Finding a good attorney is a lot like finding a needle in a haystack. Not only is it incredibly difficult — you risk getting pricked anyway! To make sure that you get the best legal representation possible, it’s important to set up an initial consultation meeting with several different lawyers who might be able to help you with your case. You should treat this time like an interview. After all, you’re the one who will be paying them for their help and advice.
To help you make the best decision, here’s a quick guide on what to ask an attorney at that first meeting.
- How long have you been practicing law?
A lawyer who’s been around the court for some time will most likely have more experience and confidence in arguing your case. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that an old lawyer is better than a young one. Credentials, background, and references may be just as or more important than years alone.
- Have you represented any cases that were similar to mine?
Every situation is unique, but if there’s anyone who’s likely to have seen it all before, it’s a good lawyer. Wondering what to do after a plane crash? Even though you only have a one in 29.4 million chance of dying on a plane flight, there are plane crash lawyers who specialize in this very kind of situation and know the books forward and backward.
- What’s your preferred method of contact?
If you’re spending good time and money to find the right attorney, you want to make sure that you will actually be working with the person you choose — not their assistant or some paralegals. The answer to this “communication” question will reveal just how personally invested they are in your case, or if they plan to pawn you off onto other, less experienced professionals.
Knowing what to ask an attorney during that initial consultation could prove instrumental in your decision-making. While one lawyer may seem perfect on paper, you may find that you simply can’t get along with them. Find a person you can work with and trust in order to increase your chances of success with any case.