Are you dealing with a family law issue, face charges in a criminal case, or live with the aftermath of a serious injury caused by someone else? With all the stress going on in your life, you still need to interview and choose an attorney who can best represent your interests. To make the most of your initial consultation, try to divide your questions into the categories described below.
Legal Experience and Education
There’s simply no substitute for experience when it comes to hiring a lawyer. After all, it’s up to you and your attorney to prove that your serious injuries are the direct result of the negligent actions of the other party. Here are some questions to ask to ensure that your attorney has in-depth knowledge of your practice area and feels confident about taking your case:
- How many years have you practiced law?
- How many cases do you handle each year like mine?
- How many cases do you argue in court each year and how many do you settle out of court?
- What law school did you graduate from and did you participate in any legal organizations while in school?
- Which professional or bar associations do you belong to?
Before you start asking questions about how a prospective lawyer would handle your case, be certain to explain what happened in as much detail as you can remember. The attorney you meet with should not interrupt other than to ask clarifying questions. and give you enough time to create a clear picture of your issue. Here are some questions you can ask once you feel confident that the lawyer you’re meeting with understands the details of the accident and your subsequent injuries:
- What is your legal opinion of my case and do you think I have a good chance for a favorable outcome?
- Does it seem like my case would need to go to trial or is it likely we could settle it without going to court?
- How long do you estimate that it will take to settle my case?
- Do you see any problems from what I have described that might work against me?
Case Management and Legal Philosophy
You should have a good idea of how your lawyer will handle your case before you agree to hire him or her. You also need to see yourself getting along well with this person. Pay attention to such things as whether he or she seems empathetic or annoyed, rushed or relaxed, and focused or distracted. This is what you can expect when you work together. Some questions to ask here include:
- What is your personal approach to managing personal injury, criminal defense, or family law cases?
- Will you act as my contact for questions and concerns?
- Will you encourage me to make decisions on my case or generally make them yourself?
- How often will you provide case updates?
- How quickly do you normally respond to client inquiries?
- Will legal experts or other attorneys work on my case?
Even when you feel satisfied with the first attorney you talk to, consider interviewing at least three candidates. This gives you the opportunity to compare the answers to your questions and then determine who can best meet your needs.
Schedule a Consultation with The Law Office of Sara A. Turner
We would feel honored to represent you as you deal with a legal challenge. Please contact us to request a time to meet where you can learn more about Ms. Turner’s qualifications to take on your case.