Regardless of why you need a lawyer, it’s crucial to choose one who will guide you through the proceedings and address your concerns. The counsel you receive will make all the difference in the outcome of your case, so it’s important to take your time with the selection process and screen each candidate carefully. There are several questions you should be prepared to ask when consulting a potential lawyer for the first time.
5 Questions to Ask Your Potential Lawyer
1. What Options Do I Have?
While many people assume hiring a lawyer means they should expect to go to trial, this is not the only way to settle a dispute. If you are facing criminal charges, the attorney may recommend entering a plea deal to minimize the charges or sentence. In a civil case, you might be able to pursue mediation or arbitration outside of court.
2. What Is the Most Likely Outcome?
No attorney can predict how a judge or jury might decide, but they can provide insight into potential outcomes based on the information in front of them. Understanding how a case might unfold allows them to develop a strategy and protect your interests.
3. How Do You Charge?
Although you don’t want to choose a lawyer based on price alone, it’s important to make sure you can afford their services. Ask about retainer fees, the possibility of working on a contingency basis, and what other expenses you might incur during the process.
4. Have You Worked on Cases Similar to Mine?
Aside from having general experience in the field of law, the lawyer you select should also have specific experience working on cases similar to yours. This will ensure they know which strategies work and how to represent the matter in question.
5. What Is Your Track Record of Success?
Even though every case is unique, and you can’t gauge a lawyer’s abilities solely on past performance, it’s vital to learn about their track record. To improve your odds of achieving a favorable outcome, go with an attorney who has more wins to show for their efforts than losses.