Hiring the right lawyer is an essential step toward achieving the best possible outcome in a case. That’s why in our first blog we outline the five questions you should ask before hiring a lawyer.
1. How Long Have You Practiced Law?
Experience matters and law is no exception to this simple rule.
When you interview a potential attorney, one of the first things you want to do is to get a sense of their experience practicing law.
A lawyer often has to act quickly and make decisions that hinge on some of the subtlest nuances of the law. In all these scenarios experience offers invaluable help.
2. What Is Your Area of Legal Practice?
Law is so vast that it’s impossible for a single attorney to handle all types of cases.
That’s why most lawyers tend to specialize in one or two areas called areas of legal practice. Here are some of the most common areas of legal practice, along with examples of the type of cases that fall within each category:
- Business law. Breach of contract, business formation, mergers and acquisitions.
- Civil litigation. Personal injury, medical malpractice, contract disputes.
- Criminal law. Murder and manslaughter, money laundering, fraud.
- Estate planning. Wills, powers of attorney, fraudulent transfers.
- Family law. Divorce, child custody, restraining orders.
- Immigration law. Family-based petitions, adjustment of status, citizenship.
- Landlord-tenant law. Evictions, lease agreements, lease abandonment.
- Real estate law. Deeds and titles; preparation and review of documents.
3. Have You Handled Cases Like Mine Before?
As mentioned earlier, experience makes a difference when it comes to law.
Ideally, you want your lawyer to not only have experience in a certain area of legal practice but also in your specific type of case.
A lawyer who has already dealt with the challenges of a case like yours is better prepared to navigate pitfalls and craft a strategy that leads to the best possible result.
4. What Is Your Fee Structure?
Don’t forget that you will have to pay for the services of your lawyer, so you want to make sure you understand their fee structure. Here are some common examples:
- Hourly. The lawyer charges you for every hour they spend working on your case.
- Flat. You pay a flat total fee to the lawyer handling your case.
- Contingent. Here, the lawyer’s fee is a percentage of the amount you are awarded.
- Retainer. This is usually a set fee based on your lawyer’s hourly rate. However, firms may mean something different when using this term, so make sure to get a detailed explanation.
How Would You Handle My Case?
After gleaning information about a potential lawyer’s experience, you should ask them how they would go about handling your case.
In addition to allowing you to gauge a lawyer’s skill, this question will also help you get a sense of their style and personality, two factors you shouldn’t overlook.
You will be interacting with your lawyer constantly, so it’s important that you have good interpersonal chemistry with them.
Need Legal Assistance in Southern California? Contact the EBL Law Group
At the EBL Law Group, we offer dependable, straightforward legal assistance in family law, business law, criminal law, estate planning, civil litigation, immigration law, and real estate law.
We are located in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Call us at (909) 581-4351 for a free consultation, or fill out the contact form on this website to get in touch with our team.