Hiring an attorney can be a daunting task. Once that hiring decision is made, it can be equally frustrating to encounter the following things.
Understand Billing Practices
Begin by learning the various ways attorneys bill their time. Most attorneys bill by the hour, yet some will suggest a flat fee for certain routine matters, such as reviewing a contract or closing a loan. Make sure that you consult with your attorney about his billing practices and understand what your case entails. Make certain to get a written agreement.
Easy Access to Attorney
Has your attorney explained his policy for returning phone calls, texts, and/or emails? Don’t hesitate to ask before hiring.
Good Rapport With Attorney
Do you feel comfortable with and confident in your attorney? Have they tried to clearly explain your legal options? Good chemistry will ensure a better relationship and more positive results for your legal matters.
Attorney Interested in Your Goals
Does your attorney show an interest in your goals? Do they explain the process in a language that you can understand clearly? Do they also do this with a sense of respect and compassion?
Consult Before Hiring
Does your attorney clearly explain their area of expertise? It’s important to find an attorney who specializes in the area where your problems and concerns exist. There are many areas of law (the American Bar Association lists about 85 specialties) and most attorneys will happily explain their experience in the field they specialize.
Take your time to find the right attorney for your needs. Interview the top three attorneys you are considering. Many attorneys will offer an initial consultation without charge. Be ready to describe your concerns and needs. Take notes and come prepared with questions. It is important to establish a relationship with your attorney. Life has many twists and turns and your attorney should be with you for a long time.
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