With so many television commercials, billboards, online ads for attorneys, how do you decide which lawyer to hire? Do you choose an attorney from the advertisement you saw? Would you rather get a referral from a friend or a trusted source? What do you look for when choosing an attorney? If you are a woman, are you more comfortable hiring a female lawyer? If you are African American, do you look for a Black attorney? If you are a Christian, how important is it to you that your lawyer is also Christian? Do you hire a large firm or a small boutique law office? How much experience do you want your attorney to have? Do you read online reviews?
Here is a list of five things to consider when deciding which attorney to hire:
- If you want an attorney that gives you personal attention, make sure that attorney is not too busy for you before you hire the attorney. Ask the attorney to set the expectation for the frequency of communication between you and the attorney.
- Experience matters. Make sure the lawyer has the relevant experience for your legal matter. Do not be afraid to ask the lawyer about his/her relevant experience that would be needed for your legal issue.
- Do not hire an attorney simply because you feel pressured to do so during his/her “sales pitch.” Unless your legal matter requires urgent attention, any decent attorney will respect the fact that you want to a little time to consider your hiring decision.
- Make sure you have a clear understanding, before you hire the attorney, of the legal fees and/or costs that you will be charged.
- Ask the lawyer for an overview of what your legal matter will entail. Lawyers cannot predict the exact outcome but should be able to provide a general overview.
This could be an overwhelming time in your life. Hiring the right attorney for you is important. Asking these questions during the interview will help in determining the right attorney for you.