you hired an attorney. Considering the large number of attorneys and law firms in most areas, it can be difficult to narrow it down to the perfect attorney for you. Here are some questions and advice to hopefully help you make your decision according to a wrongful death lawyer from our friends at the Brandy Austin Law Firm

First, it’s important to find the law firm you are thinking of representing. You can do online research to look for law firms and attorneys near you. One important thing to note is the type of law they practice. If you need an attorney to help with your divorce, a law firm that practices only personal injury and property damage would not be the right fit for you. Once you’ve found a firm that specializes in the area of law that you need, you are able to proceed in making an appointment to speak with an attorney. This is where the important questions start rolling in. Have you handled a case like this before? Were you successful? 

You want your attorney to have some experience in situations similar to yours. It’s not that they don’t know what they’re doing if they haven’t had a case like yours, it’s just that their previous experience can give you an idea of how your case will go. Your attorney can’t exactly give you all the details of other cases they’ve had but they can tell you how it was resolved, maybe they went to court, maybe they settled out of court, either way this will give you an idea of what to expect in your case. Knowing if your attorney was successful or not can also let you know what to expect for your case and prepare. Some other questions that can help you prepare include: “Are there any problems you foresee in my case?” and “What do you believe will be the most likely outcome of my case?”. If your attorney thinks there may be a problem down the road in your case, they can inform you now and you’re able to resolve or start to think about it ahead of time which will help in the future. If your potential attorney has enough information about your case, see if they know what the outcome may be. This is not a definitive answer but based on their experience and knowledge of your case there’s a chance they can predict what might happen. 

How Will We Be communicating? 

It’s important to know how you will be communicating with your attorney so that you can ensure that you’ll be available to communicate whether that be email, phone, or another system that the firm may use to communicate with clients. You also want to know how to reach your attorney in case you have any questions for them or need to speak with them. Another question you can ask your attorney is how often you can expect to hear from them because communication is key when it comes to attorney-client relationships. 

What Are Your Fees? How Much Can I Expect To Pay? 

Different cases are billed differently and not every firm bills the same way. There are a few ways you could be paying, you could pay hourly, pay a flat fee, or pay a contingency fee. If you are billed hourly, you’ll be billed an agreed upon amount for the time that an attorney and their team is spending on your case. A flat fee is usually for something that is straightforward and routine such as a traffic ticket or uncontested divorce. Cases that go to trial or cases that are more complex will not typically have a flat fee. A contingency fee means that of the amount you earn, the firm gets a certain percent of it. This means that if you do not win any settlement money, the firm will not charge you. It’s important to know your payment plan and how you will be billed. If you think that a firm is too expensive then you may need to go back to the drawing board and look for a new firm. If you are comfortable with the payment, then you will likely sign an agreement with the firm and you can proceed from there. 

Who Is Your Typical Client? 

It’s important to know who your potential attorney represents because that may determine if you are able to proceed with that firm or not. Some firms that deal with landlord-tenant disputes only represent landlords and not tenants, if you are a tenant wanting to be their client then it is important to know that information ahead of time. If you find their client type early on, it can save time and allow you to continue looking for a law firm to find the perfect attorney for you. In the event that the law firm you were interested in won’t represent you, you can likely get a referral from them suggesting a different law firm that will be able to take your case. The search for an attorney may be a struggle but being informed is one of the most important things during your search. Not every firm will be able to help you and that’s okay, with your knowledge of the attorney you’re looking for you’ll be at an advantage and it will help narrow down your potential attorneys.