(October 28,2018)If you find yourself in a situation where you need to get a lawyer – don’t panic. There are many lawyers available to work with you, and you’ll be able to get the help and counsel you need. However, make sure that you don’t shoot yourself in the foot by making one of these common mistakes when hiring a lawyer.
Not choosing someone accessible
Before choosing a lawyer, you need to make sure that your communication styles match. Going through a situation which requires you to have a lawyer is stressful enough as it is, and you don’t want to add unnecessary stress by not being able to get in touch with your legal counsel. Find a lawyer who you feel like you can rely on in your time of need, and who is accessible for your needs.
Hiring a lawyer is going to cost money (unless you’re able to secure a pro-bono case, which is ideal), but you can avoid the classic mistake of overpaying for your lawyer with a few simple precautions. First of all, shop around. Don’t settle for working with the first lawyer you talk to. Get an idea of their rates and keep searching. Ultimately, your personal comfort and connection is the most important part of the partnership, but price is important too. Don’t settle for a lawyer you don’t feel comfortable with, or get bullied into working with someone.
Not researching their track record
The bottom line is that you also need to hire a lawyer that has a proven track record of success. Hopefully your struggles never even make it into a courtroom and are settled out of court, but if they do, you want to make sure your lawyer can protect you and get you the results you want. Especially in the case of a high-stakes emotional case, like a wrongful death lawsuit, you don’t want to put yourself in a scenario where you can lose more than you already have. Do your due-diligence up front and research their track-record early on.
Choosing a high-profile law firm for the wrong reasons
When it comes to lawyers, bigger isn’t always better. If you want an attorney who will give you their personal time and attention, then a smaller firm is probably a better bet. Don’t go for a big name firm just because you feel like you need to. And also, ask friends and family for their lawyer recommendations. A good personal experience can speak wonders over a big name or positive Yelp review.
Not asking all your questions
You are finding your lawyer – yours, not someone else’s – so you need to ask them all the possible questions that you have. You don’t want to kick yourself for not asking your most pressing questions in your early meetings. Not asking pertinent questions early on can also create dangerous situations down the road. Don’t be shy or feel intimidated to ask questions. Remember, you’re hiring a lawyer to be your personal counsel, and they will advise you with your best interests at heart.