For most people, speaking with an attorney is a new and somewhat troubling experience. Much like a visit to the dentist or a doctor, people usually speak with an attorney after something has gone wrong. Perhaps you or a loved one has been injured, you are dealing with a complex contract or business transaction, or you are dealing with irreconcilable differences with your spouse and are considering a divorce. Regardless of why you are seeking legal representation, there are a few things you can do to find the right attorney. Below are a few things you can do to help your consultation go as smoothly as possible.
Things to consider when contacting an attorney.
- Speak with family and friends.
- Searh online and read reviews.
- Understand the difference between a retainer and contingency fee structure.
- Ask questions about your consultation.
- Finally, ask about your case and timeframe.
Legal issues are commonplace in today’s society so chances are you know someone who has faced similar circumstances to your own. Talk to family and friends to learn how their case went, what they learned and what their experience was like working with an attorney. Even if they cannot recommend someone for you, they can usually help you know what to expect as you navigate your legal issue.
Most law firms and attorneys will have an online presence so that you can do a fair amount of research before you make your first call. Make sure you look for a law firm that is located nearby and can obtain the type of results you want in your case. Reading online reviews on sites like Google +, Yelp and Facebook are a great way to see the type of satisfaction past clients have had with the firm.
Generally, there are two ways that you can hire an attorney. One way is to pay an hourly rate for the work performed on your behalf. This typically requires an upfront payment or retainer. The second way is based on a contingency fee agreement where the attorney will withhold collecting funds on your case until the case is resolved, then a percentage of your settlement will be collected for legal fees and costs associated with your case.
When you call a prospective law firm make sure to ask any question that comes to mind. Establish if the consultation is free, how long the consultation goes, and if you need to bring anything for the attorney to look over. We typically ask our clients to bring all relevant information to their initial consultation. This includes things like contracts, invoices, correspondence, emails, text messages, photographs, documents, medical bills or account statements. Doing this will enable the attorney to more accurately advise you on the merits of your case.
A consultation should be a learning experience for you. For the most part, you should go into the consultation with unanswered questions and leave the consultation knowing where you stand and what to expect. Attorneys will generally do a good job of answering questions you didn’t even know to ask. However, it is a good idea to make sure that you know an expected timeframe to resolve your case, the strengths and weaknesses your case may have, expected costs and billing structure of your case, and what you can to do as a client to help move your case along as swiftly as possible.
Keeping your consultation in perspective.
It is our hope that after reading this article you feel a little more prepared to find the right attorney for you. If you keep these suggestions in mind you are more likely to find a firm that is a good fit and will increase your chances of a favorable outcome. If you still have any questions or concerns please post them below in the comment section. You can also feel free to contact Tycksen and Shattuck, LLC regarding any legal concerns you may be facing.