These days, there are so many lawyers out there to choose from that it can be difficult to figure out if the one you want to hire is going to be the right one for your situation. The experience of “shopping” for a lawyer can be a fearful scenario for many, so much so that they often forget to ask important questions or give important details that can be critical to the success of their case.
The employment law experts of Michael Sullivan & Associates understand the stress of having to search for proper legal representation, no matter what the situation may be. In this new blog, we’ll be discussing the best process to follow when you’re in a situation that requires a lawyer, what to do to find the right one for your case, and the questions you need to ask them before you hire them.
Educate Yourself On Your Case
Depending on how complex your case is, it may behoove you to do some homework on it before you decide to hire a lawyer. Being able to understand the issue, even if it’s with a minimal amount of information, will only make communication between you and your attorney more coherent, and it will give you the confidence to ask critical questions.
Shop Around If You Have Time
If your legal case gives you the time to do it, the internet is a fantastic resource for hunting down a law firm with attributes that will match your legal needs. There are countless websites that cater to those looking for representation, from sites that highlight corporate lawyer reviews to ones that stick primarily to reviews of civil representation.
Ask Them Some Basic Questions
Most people won’t simply hire a plumber out of a phonebook without asking basic questions about that plumber’s business history, years of experience, areas of expertise, and skills. Why, then, would it make sense for you to hire a lawyer without doing a little bit of background research? Lawyers handle important issues for us, ones that can dictate our financial, civil, and legal futures; it’s imperative that someone in the market to hire a lawyer find out as much as possible about potential legal representation before they start on a case.
Here are some important questions to ask any attorney before you hire them:
- What is their area of expertise? Every lawyer has an area of specialty that they tend to focus on. Don’t make the mistake of hiring a DUI expert to represent you in a litigation case — a lawyer having “decades of experience” in a particular field doesn’t necessarily mean they are adept at covering all fields with equal knowledge. If you’re financially able to, make sure you find a specialist to fit your case.
- How do they bill for services? Get exact details when it comes to how much a lawyer charges and whether they will charge hourly, by flat fee, on contingency, or on retainer. In addition, make sure you get this in writing in order to prevent your lawyer from burdening you with unnecessary fees and costs later on down the line. Not asking about the billing process may set you up for unexpected charges during the court process or even after your case has settled.
- How proactive will they be with communication? Many old-school lawyers view legal work as transactional, meaning that they keep communication with their clients to a minimum and only contact them when major changes happen during a case. Unfortunately, this can often lead to clients being left out of the loop when it comes to potentially important facts. Make sure any lawyer you plan to hire will be as open and communicative with you as possible.
- How attentive will they be to your needs? Some lawyers just don’t have the time — or want to make the time, depending on how much you’ll be paying them— to be attentive to a client’s needs. If you have additional questions about your case, will they respond to your phone calls? Will they make an effort to listen to your concerns and try to inform you in areas where your knowledge may not be up to snuff? An attentive lawyer is a lawyer worth hiring!
Trust The Legal Experts of Michael Sullivan & Associates
When you’re in a situation where your business needs legal representation, trust the immigration and employment law experts at Michael Sullivan & Associates LLP. With offices across California and decades of combined experience in employment law, immigration law, and workplace law, the lawyers of MS&A will give you proper representation done efficiently and with an eye towards winning the right way.
Contact our team today if you’re in need of a lawyer or just have questions about our firm and how we can help. We look forward to hearing from you!