The Right Lawyer Makes A Big Difference
Whether you need an attorney for a business or personal matter, finding the right fit is crucial to ensuring your case unfolds smoothly and successfully. Many people are intimidated by the prospect of hiring a lawyer and shy away from asking potential attorneys important questions as a result.
As the client, you have a right to know specific information about your attorney’s experience, billing structure, and accessibility. Asking the right questions early on can help you have a good experience down the road.
1. How Do You Charge For Your Services?
You wouldn’t take your car to a mechanic or your child to an orthodontist without first knowing the cost. You should take the same approach with your attorney. If a lawyer is vague about billing practices, it’s probably a sign of trouble to come. Although it can be difficult to predict how a case will progress – and thus how much the representation will cost – your lawyer should be able to thoroughly educate you about the pros and cons (and cost) of your various options. At the Deacon Law Firm, we believe in open, honest billing, so there are never any surprises. Also, your first consultation is always free.
2. Are You Accessible?
When clients come to us from other attorneys, lack of communication is one of their most frequent reasons for terminating their previous attorney-client relationship. Unfortunately, many attorneys take on more work than they can handle. Others lack the support staff to assist them with a busy practice. We have heard of individuals going weeks and even months without hearing back from their attorney. It’s not enough to simply ask your attorney if he or she is accessible and responsive. To get an accurate idea of whether a lawyer is truly accessible, you must ask how he or she manages client communication, including how long you should expect to wait to receive a response to emails, letters, and phone calls.
3. Are You Proactive?
It’s an unfortunate fact that many attorneys put off taking action on a pending case until immediately before a hearing or deadline. Whether your legal matter is largely transactional or requires in-person meetings and litigation, your lawyer should touch base with you on a continuing basis throughout your case. Many times, a case that could have been settled is unnecessarily prolonged due to a lawyer’s inaction.
4. Are You Experienced In My Legal Matter?
At the Deacon Law Firm, we realize that everyone has to start somewhere. Just because a lawyer is new doesn’t mean he or she lacks knowledge. We believe everyone deserves a fair chance – we just don’t think our clients should have to pay for this learning curve. Each of our attorneys possesses years of experience in his or her practice areas. More importantly, we believe lawyers should be well-rounded practitioners with the ability to tackle a broad variety of legal matters. On the other hand, some legal areas are truly specialized matters that are best left to attorneys who handle them almost exclusively. For example, an estate planning practitioner probably isn’t the best candidate to handle your patent application. At Deacon, we are very good at what we do. We also maintain professional connections with a network of attorneys in all legal practice areas. If we can’t assist you, we are happy to connect you with an attorney who can.