If you are being accused of a crime, you need an attorney to protect your interests. Otherwise, you’ll be left to the mercy of an overworked public defender, who won’t have the time or the resources to spend on your case. It’s also important to hire the right attorney if you have a different legal problem. This could include drawing up iron-clad contracts for a new client, protecting your intellectual property, or advising you on a real estate investment.
Hiring the right attorney to represent your interests is one of the most important decisions you can make. Your attorney will be your advocate, advisor, and guide through complicated legal matters, so it’s crucial to find someone you can trust and who has the skills and experience to handle your specific case.
Here are six key things to look for when hiring an attorney for any legal matter.
Make sure the attorney has extensive experience in the specific area of law pertaining to your case. You want someone who is very familiar with the nuances of the type of case you have and the laws that apply. For example, don’t hire a general practitioner for complex business litigation, and when choosing a criminal defense attorney, seek out lawyers who specialize in the crime you’re being accused of as soon as possible.
Track Record of Success
Ask the attorney about their past case results. Have they consistently obtained favorable outcomes and settlements for clients similar to you? Successful attorneys will be happy to provide references and divorce win-loss records, for example. You want an attorney with a proven ability to get results. Try and hire an attorney who comes with a personal recommendation, rather than a complete stranger you found on the internet.
Your attorney needs to clearly communicate complex legal matters and procedures to you in an understandable way. Make sure they take the time to answer all your questions thoroughly and are accessible when you need them. The attorney should be a good listener and provide clear legal counsel. This is potentially your freedom on the line.
Find an attorney who takes an honest, realistic approach when assessing your case. Beware of attorneys who overpromise outcomes or guarantees. The attorney should lay out a range of potential results instead of maintaining an overly optimistic perspective. They should use their legal expertise to provide you with the clearest expectations.
Hire an attorney who you feel comfortable with and who understands your objectives. Look for someone who is supportive, patient, and makes you feel at ease. You want an attorney who is personable but also acts professionally and works diligently on your behalf. Ultimately, you want a lawyer you can trust to act in your best interests.
The attorney’s fees must be clearly explained upfront so you understand what services are covered and what your total costs may be. Watch for hidden fees. See if they offer flat fee or hourly fee options. Compare fee structures of a few qualified attorneys before deciding. Also, make sure you understand what pro bono legal aid services you may qualify for if needed.
The right attorney can make all the difference in obtaining a favorable legal outcome for you. Do your research and take the time to thoughtfully choose an attorney with the above credentials, one who is truly qualified to represent your specific legal needs. The attorney you hire should be skilled, experienced, successful, and someone you can easily communicate with. With the right legal guidance, you can navigate complex cases and reach the optimal resolutions.