This is a continuation of our prior blog titled “Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Business Attorney – Part 1.” Before you retain a lawyer, it is important to ask specific questions that will help you determine whether he/she is the right person to represent you. Below are a few more things you should consider before hiring a prospective attorney:
Does the lawyer want to help you?
It is common for a client to ask the lawyer to explain why he/she should be retained to handle the case. While this is an opportunity for the attorney to brag on themselves, you should look for the lawyer who really wants to help you. A good attorney will not make you feel like you are just another file in their stack. You want to work with somebody who is in high demand, but also who has a passion for helping people. If the lawyer is good, he/she will be busy, but they should want to help you just as much as you want to retain them.
Is the lawyer giving you a sales pitch?
Although most lawyers will tell you about their experience and the things that make them qualified to handle your case, you can usually tell if he/she truly knows what he/she is talking about. Are you getting direct answers to your questions, or are you getting a sales pitch? A good lawyer will take the facts you have presented and help you understand what the pros and cons are, as well as what you are facing if a lawsuit is filed. You want to work with somebody who is honest and factually accurate, not somebody who is tell you what they think you want to hear. While it is not fun to be told something that you don’t want to hear, it should also be reassuring that the lawyer is knowledgeable and being straightforward with you.
Is the attorney trying to predict the future?
If the lawyer is telling you what will happen in your case, or they act as if they already know the outcome, be careful. You should not retain a lawyer who tells you what is going to happen after only hearing your side of the case. A good lawyer may tell you different options for what may happen or what happened in a case similar to your case, but an attorney who thinks they have it all figured out after one meeting is not going to spend a lot of time working to obtain the best result possible. You do not want you attorney to settle for what has happened before. You want somebody who will research the law and look for new options and better outcomes. In short, you want somebody who is going to give 100% to your case.
What happens when you shift the burden to the attorney?
When you are interviewing a potential lawyer, you likely have a list of questions you want answered. When you reach the end of that list, ask the attorney what other questions you should have asked and see how he/she responds. Unless you have experience working with attorneys, you probably have missed a few important questions and a good lawyer will point this out to you. Even if you do not hire that attorney, understanding the questions you missed will help you in the next interview you do.
While there is no magic formula to follow for selecting the right attorney for you, it is important to gather the necessary information to make the most informed decision you can. Ultimately, you should retain a lawyer who listens to you, gives direct feedback, and who you feel comfortable with due to their personality, knowledge and experience, as well as the overall feeling you get when speaking with them.
If you need the advice and guidance of an experienced business attorney, contact our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable attorneys. We can help make sure you are protected under your legal documents and if a dispute arises, we will work diligently to obtain the best possible outcome in your case.