Meeting with a new lawyer for the first time is a very important part of the attorney-client relationship. Here is where you find out exactly how you will work together in order to solve your case, and whether or not they are a good option to hire. Regardless of whether the case is criminal or civil in nature, the ability to work together and understand each other is critical for success. That’s why asking your potential lawyer some questions is very important. However, you may be wondering what type of questions you should ask. Here are ten questions you should consider asking a lawyer you are meeting for the first time.
What Is Your Experience In Law?
This might be the most important question you could ask a lawyer you are meeting for the first time. A lawyer’s experience and history will tell you most of what you need to know about them. You will know what they are good at and how successful they have been at winning previous cases. A lawyer with a lot of experience in law is very valuable, as they can tap into that experience in order to help you win your case.
What Are Your Rates and Fees?
Another important question you should ask a new lawyer is what their rates and fees are. Lawyers can be very expensive, as some can charge over a hundred dollars an hour for consultation. This means legal fees will take a large chunk out of your finances. Knowing exactly how much they will cost you will allow you to budget accordingly and better plan for the future.
What Do You Think The Outcome Of My Case Will Be?
This is a tricky question since no case is predetermined. However, a lawyer should be able to use their professional judgement to give an accurate prediction of the case. They will tell you whether your case is winnable and what rewards you could receive. On the other hand they could tell you that your case appears to be hopeless and tell you what your best case scenario would be in terms of punishments. Regardless of what they say, knowing what to expect will allow you to temper your expectations and will help you deal with the long process of a legal battle.
How Do You Approach A Case?
How a lawyer approaches a case is very important when deciding whether or not you should hire them. Different lawyers have different ways of approaching a case, and some may be more effective than others. For example, one medical negligence lawyer may approach a malpractice case in a much different manner than another lawyer in the same field would. Which strategy you choose is all up to personal preference and what you think will be most effective, but you should at least ask each potential lawyer their approach.
What Are Your Means Of Communication?
As discussed before, communication and cooperation between you and your lawyer are very important parts of a successful legal case. This means that you should know all of the potential ways you can get in contact with a lawyer before you make a decision to hire them. You may have questions or suggestions about the case, so ensure that you collect things like telephone numbers and email addresses to ensure that communication lines stay as open as possible between the two of you.
Have You Worked Similar Cases Before?
Finding out whether or not a lawyer has worked a similar case before can be a big help in deciding whether or not to hire them. If a lawyer has worked a similar case before it can be a huge help to your chances of winning. The lawyer will know exactly what methods were effective and which ones were ineffective. The lawyer also will have a better idea judging what the outcome of your case will be, which will allow you to prepare for the future better.
What is Your Philosophy?
Knowing what a lawyer’s philosophy and approach to the law is very important. Different lawyers have different philosophies when it comes to practicing law, and these philosophies may affect your case. These philosophies could affect certain areas of practice such as negotiations and case preparation, so learning all about them is very important to the success of your case.
Are There Any Conflicts of Interest?
This is a rare occurrence and usually only occurs in more rural settings, but it is still an important question to ask regardless. A conflict of interest could sink your entire case. For example, it could cause your lawyer to be less productive or even inadvertently sabotage your case. Another thing that could happen is your lawyer could dismiss themselves in the middle of your legal fight, something that could be disastrous. Protect yourself and make sure that there are no conflicts of interest that could potentially sink your case.
How Long Will This Case Take?
Legal cases can take a varying amount of time. Some may be settled outside of court in a matter of a few weeks, while others may be long drawn out legal battles. Knowing exactly how long a case will take will be a big help when it comes to preparation. While your lawyer won’t be able to give you a definitive timeline, they still should be able to use their legal expertise to give you an accurate guess, allowing you to prepare accordingly.
How Can I Help In the Case?
Asking how you can help in a case is a very important part of the lawyer-client relationship. Lawyers work hard at their job, and cooperation from their clients makes their jobs much easier. Sometimes simply being open and honest about a case is enough help, but other times you could go above and beyond to help your lawyer out. Finding out how you can help in the case can strengthen the lawyer-client relationship, and can take some pressure off of your lawyer’s shoulders.