What to Ask When Hiring an Attorney

It’s an unfortunate fact that many people don’t learn about how to hire an attorney until they really need one. There are questions to ask that will help you determine which is the best attorney for your particular need. When you’re consulting with attorneys don’t be afraid to ask around for the best balance of price and experience.

First, before you call any attorney, write down the facts of your case the best of your recollection. Get names, insurance information, license plate numbers, medical records, and anything else which will help your attorney build a case for you. Attorneys need to know everything they can about a case so they can advise you of your legal options and quote you an appropriate price for their services.  Written records are best, as memory can become very unreliable due to stress.

When you talk with an attorney, here’s some questions to ask:

  • How long have you been practicing?
  • What types of law do you practice?
  • Have you represented cases like mine?
  • What is your bar association?
  • Do you have experience in cases involving long-term injuries?
  • What is your approach when handling cases like mine?
  • What’s your legal philosophy?

After the consultation, here’s some additional questions you can ask:

  • How long will it take?
  • Is arbitration an option, or will we need to go to trial?
  • What’s a realistic amount I can expect to get?
  • Do you feel I have a case at all?
  • What is your fee structure?

Whenever an attorney uses an unfamiliar term in a consultation, you should ask them what it means. Attorneys use extremely precise language that is unfamiliar to most laypeople. Even some common terms may have specific legal definitions. Make sure you’re clear on everything before you decide to hire an attorney. Establishing a good relationship with your attorney before you step into the courtroom will aid you greatly in managing your expectations of what you can receive and reduce the stress of the whole experience.