Choosing an attorney requires a strategic approach. The success of your case depends on their knowledge, experience, and credibility. After all, you are entrusting your confidential information to them.
Here are the factors you should consider when hiring a lawyer.
1. The Area of Law
Law is a wide field of study. Therefore, attorneys usually specialize in a specific area of law.
For example, tax lawyers help businesses protect assets and review their business structures.
Family lawyers provide advice on a wide array of issues, such as divorce, adoption, child support, financial settlements, etc.
Criminal defense lawyers specialize in defending individuals and businesses charged with criminal activity.
If you are starting a business and plan to grow it internationally, then hire a business lawyer. They still draft contracts, negotiate deals, attend meetings, and strategize your company’s transactions.
Laws and regulations vary by state. Therefore, seek a lawyer in your area who is familiar with the local legal requirements.
Take the example of felony law that fluctuates across different states. For example, North Carolina allows crime expungement. In other words, felonies can be entirely removed from an individual’s criminal record – as if they had never happened. For example, if you want to delete your arrest record in Raleigh, consider hiring a Raleigh felony lawyer. They will make your offenses invisible to your future employers or landlords.
A lawyer should be qualified enough to provide you with the right advice and protect your interests.
For starters, ask them about their practicing history. Next, check out their website to see which area of law they specialize in.
Finding reliable lawyers with loads of experience in a specific legal environment is particularly essential to business owners. For example, say your company operates in a highly regulated industry, such as healthcare. To help you run and grow your business legally, the corporate attorney should understand complex laws in that sector.
4. The Firm Size
The size of law companies varies. For example, you can hire a solo practitioner, a small legal company, or a corporation. Your choice depends on numerous factors, such as your budget and legal requirements.
Each option has numerous advantages and disadvantages.
For example, hiring a solo practitioner is more cost-effective. On the other hand, they may not have all the resources and skills your case needs. If they face an area of law they do not cover, they may refer you to another lawyer. Therefore, you may end up paying two or more lawyers to work on your case.
Big law firms usually charge higher hourly rates. However, they have greater resources. They hire large teams of lawyers who specialize in different law areas. Their diverse skills and experiences are included in the price, meaning you will not need to pay for additional legal service.
5. Cost and the Flexibility of Billing
As we have mentioned above, the cost is an essential factor when choosing an attorney. To narrow down your choices, start by asking them about their quotes. Find out what their fees include. For example, does it incorporate additional expenses, such as travel, filing, or shipping? These costs are often charged separately.
Most importantly, learn how they bill clients and how flexible they are in that sense. Do they charge hourly rates, flat rates, contingency rates, or have negotiable fees?
Always make sure their pricing terms are clear. Do not be afraid to ask them to sign a written agreement to ensure they are no surprises.
6. Communication and Accessibility
Talk to the lawyer honestly and ask them about how many clients they currently have. Learn whether they can take on the case immediately and focus on it. They should take time to keep you updated and explain complex legal matters.
Additionally, ask the lawyer about their availability and communication methods. Your collaboration should go far beyond paperwork, emails, and monthly meetings. Let them know what your preferred communication channels are. Agree on the frequency of communication and check-in times so you can stay on top of the case updates.
That way, you will choose the right plan of action and ensure your communication is proactive right from the start.
Over to You
Choosing the right attorney can be challenging. You need to consider numerous factors, from their billing methods to their expertise. I hope these insights will help you choose the right lawyer!
Do you have any additional tips on hiring a lawyer? We are listening!