5 Things to Look for in a Lawyer

Choosing a lawyer

Lawyers are some of the most important professionals that you’ll encounter. Their job is not one that you could DIY. Was your firing illegal? Have you been in a fatal car accident? Did a loved one suffer a brain injury because of a medical malpractice? All of these and more are situations where you definitely need a lawyer to represent you as you take the offending party to court. One of the great things about lawyers is that they can tell you if you stand a chance before you even get started. Most law firms will off you a free consultation with their lawyers. During that consultation, you’ll explain your situation and look out for key things yourself. When your done, the lawyer will know if your case will hold up in court or if it will just be money wasted. Here are a few things that you should notice if you’ve found a good lawyer.

  1. Good Listening Skills
    While you are explaining your situation to the lawyer, he or she should be listening intently, possibly even taking notes. A lawyer needs to be a detail oriented person because the one small detail can make all the difference to the case. If they miss details during the initial interview, you might want to rethink hiring them. Missing details during trial can make or break your case. The last thing you want is for your lawyer to be surprised in court by the other party because they weren’t listening to you properly.

  2. Comprehensible Talking Skills
    As well as being able to listen, your lawyer needs to be able to effectively communicate back to you. This means not using lawyer jargon just to make themselves look and feel important and intelligent. They should be able to break everything down to you in Layman’s terms without being patronizing or condescending. It does take a skill to be able to listen as well as answer effectively, but once you’ve found an attorney that can do both, you may have just found your defense.

  3. Payment Options
    Hiring a lawyer is no small feat. They are very expensive. That is why you want to make sure that you hire one that is worth the cost. During your initial interview, ask about payment plans and how they work. Some lawyers will work out a plan where you don’t have to pay anything unless you win the case and get your settlement. At that point the lawyer would usually take around 30% of the settlement as their fee. That might seem like a lot but if it’s what can help you to afford the lawyer, then it’s worth it. This is also incentive for the lawyer to work harder to win your case because they aren’t getting paid unless they win.

  4. An Honest Assessment
    You don’t need some to blow hot air at you. An honest assessment of your situation may be difficult to hear if there are holes in your case but that is what you need. You need a lawyer that can be up front and honest with you about whether or not you stand a chance at winning your case. You don’t need someone to stroke your ego and sympathize with you; that’s what your friends are for. You need someone who is going to be able to properly and effectively assess the situation and see what needs to be done.

  5. A Face to Face Interview
    One of the biggest red flags you’ll see when going to a free consultation is that the law firm will send out a paralegal or legal aid to your meeting instead of a lawyer. Ask point blank if the person you are meeting with is a lawyer or attorney. It is illegal for them to misconstrue who they are so they’ll have to be honest with you and tell you. If this happens, it likely means that the law firm doesn’t think that your case is important enough to send out the big guns. Find a law firm that believes in you.

Trusting your lawyer is one of the most important things that you will do, so the initial pick is important. After that, you have to put your case in your lawyer’s hands and trust that they know what they are doing.

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