When you need an attorney, it is understandable if it all seems overwhelming. Their services may seem expensive, or you may feel like you don’t know where to start looking for one.
Do not worry. Discussed here are some tips on how to hire the right attorney for your legal needs.
Ask about their experience
Before hiring an attorney, you will want to know about their experience with cases similar to yours. How many cases have they taken on? What was the outcome of those cases? Inquire how long it took for a verdict and what were the sentencing terms. Lawyers at www.attwoodmarshall.com.au recommend hiring an experienced lawyer who has handled many cases similar to yours. Experience gives them the expertise and confidence in providing you with expert legal services in handling your case. Whereas someone who is new may know all of the procedures of the legal system, but may not know how to best handle your case. Weigh the risk and decide whether or not you want to put yourself in a less favorable position because you were attracted by low fees.
Mention your budget
Don’t just say that you have no money because that might scare away an experienced lawyer from taking your case. Simply tell them that you’re looking for a payment plan or just give them a minimal fee that is within your budget. If not, ask if they can suggest someone who would be able to help in this situation.
Your budget plays an important part when finding legal representation since most lawyers charge hourly rates or flat fees depending on the complexity of the task.
Ask for references
Ask if they have any former clients you can talk to. A lawyer’s past clients are usually a good source of information on how well the attorney has represented them in the courtroom. You will want to ask about their experience with this particular attorney and what might have prompted them to leave the firm after being acquired.
See if they are willing to negotiate
Some lawyers are very inflexible when it comes to fees because they base it on years of experience. Some may be open to negotiations so let that be known before signing any contracts or agreements. Or just simply inquire if there is anyone else within their firm who could work on your case without lowering their hourly rates.
It isn’t wise to hire an attorney via phone without meeting them in person. Not only do you not know how they will present themselves, but it is also a matter of trust and ethics. You want to make sure that the professional has your best interests at heart and can provide clear answers to all questions related to your case.
Ask about their fee structure
There are two types of fees when hiring an attorney: one where costs vary depending on success (contingency), and another where you will be charged by the hour or for specific tasks performed (flat fee). When hiring an attorney, inquire which would work for you better since there are pros and cons for both options:
- Contingency Fee: If this type of fee is chosen, the lawyer will receive compensation only if you win your case. It can be anywhere between 15-45% of whatever award has been given by the court.
- Hourly Rate: The fee varies depending on which type of attorney you have chosen and how much experience they have in a specific field. The hourly rates could range from $80-$400 per hour with a retainer amounting to a few thousand dollars.
Whatever arrangement you choose must be agreed upon by both parties before working on your case together. Make sure that all details have been ironed out so that no confusion or misunderstandings would arise later on during the trial period.
In most cases, hiring an experienced lawyer will guarantee a more favorable outcome. However, if the lawyer has lost most of his/her cases in the past year, they might not be in good standing with their local bar association.
Ask about their staff
Inquire also about the attorney’s support staff. If he or she is strict when it comes to business hours, you will want to know beforehand if their employees are open-minded enough to bring your case during odd hours. This would affect the course of your case so being aware of this ahead of time is important. Knowing if their office runs like a well-oiled machine can help immensely when working on deadlines and other tight schedules that may arise during trial periods.
Lawyers are often seen as intimidating by those who have hired one before. It is important to be aware of the fact that most lawyers are good people and they want to help their clients. Hiring an attorney can be complicated for some but there are ways to ensure that the one you pick will suit your needs. Before signing any contracts or agreements, make sure that all relevant questions have been addressed and answered. Knowing these tips ahead of time will help ensure a smooth journey towards achieving the best possible outcome from hiring a legal representative.
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