Dealing with lawyers can be a scary, somewhat intimidating experience for many people. The fact is, however, that by acquiring a little bit of education on the subject, you really can feel confident and knowledgeable the next time you need to seek legal advice. Keep reading to get the foundation you need to proceed.
A good tip to remember if you’re going to be working with a lawyer in a criminal case is to be completely honest. By law, anything that you say to your lawyer has to remain confidential. Telling the truth will also give your lawyer the best shot at winning your case.
Make sure that you and your lawyer communicate well with one another. In fact, it is important to discuss in advance how often you will be talking and by what means. Will your lawyer email you weekly or biweekly? Does he prefer to call you with updates instead? The form of communication doesn’t really matter as long as you and your lawyer stay in contact often.
Do not go out looking for a lawyer and only consider the ones that have very low fees. Sometimes the fees are low because they reflect the quality of the attorney. You get what you pay for in many cases, so it is best if you go into this knowing you will have to spend a decent amount of money.
Although you may be able to find a great lawyer on the Internet, know that these lawyers are not usually properly screened. Do background checks on the lawyers listed online then meet them to talk about your situation before you hire them.
While a high profile lawyer might be the promise of success you dream of, they might also be way too busy to deal with your case. This can either leave you in the hands of a less experienced lawyer at the firm, or alone at times when you need your lawyer. Look for someone with a balance of time and experience.
Pay attention to how friendly the staff of your lawyer’s office is. Are your calls answered promptly? Is the person answering the phone courteous? If that office takes a while to return any messages you leave, this may be a hint as to how you will be treated as a client.
Any initial meeting or conversation with a lawyer should include four key questions that you ask them. Is the lawyer experienced in your specific type of situation? Do they charge flat rates or hourly fees? How much do they estimate the total cost will be? How long will this take to fully resolve?
If you hear victory guarantees from a lawyer during a consultation, it is smart to leave. All good lawyers know that there are no guarantees, as the ones who say that are simply trying to sell themselves. A guarantee of an outcome is a huge warning sign of a possibly incompetent or unethical lawyer.
Do not underestimate the importance of your lawyer’s personality. An aggressive lawyer can be an advantage but an experienced and confident lawyer could help you win your case too. You should meet with different lawyer and find one who has the kind of personality and philosophy you need for your case.
When choosing a lawyer, Google his name to see what information turns up online. Many times you will see complaints about a particular lawyer from previous clients. Similarly, you can perhaps see other cases he’s been involved in and the results. Combine the lawyer’s name with the city to minimize the chances of getting an unrelated result.
Be upfront with your new lawyer about your budget. Set a budget based on your means and your needs, and insist that the lawyer stick to it. If the lawyer needs to go over the budget, make sure it is not done without your express permission. Keep all the receipts!
It is certainly the case for many individuals that communicating with lawyers is no simple task. The truth, however, is that if you spend a little time learning about what makes for a good lawyer and how you can deal effectively with those in the legal profession, you can build a mutually beneficial relationship. With any luck, you now have sufficient knowledge to move ahead comfortably.