Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Lawyer

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Feb 2, 2018 11:51 AM

If you are in the market in search of a lawyer, it is wise to go for the best that will assist you in your situation. That means it has to be a lawyer you can afford to pay and operates in the area where your legal matter is. Take your time and research all the lawyers you consider hiring. Once you narrow down the list to what you want, arrange meetings with each of them. Get guidance on how you should interview the lawyers before you make a decision. Here are some of the questions you should ask your potential lawyer:

1. How long have you been practicing law?

A lawyer's experience is essential when it comes to winning cases. Therefore, you need to know whether you are dealing with an amateur or a veteran. The type of case you have will determine if you need to invest a lot of money in a lawyer who has experience, or you will just get someone who is fresh from school.

2. Who is your typical client?

So many people usually overlook this question. In case you are an individual with a personal case, but the lawyer you are questioning only deals with corporate clients, this may not be the ideal lawyer for you. Another essential thing is to find out the financial background of the clients your potential attorney has dealt with. It is important to know because some attorneys factor in some things while dealing with wealthy individuals as opposed to clients who are not well-off financially.

3. Have you represented similar cases to mine before?

If you want to get a good lawyer, you should never be shy when questioning them. Get to know about your potential lawyer's track record; the number of cases won, settled or lost. Nobody wants to lose a case. Therefore, you should always go for a lawyer who has a fantastic track record.

4. Do you have any special training that may help me win my case?

Other than a law degree, an excellent lawyer is one who has specialized training. Some cases like DUI and criminal cases need a lawyer who has gone through extra training so that he or she can represent you effectively. Make sure you ask if they have special training in the kind of case you are facing. For example, if you have a criminal case in Los Angeles, you have to get an attorney who will help you win your case and settle it.Therefore as the client, you need to know what kind of case you have in order to select the ideal lawyer.

5. Will there be anyone else dealing with my work?

Most lawyers designate most of the work you give them to paralegals. Taking your precious time explaining your case to your lawyer, then having to do the same thing to a paralegal is a waste of time and money. You do not want your message to be distorted.that. Delegating some tasks is a good idea, but just ensure you are clear on who should do what.

6. How do you communicate with your clients?

Some lawyers communicate with their clients via phone or email, while others only prefer meeting physically. You should work with someone who responds to your questions a.s.a.p. and is easily accessible. Before giving the potential lawyer a job, make sure the communication channel favors you.

7. How do you bill?

Many people end up falling out with their lawyers due to payments. To avoid such surprises, discuss with your lawyer on the bill, and how he or she expects the payments. Get all the expenses like research and paralegal fees before the job begins.


The questions you ask your potential attorney may have different answers. The most important thing is that nothing should be taken for granted. The questions in this article give you a general overview of an attorney's skill level, and whether or not he or she matches what you are looking for.


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