Here at Gower Law PLC , we realize that many of our potential clients don’t necessarily have the experience of dealing with an attorney first-hand. Chances are when you first contact us, you’re already frightened and overwhelmed by the threat of looming fines or jail-time, so any steps you can take to make the experience less intimidating allows you the opportunity to focus on maintaining a positive outlook.
Knowledge is power, so there’s no such thing as asking too many questions about the legal process, and the people you’re hiring to represent you in the courtroom. Placing your fate in the hands of a stranger can be daunting, but by asking your potential lawyer the right questions, you’ll both establish a trusting relationship with your legal representative and gain the confidence needed to face your case head-on.
For those reasons and many more, it’s crucial to ensure that the lawyers aren’t the only ones asking questions at that initial meeting. These five simple questions are the perfect way to determine of the legal representation you’ve sought out is the right legal representation for you.
1) How Many Years have you been in practice?
When you entrust a lawyer with your livelihood, it’s important to assess their background and competence level. This is, after all, the person who will be representing you in front of the judge and jury – make absolute sure that they can walk the walk when the path gets rocky.
2) Can you provide references from other clients?
You need references to get a job, so logic dictates that when you interview a lawyer, they should be able to furnish references that offer a clear picture of their professional background as well. No company would ever hire a worker who doesn’t provide references, and you should never hire a lawyer who doesn’t, either.
3) How many cases have you represented that are similar to mine, and do you have any special training that may give you an advantage in representing me?
Every lawyer has their unique area of expertise, and it’s absolutely essential that your attorney is well-versed in the laws that apply to your particular case. Even the best divorce layer would be hard pressed to try a criminal case, so make sure that your lawyer’s specialty relates directly to your situation. Also, be sure to ask about special training that could give them an added advantage in the courtroom.
4) What are your attorney fees and costs, and how will they be billed?
Legal representation can be costly, and you have a right to know exactly how much you’ll be paying for services rendered. If the price is too high, consider inquiring about reduced costs by delegating certain tasks to paralegals or legal assistants.
5) Are there other ways of resolving my case?
Oftentimes we end up in court as a last resort, but that doesn’t mean arbitration or other out-of-court arrangements are out of the question depending on the details of your particular case. A good lawyer will recognize the value of showing the client all of their options because it could lead to a strong referral in the future, and that’s good news for everyone involved.
Of course these questions are merely offered as a starting point in order to offer you a better idea of your potential lawyer and how they operate. Before you make your final decision as to whether or not to hire them, you may also want to ask how they will communicate results once the trial gets underway; the likely outcome of your case given their professional experience; and what potential problems they can see arising during the course of the proceedings.
Now isn’t the time to be shy. Your future and finances are at stake, so don’t hesitate to ask any questions that will help to determine if you’ve found the right legal representation to suit your particular needs. At Gower Reddick, we will help you understand your legal options and will help you fight to get you the results you want. Contact us today and we will answer the questions you have.