What to Look for in a Lawyer

What to look for in choosing a lawyer

Choosing a lawyer can be a confusing and sometimes intimidating process for many people.  Many people are seeking a lawyer to resolve a current problem or crises they are experiencing.  Or, they could be seeking to set up an estate plan to prepare for an uncertain future.  Whatever the case, there are many lawyers who, just like almost everyone else, advertise many services making it is difficult to tell which lawyer is right for you.  While there is no set guide to choosing the right lawyer, the following may help to narrow down the options many people are faced with in making this important decision.

There are many factors to consider when hiring a lawyer.  Everyone wants to hire the “best” lawyer, but “best” is really a subjective term in that it may be different for each person.  For instance, one person may value price, another experience or even another may value reputation as the most important factor.  The first thing to decide then is, what is the most important attribute a lawyer should have in your case.  For instance, hiring the most expensive lawyer does not always mean that you will get the personal attention your specific case needs.  Or, hiring a lawyer with less experience may be more practical because that lawyer’s retainer and hourly rate may be more within your budget.  The following questions will help to determine what is best for each individual in choosing their own lawyer.  

One thing people often like to know is, how much experience a lawyer has with their particular issue.  This is a great question to ask for several reasons.  A lawyer’s response to this question will give a potential client information on what to expect in terms of how much research the lawyer will have to do to become proficient in their issue as well as how much time they can expect their lawyer to reasonably spend on their particular case.  Another important question to consider is what areas of law does a lawyer generally handle.  There are lawyers, for example, who only handle criminal defense or personal injury.  Other lawyers may handle a variety of issues with experience over multiple areas of law.  Still others lawyers may not have specific knowledge of a particular area, but they may work in a law firm along with another lawyer who does.

One of the most important questions to ask a lawyer, and rightly so, is what kinds of fees and costs does a lawyer charge.  Any lawyer you want to hire should openly discuss his or her fees and billing practices.  It is no secret that hiring a lawyer is expensive, but that doesn’t mean a lawyer’s fees should be unreasonable.  It is critically important to understand what to expect from a lawyer regarding their fees and costs and therefore equally important to make sure to ask questions that will help you make this important decision.

Finally, something that many people don’t think about, is that it is important to find a lawyer you will be able to work closely with during the pendency of your case.  Many cases can continue for months or even years at a time.  Your lawyer should be someone you can continue to work with and who will also give you honest assessments not just at the beginning of your case, but throughout it as well.  Platt & Westby has offices in Phoenix, Arrowhead, Litchfield Park, Scottsdale and Gilbert Arizona.  Contact our office by calling 602-277-4441 or visit www.plattwestby.com today and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.